Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
November 30, 2022

Let’s Take a Look at the Projected 2023 Public Accounting Starting Salaries in 12 MCOL Cities

Increases in public accounting starting salaries for next year aren’t expected to even hit 6%, we reported a couple days ago after examining salary data from Robert Half’s 2022 and its newly released 2023 Accounting & Finance Salary Guides. At least those of you who work in/live within or near cities with the highest cost of living in the U.S. could see starting salaries in public accounting between 23% and 38% higher than the national averages in 2023.

What about cities that have a middle cost of living? What are their starting salary expectations for next year? Well, if you work/live in Chicago, Philadelphia, Nashville, Dallas, Phoenix, Portland, Denver, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Omaha, and Miami, you’re in luck! Those 12 cities are the focus of this post.

By using the “find your local salaries” feature in the salary guide, we were able to find the 2023 average starting salaries for each city and compared them 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.

Reminder: Robert Half provides starting salaries 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.

The Windy City saw the biggest projected starting salary increase compared to the national averages, while six others are expected to have double-digit increases next year. One city, though, is expected to have starting salaries in public accounting below the national averages.

Here are the 2023 public accounting starting salary comparisons for those 12 MCOL cities:

1. Chicago

Salaries in Chicago are 24% higher than the national average.

Senior manager/director tax services

  • 25th percentile: $118,500 -> $146,940
  • 50th percentile: $146,250 -> $181,350
  • 75th percentile: $175,750 -> $217,930

Manager of tax services

  • 25th percentile: $92,750 -> $115,010
  • 50th percentile: $112,750 -> $139,810
  • 75th percentile: $131,000 -> $162,440

Senior tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $65,250 -> $80,910
  • 50th percentile: $78,500 -> $97,340
  • 75th percentile: $90,500 -> $112,220

Tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $51,250 -> $63,550
  • 50th percentile: $63,000 -> $78,120
  • 75th percentile: $72,750 -> $90,210

Senior manager/managing director, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $116,750 -> $144,770
  • 50th percentile: $144,500 -> $179,180
  • 75th percentile: $167,500 -> $207,700

Manager, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $80,000 -> $99,200
  • 50th percentile: $100,000 -> $124,000
  • 75th percentile: $114,000 -> $141,360

Senior associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $57,250 -> $70,990
  • 50th percentile: $72,000 -> $89,280
  • 75th percentile: $82,000 -> $101,680

Associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $48,500 -> $60,140
  • 50th percentile: $59,750 -> $74,090
  • 75th percentile: $68,750 -> $85,250

2. Philadelphia

Salaries in Philadelphia are 18% higher than the national average.

Senior manager/director tax services

  • 25th percentile: $118,500 -> $139,830
  • 50th percentile: $146,250 -> $172,575
  • 75th percentile: $175,750 -> $207,385

Manager of tax services

  • 25th percentile: $92,750 -> $109,445
  • 50th percentile: $112,750 -> $133,045
  • 75th percentile: $131,000 -> $154,580

Senior tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $65,250 -> $76,995
  • 50th percentile: $78,500 -> $92,630
  • 75th percentile: $90,500 -> $106,790

Tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $51,250 -> $60,475
  • 50th percentile: $63,000 -> $74,340
  • 75th percentile: $72,750 -> $85,845

Senior manager/managing director, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $116,750 -> $137,765
  • 50th percentile: $144,500 -> $170,510
  • 75th percentile: $167,500 -> $197,650

Manager, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $80,000 -> $94,400
  • 50th percentile: $100,000 -> $118,000
  • 75th percentile: $114,000 -> $134,520

Senior associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $57,250 -> $67,555
  • 50th percentile: $72,000 -> $84,960
  • 75th percentile: $82,000 -> $96,760

Associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $48,500 -> $57,230
  • 50th percentile: $59,750 -> $70,505
  • 75th percentile: $68,750 -> $81,125

3. Denver

Salaries in Denver are 17% higher than the national average.

Senior manager/director tax services

  • 25th percentile: $118,500 -> $138,645
  • 50th percentile: $146,250 -> $171,113
  • 75th percentile: $175,750 -> $205,628

Manager of tax services

  • 25th percentile: $92,750 -> $108,518
  • 50th percentile: $112,750 -> $131,918
  • 75th percentile: $131,000 -> $153,270

Senior tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $65,250 -> $76,343
  • 50th percentile: $78,500 -> $91,845
  • 75th percentile: $90,500 -> $105,885

Tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $51,250 -> $59,963
  • 50th percentile: $63,000 -> $73,710
  • 75th percentile: $72,750 -> $85,118

Senior manager/managing director, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $116,750 -> $136,598
  • 50th percentile: $144,500 -> $169,065
  • 75th percentile: $167,500 -> $195,975

Manager, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $80,000 -> $93,600
  • 50th percentile: $100,000 -> $117,000
  • 75th percentile: $114,000 -> $133,380

Senior associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $57,250 -> $66,983
  • 50th percentile: $72,000 -> $84,240
  • 75th percentile: $82,000 -> $95,940

Associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $48,500 -> $56,745
  • 50th percentile: $59,750 -> $69,908
  • 75th percentile: $68,750 -> $80,438

4. Dallas

Salaries in Dallas are 12% higher than the national average.

Senior manager/director tax services

  • 25th percentile: $118,500 -> $132,720
  • 50th percentile: $146,250 -> $163,800
  • 75th percentile: $175,750 -> $196,840

Manager of tax services

  • 25th percentile: $92,750 -> $103,880
  • 50th percentile: $112,750 -> $126,280
  • 75th percentile: $131,000 -> $146,720

Senior tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $65,250 -> $73,080
  • 50th percentile: $78,500 -> $87,920
  • 75th percentile: $90,500 -> $101,360

Tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $51,250 -> $57,400
  • 50th percentile: $63,000 -> $70,560
  • 75th percentile: $72,750 -> $81,480

Senior manager/managing director, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $116,750 -> $130,760
  • 50th percentile: $144,500 -> $161,840
  • 75th percentile: $167,500 -> $187,600

Manager, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $80,000 -> $89,600
  • 50th percentile: $100,000 -> $112,000
  • 75th percentile: $114,000 -> $127,680

Senior associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $57,250 -> $64,120
  • 50th percentile: $72,000 -> $80,640
  • 75th percentile: $82,000 -> $91,840

Associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $48,500 -> $54,320
  • 50th percentile: $59,750 -> $66,920
  • 75th percentile: $68,750 -> $77,000

5. Portland, OR

Salaries in Portland are 11% higher than the national average.

Senior manager/director tax services

  • 25th percentile: $118,500 -> $131,535
  • 50th percentile: $146,250 -> $162,338
  • 75th percentile: $175,750 -> $195,083

Manager of tax services

  • 25th percentile: $92,750 -> $102,953
  • 50th percentile: $112,750 -> $125,153
  • 75th percentile: $131,000 -> $145,410

Senior tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $65,250 -> $72,428
  • 50th percentile: $78,500 -> $87,135
  • 75th percentile: $90,500 -> $100,455

Tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $51,250 -> $56,888
  • 50th percentile: $63,000 -> $69,930
  • 75th percentile: $72,750 -> $80,753

Senior manager/managing director, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $116,750 -> $129,593
  • 50th percentile: $144,500 -> $160,395
  • 75th percentile: $167,500 -> $185,925

Manager, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $80,000 -> $88,800
  • 50th percentile: $100,000 -> $111,000
  • 75th percentile: $114,000 -> $126,540

Senior associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $57,250 -> $63,548
  • 50th percentile: $72,000 -> $79,920
  • 75th percentile: $82,000 -> $91,020

Associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $48,500 -> $53,835
  • 50th percentile: $59,750 -> $66,323
  • 75th percentile: $68,750 -> $76,313

6. Phoenix
7. Miami

Salaries in Phoenix and Miami are 10% higher than the national average.

Senior manager/director tax services

  • 25th percentile: $118,500 -> $130,350
  • 50th percentile: $146,250 -> $160,875
  • 75th percentile: $175,750 -> $193,325

Manager of tax services

  • 25th percentile: $92,750 -> $102,025
  • 50th percentile: $112,750 -> $124,025
  • 75th percentile: $131,000 -> $144,100

Senior tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $65,250 -> $71,775
  • 50th percentile: $78,500 -> $86,350
  • 75th percentile: $90,500 -> $99,550

Tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $51,250 -> $56,375
  • 50th percentile: $63,000 -> $69,300
  • 75th percentile: $72,750 -> $80,025

Senior manager/managing director, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $116,750 -> $128,425
  • 50th percentile: $144,500 -> $158,950
  • 75th percentile: $167,500 -> $184,250

Manager, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $80,000 -> $88,000
  • 50th percentile: $100,000 -> $110,000
  • 75th percentile: $114,000 -> $125,400

Senior associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $57,250 -> $62,975
  • 50th percentile: $72,000 -> $79,200
  • 75th percentile: $82,000 -> $90,200

Associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $48,500 -> $53,350
  • 50th percentile: $59,750 -> $65,725
  • 75th percentile: $68,750 -> $75,625

8. Atlanta

Salaries in Atlanta are 7.5% higher than the national average.

Senior manager/director tax services

  • 25th percentile: $118,500 -> $127,388
  • 50th percentile: $146,250 -> $157,219
  • 75th percentile: $175,750 -> $188,931

Manager of tax services

  • 25th percentile: $92,750 -> $99,706
  • 50th percentile: $112,750 -> $121,206
  • 75th percentile: $131,000 -> $140,825

Senior tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $65,250 -> $70,144
  • 50th percentile: $78,500 -> $84,388
  • 75th percentile: $90,500 -> $97,288

Tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $51,250 -> $55,094
  • 50th percentile: $63,000 -> $67,725
  • 75th percentile: $72,750 -> $78,206

Senior manager/managing director, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $116,750 -> $125,506
  • 50th percentile: $144,500 -> $155,338
  • 75th percentile: $167,500 -> $180,063

Manager, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $80,000 -> $86,000
  • 50th percentile: $100,000 -> $107,500
  • 75th percentile: $114,000 -> $122,550

Senior associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $57,250 -> $61,544
  • 50th percentile: $72,000 -> $77,400
  • 75th percentile: $82,000 -> $88,150

Associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $48,500 -> $52,138
  • 50th percentile: $59,750 -> $64,231
  • 75th percentile: $68,750 -> $73,906

9. Minneapolis

Salaries in Minneapolis 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

10. Las Vegas

Salaries in Las Vegas are 6% higher than the national average.

Senior manager/director tax services

  • 25th percentile: $118,500 -> $125,610
  • 50th percentile: $146,250 -> $155,025
  • 75th percentile: $175,750 -> $186,295

Manager of tax services

  • 25th percentile: $92,750 -> $98,315
  • 50th percentile: $112,750 -> $119,515
  • 75th percentile: $131,000 -> $138,860

Senior tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $65,250 -> $69,165
  • 50th percentile: $78,500 -> $83,210
  • 75th percentile: $90,500 -> $95,930

Tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $51,250 -> $54,325
  • 50th percentile: $63,000 -> $66,780
  • 75th percentile: $72,750 -> $77,115

Senior manager/managing director, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $116,750 -> $123,755
  • 50th percentile: $144,500 -> $153,170
  • 75th percentile: $167,500 -> $177,550

Manager, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $80,000 -> $84,800
  • 50th percentile: $100,000 -> $106,000
  • 75th percentile: $114,000 -> $120,840

Senior associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $57,250 -> $60,685
  • 50th percentile: $72,000 -> $76,320
  • 75th percentile: $82,000 -> $86,920

Associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $48,500 -> $51,410
  • 50th percentile: $59,750 -> $63,335
  • 75th percentile: $68,750 -> $72,875

11. Nashville

Salaries in Nashville 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

12. Omaha

Salaries in Omaha are 3% lower than the national average.

Senior manager/director tax services

  • 25th percentile: $118,500 -> $114,945
  • 50th percentile: $146,250 -> $141,863
  • 75th percentile: $175,750 -> $170,478

Manager of tax services

  • 25th percentile: $92,750 -> $89,968
  • 50th percentile: $112,750 -> $109,368
  • 75th percentile: $131,000 -> $127,070

Senior tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $65,250 -> $63,293
  • 50th percentile: $78,500 -> $76,145
  • 75th percentile: $90,500 -> $87,785

Tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $51,250 -> $49,713
  • 50th percentile: $63,000 -> $61,110
  • 75th percentile: $72,750 -> $70,568

Senior manager/managing director, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $116,750 -> $113,248
  • 50th percentile: $144,500 -> $140,165
  • 75th percentile: $167,500 -> $162,475

Manager, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $80,000 -> $77,600
  • 50th percentile: $100,000 -> $97,000
  • 75th percentile: $114,000 -> $110,580

Senior associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $57,250 -> $55,533
  • 50th percentile: $72,000 -> $69,840
  • 75th percentile: $82,000 -> $79,540

Associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $48,500 -> $47,045
  • 50th percentile: $59,750 -> $57,958
  • 75th percentile: $68,750 -> $66,688

Next week, we’ll take a look at 2023 public accounting starting salary comparisons for several low cost-of-living cities.

Related articles:

How Are Public Accounting Salaries Stacking Up For 2023? (Part 1, Robert Half)
Here Are the Projected 2023 Public Accounting Starting Salaries in Eight HCOL Cities

Latest Accounting Jobs--Apply Now:

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

a woman in a business suit with $100 bills in her hand

Here Is a Massive List of Accounting Salaries Broken Down By City

Came across this list from Smartest Dollar of “the best-paying American cities for accountants in 2022” on the Googs and thought it worth sharing because getting paid is the only reason many of you do this job. Before the salary data appears at that link there are several paragraphs about the Inflation Reduction Act that […]

PCAOB Hopes Updating Quality Control Rules Will Maybe Prevent Audit Firms From Constantly Breaking Quality Control Rules

From the earliest days of Going Concern until most recently last month, quality control has been a problematic thing for audit firms. For example, the firm that employed the guy who just got the largest fine the PCAOB has ever given to an individual auditor couldn’t get its quality control systems under control: From 2018 […]