September 26, 2020

Problem of the Day: Your Staff Makes the Same Money As You (Maybe More)

money.jpgApparently it’s happening, people. With several firms freezing pay for this fiscal year, some already hinting at an additional freeze for fiscal year 2010, and with less fewer offers being made on campus, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that the new associate nearly has the same salary as you.
It goes without saying that this is a contentious issue amongst the staff and it can be made worse if it is known to exist between members of the same team.
If you’ve been busting your ass for the last two to three years and seen very little appreciation in the form of merit increases and suddenly the new associate walks in making virtually the same as you, your motivation may evaporate on all fronts.
From a staff perspective, no new associate, no matter how virtuous will ever ask, “Is that what a senior associate makes? I wouldn’t be comfortable making that much without any experience.” Nice thought but not gonna happen. Firms will claim that they have to keep salaries competitive in order to win the best talent and may even encourage it in order to foster the “competitive environment”.
So discuss how prevalent this is on your team, in your office, or at your firm. Is there any good solution here? We’re talking about money, so there has to be some opinions.

money.jpgApparently it’s happening, people. With several firms freezing pay for this fiscal year, some already hinting at an additional freeze for fiscal year 2010, and with less fewer offers being made on campus, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that the new associate nearly has the same salary as you.
It goes without saying that this is a contentious issue amongst the staff and it can be made worse if it is known to exist between members of the same team.
If you’ve been busting your ass for the last two to three years and seen very little appreciation in the form of merit increases and suddenly the new associate walks in making virtually the same as you, your motivation may evaporate on all fronts.
From a staff perspective, no new associate, no matter how virtuous will ever ask, “Is that what a senior associate makes? I wouldn’t be comfortable making that much without any experience.” Nice thought but not gonna happen. Firms will claim that they have to keep salaries competitive in order to win the best talent and may even encourage it in order to foster the “competitive environment”.
So discuss how prevalent this is on your team, in your office, or at your firm. Is there any good solution here? We’re talking about money, so there has to be some opinions.

Have something to add to this story? Give us a shout by email, Twitter, or text/call the tipline at 202-505-8885. As always, all tips are anonymous.

Related articles

How Are Public Accounting Salaries Stacking Up for 2021?

You know fall is right around the corner when Robert Half releases its latest Accounting & Finance Salary Guide, and the 2021 edition is now available for download. But be warned: Due to everyone’s favorite pandemic, starting salaries for public accounting positions are expected to *barely* increase next year. Of the five positions each under […]

Number of the Day: $502,417

Last week we posted that the average annual compensation of equity partners who work in the top 100 public accounting firms in the U.S. (excluding the Big 4), as ranked by INSIDE Public Accounting, was $682,000, according to IPA’s latest practice management survey. For context, those firms range from RSM US ($2.7 billion of revenue) […]