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How Are Public Accounting Salaries Stacking Up for 2019?

It’s the end of August, which means Starbucks is already slinging pumpkin spice lattes, Oktoberfest and pumpkin beers are now on the shelves of your favorite bottle shop, the college football season is about to kick off, and Robert Half and Accounting Principals have released their latest salary guides for accounting and finance professionals.

Both staffing companies’ 2019 salary guides feature a bevy of salary data for industry accounting and financial services positions, among others, but today we’re going to be focusing on public accounting jobs.

In their 2019 Accounting and Finance Salary Guide, the folks at Bob Half reported starting pay ranges by percentile, and there are four:

  • 25th: Newbies still developing their skills.
  • 50th: Average experience for a position with average complexity.
  • 75th: Strong skill set, above-average experience, may have specialized certifications, role is fairly complex.
  • 95th: Significant experience and expertise, including specialized certifications, for very complex position.

Salary figures represent the national averages. Bonuses, benefits, and other forms of compensation aren’t factored into the starting salary ranges, according to the guide.

Salary ranges are based on the thousands of placements RH has made, as well as the actual salaries firms are paying, the guide states.

In this screenshot, we’ve boxed in red the public accounting positions and starting salary ranges included in RH’s salary guide (a job with an “a” means bonuses and incentives are common but not included in the salary figures):

Unlike Bob’s salary guide, Accounting Principals’ 2019 Salary Guide for Accounting & Finance Professionals features salaries and total cash compensation figures. The data in the guide is broken into three categories:

  • Average base salary by company size (small, medium, and large)
  • Base salary (low, high, and average)
  • Total cash compensation (low, high, and average)

The figures in the salary guide are based on national averages compiled through Accounting Principals’ partnership with CareerBliss, a career and recruiting website.

Here’s a screenshot of the public accounting section of Accounting Principals’ salary guide:

If you’re a capital market servant who’s looking for a new job, discuss the salary trends that you’re seeing in your search. Good luck to those of you who are currently on the hunt.

Image: iStock/Rawpixel

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