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November 30, 2022

These 10 LCOL Cities Are Expected to Have Higher-Than-Average Public Accounting Starting Salaries in 2023

Over the last week we’ve taken a look at projected public accounting starting salaries in 2023 for eight cities with a high cost of living and 12 cities with a medium cost of living, and how those salaries compare to the national averages contained in the 2023 Robert Half Accounting & Finance Salary Guide. Today we’re going to examine next year’s PA starting salaries for 10 cities considered to have a low cost of living.

Using the find your local salaries” tool in the salary guide, we tried to find as many LCOL cities as possible with a large public accounting firm presence (Big 4, national, and/or regional) that have starting salaries projected to be higher than the national average. It was a tough task, but we found 10 of them!

We compared the 2023 average starting salaries for each of those 10 cities with the national average starting salaries for public accounting (2023 national average -> the average for that city by percentile per position). In its 2023 salary guide, Robert Half provided starting pay data for eight positions within PA: four in tax services and four in audit and assurance services.

If you’re thinking, “What do they mean ‘by percentile?’” Bob Half provides starting salaries in its guide for three percentiles based on employee experience. Those percentiles are:

  • 25th percentile: New to the role, with little to no experience; requires more than casual instruction or supervision to perform day-to-day duties.
  • 50th percentile: Has the experience to consistently perform core responsibilities without direct supervision; very comfortable with processes and subject matter associated with the role.
  • 75th percentile: Value to the organization goes far beyond the ability to perform normal job duties; has rare qualifications that enable consistent contribution in unique ways; ready for next career level when available.

If you’re expecting to see cities like Pittsburgh, Cincinnati or Cleveland or Columbus in Ohio, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Detroit, Louisville, Milwaukee, Birmingham, Sioux Falls, and Oklahoma City, they are all expected to have PA starting salaries either lower than or equal to the national averages in 2023. But the starting salaries in these 10 cities are projected to be higher, ranging from 0.5% to 14%:

1. Hartford, CT

Salaries in Hartford are 14% higher than the national average.

Senior manager/director tax services

  • 25th percentile: $118,500 -> $135,090
  • 50th percentile: $146,250 -> $166,725
  • 75th percentile: $175,750 -> $200,355

Manager of tax services

  • 25th percentile: $92,750 -> $105,735
  • 50th percentile: $112,750 -> $128,535
  • 75th percentile: $131,000 -> $149,340

Senior tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $65,250 -> $74,385
  • 50th percentile: $78,500 -> $89,490
  • 75th percentile: $90,500 -> $103,170

Tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $51,250 -> $58,425
  • 50th percentile: $63,000 -> $71,820
  • 75th percentile: $72,750 -> $82,935

Senior manager/managing director, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $116,750 -> $133,095
  • 50th percentile: $144,500 -> $164,730
  • 75th percentile: $167,500 -> $190,950

Manager, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $80,000 -> $91,200
  • 50th percentile: $100,000 -> $114,000
  • 75th percentile: $114,000 -> $129,960

Senior associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $57,250 -> $65,265
  • 50th percentile: $72,000 -> $82,080
  • 75th percentile: $82,000 -> $93,480

Associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $48,500 -> $55,290
  • 50th percentile: $59,750 -> $68,115
  • 75th percentile: $68,750 -> $78,375

2. Salt Lake City

Salaries in Salt Lake City are 8% higher than the national average.

Senior manager/director tax services

  • 25th percentile: $118,500 -> $127,980
  • 50th percentile: $146,250 -> $157,950
  • 75th percentile: $175,750 -> $189,810

Manager of tax services

  • 25th percentile: $92,750 -> $100,170
  • 50th percentile: $112,750 -> $121,770
  • 75th percentile: $131,000 -> $141,480

Senior tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $65,250 -> $70,470
  • 50th percentile: $78,500 -> $84,780
  • 75th percentile: $90,500 -> $97,740

Tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $51,250 -> $55,350
  • 50th percentile: $63,000 -> $68,040
  • 75th percentile: $72,750 -> $78,570

Senior manager/managing director, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $116,750 -> $126,090
  • 50th percentile: $144,500 -> $156,060
  • 75th percentile: $167,500 -> $180,900

Manager, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $80,000 -> $86,400
  • 50th percentile: $100,000 -> $108,000
  • 75th percentile: $114,000 -> $123,120

Senior associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $57,250 -> $61,830
  • 50th percentile: $72,000 -> $77,760
  • 75th percentile: $82,000 -> $88,560

Associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $48,500 -> $52,380
  • 50th percentile: $59,750 -> $64,530
  • 75th percentile: $68,750 -> $74,250

3. Tucson, AZ

Salaries in Tucson are 7% higher than the national average.

Senior manager/director tax services

  • 25th percentile: $118,500 -> $126,795
  • 50th percentile: $146,250 -> $156,488
  • 75th percentile: $175,750 -> $188,053

Manager of tax services

  • 25th percentile: $92,750 -> $99,243
  • 50th percentile: $112,750 -> $120,643
  • 75th percentile: $131,000 -> $140,170

Senior tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $65,250 -> $69,818
  • 50th percentile: $78,500 -> $83,995
  • 75th percentile: $90,500 -> $96,835

Tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $51,250 -> $54,838
  • 50th percentile: $63,000 -> $67,410
  • 75th percentile: $72,750 -> $77,843

Senior manager/managing director, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $116,750 -> $124,923
  • 50th percentile: $144,500 -> $154,615
  • 75th percentile: $167,500 -> $179,225

Manager, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $80,000 -> $85,600
  • 50th percentile: $100,000 -> $107,000
  • 75th percentile: $114,000 -> $121,980

Senior associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $57,250 -> $61,258
  • 50th percentile: $72,000 -> $77,040
  • 75th percentile: $82,000 -> $87,740

Associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $48,500 -> $51,895
  • 50th percentile: $59,750 -> $63,933
  • 75th percentile: $68,750 -> $73,563

4. Baltimore

Salaries in Baltimore are 4% higher than the national average.

Senior manager/director tax services

  • 25th percentile: $118,500 -> $123,240
  • 50th percentile: $146,250 -> $152,100
  • 75th percentile: $175,750 -> $182,780

Manager of tax services

  • 25th percentile: $92,750 -> $96,460
  • 50th percentile: $112,750 -> $117,260
  • 75th percentile: $131,000 -> $136,240

Senior tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $65,250 -> $67,860
  • 50th percentile: $78,500 -> $81,640
  • 75th percentile: $90,500 -> $94,120

Tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $51,250 -> $53,300
  • 50th percentile: $63,000 -> $65,520
  • 75th percentile: $72,750 -> $75,660

Senior manager/managing director, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $116,750 -> $121,420
  • 50th percentile: $144,500 -> $150,280
  • 75th percentile: $167,500 -> $174,200

Manager, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $80,000 -> $83,200
  • 50th percentile: $100,000 -> $104,000
  • 75th percentile: $114,000 -> $118,560

Senior associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $57,250 -> $59,540
  • 50th percentile: $72,000 -> $74,880
  • 75th percentile: $82,000 -> $85,280

Associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $48,500 -> $50,440
  • 50th percentile: $59,750 -> $62,140
  • 75th percentile: $68,750 -> $71,500

5. Charlotte, NC
6. Raleigh, NC

Salaries in Charlotte and Raleigh are 3.5% higher than the national average.

Senior manager/director tax services

  • 25th percentile: $118,500 -> $122,648
  • 50th percentile: $146,250 -> $151,369
  • 75th percentile: $175,750 -> $181,901

Manager of tax services

  • 25th percentile: $92,750 -> $95,996
  • 50th percentile: $112,750 -> $116,696
  • 75th percentile: $131,000 -> $135,585

Senior tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $65,250 -> $67,534
  • 50th percentile: $78,500 -> $81,248
  • 75th percentile: $90,500 -> $93,668

Tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $51,250 -> $53,044
  • 50th percentile: $63,000 -> $65,205
  • 75th percentile: $72,750 -> $75,296

Senior manager/managing director, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $116,750 -> $120,836
  • 50th percentile: $144,500 -> $149,558
  • 75th percentile: $167,500 -> $173,363

Manager, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $80,000 -> $82,800
  • 50th percentile: $100,000 -> $103,500
  • 75th percentile: $114,000 -> $117,990

Senior associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $57,250 -> $59,254
  • 50th percentile: $72,000 -> $74,520
  • 75th percentile: $82,000 -> $84,870

Associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $48,500 -> $50,198
  • 50th percentile: $59,750 -> $61,841
  • 75th percentile: $68,750 -> $71,156

7. Tampa, FL

Salaries in Tampa are 2% higher than the national average.

Senior manager/director tax services

  • 25th percentile: $118,500 -> $120,870
  • 50th percentile: $146,250 -> $149,175
  • 75th percentile: $175,750 -> $179,265

Manager of tax services

  • 25th percentile: $92,750 -> $94,605
  • 50th percentile: $112,750 -> $115,005
  • 75th percentile: $131,000 -> $133,620

Senior tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $65,250 -> $66,555
  • 50th percentile: $78,500 -> $80,070
  • 75th percentile: $90,500 -> $92,310

Tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $51,250 -> $52,275
  • 50th percentile: $63,000 -> $64,260
  • 75th percentile: $72,750 -> $74,205

Senior manager/managing director, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $116,750 -> $119,085
  • 50th percentile: $144,500 -> $147,390
  • 75th percentile: $167,500 -> $170,850

Manager, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $80,000 -> $81,600
  • 50th percentile: $100,000 -> $102,000
  • 75th percentile: $114,000 -> $116,280

Senior associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $57,250 -> $58,395
  • 50th percentile: $72,000 -> $73,440
  • 75th percentile: $82,000 -> $83,640

Associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $48,500 -> $49,470
  • 50th percentile: $59,750 -> $60,945
  • 75th percentile: $68,750 -> $70,125

8. Providence, RI

Salaries in Providence are 1.5% higher than the national average.

Senior manager/director tax services

  • 25th percentile: $118,500 -> $120,278
  • 50th percentile: $146,250 -> $148,444
  • 75th percentile: $175,750 -> $178,386

Manager of tax services

  • 25th percentile: $92,750 -> $94,141
  • 50th percentile: $112,750 -> $114,441
  • 75th percentile: $131,000 -> $132,965

Senior tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $65,250 -> $66,229
  • 50th percentile: $78,500 -> $79,678
  • 75th percentile: $90,500 -> $91,858

Tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $51,250 -> $52,019
  • 50th percentile: $63,000 -> $63,945
  • 75th percentile: $72,750 -> $73,841

Senior manager/managing director, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $116,750 -> $118,501
  • 50th percentile: $144,500 -> $146,668
  • 75th percentile: $167,500 -> $170,013

Manager, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $80,000 -> $81,200
  • 50th percentile: $100,000 -> $101,500
  • 75th percentile: $114,000 -> $115,710

Senior associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $57,250 -> $58,109
  • 50th percentile: $72,000 -> $73,080
  • 75th percentile: $82,000 -> $83,230

Associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $48,500 -> $49,228
  • 50th percentile: $59,750 -> $60,646
  • 75th percentile: $68,750 -> $69,781

9. San Antonio

Salaries in San Antonio are 1% higher than the national average.

Senior manager/director tax services

  • 25th percentile: $118,500 -> $119,685
  • 50th percentile: $146,250 -> $147,713
  • 75th percentile: $175,750 -> $177,508

Manager of tax services

  • 25th percentile: $92,750 -> $93,678
  • 50th percentile: $112,750 -> $113,878
  • 75th percentile: $131,000 -> $132,310

Senior tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $65,250 -> $65,903
  • 50th percentile: $78,500 -> $79,285
  • 75th percentile: $90,500 -> $91,405

Tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $51,250 -> $51,763
  • 50th percentile: $63,000 -> $63,630
  • 75th percentile: $72,750 -> $73,478

Senior manager/managing director, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $116,750 -> $117,918
  • 50th percentile: $144,500 -> $145,945
  • 75th percentile: $167,500 -> $169,175

Manager, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $80,000 -> $80,800
  • 50th percentile: $100,000 -> $101,000
  • 75th percentile: $114,000 -> $115,140

Senior associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $57,250 -> $57,823
  • 50th percentile: $72,000 -> $72,720
  • 75th percentile: $82,000 -> $82,820

Associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $48,500 -> $48,985
  • 50th percentile: $59,750 -> $60,348
  • 75th percentile: $68,750 -> $69,438

10. St. Louis

Salaries in St. Louis are 0.5% higher than the national average.

Senior manager/director tax services

  • 25th percentile: $118,500 -> $119,093
  • 50th percentile: $146,250 -> $146,981
  • 75th percentile: $175,750 -> $176,629

Manager of tax services

  • 25th percentile: $92,750 -> $93,214
  • 50th percentile: $112,750 -> $113,314
  • 75th percentile: $131,000 -> $131,655

Senior tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $65,250 -> $65,576
  • 50th percentile: $78,500 -> $78,893
  • 75th percentile: $90,500 -> $90,953

Tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $51,250 -> $51,506
  • 50th percentile: $63,000 -> $63,315
  • 75th percentile: $72,750 -> $73,114

Senior manager/managing director, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $116,750 -> $117,334
  • 50th percentile: $144,500 -> $145,223
  • 75th percentile: $167,500 -> $168,338

Manager, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $80,000 -> $80,400
  • 50th percentile: $100,000 -> $100,500
  • 75th percentile: $114,000 -> $114,570

Senior associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $57,250 -> $57,536
  • 50th percentile: $72,000 -> $72,360
  • 75th percentile: $82,000 -> $82,410

Associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $48,500 -> $48,743
  • 50th percentile: $59,750 -> $60,049
  • 75th percentile: $68,750 -> $69,094

You can find all of our posts about the 2023 Robert Half Accounting & Salary Guide here.

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1 Comment

  1. Tampa is not LCOL by any stretch of the imagination. My brother makes $175k there and still can’t afford a home yet.

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