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November 29, 2022

How Are Public Accounting Salaries Stacking Up For 2023? (Part 1, Robert Half)

Tis the season for Robert Half either inflating or popping your balloon when it comes to projected starting salaries in public accounting for the coming year.

The staffing and recruiting giant released its 2023 Accounting & Finance Salary Guide on Monday, which includes starting salary expectations for jobs in 35 categories, including public accounting. In the public accounting category, Robert Half provided 2023 starting salary projections for four roles in tax services and four roles in audit and assurance services.

Like in previous years, Bob breaks down starting pay ranges by percentile, based on a candidate’s experience. For 2023, there are three salary percentiles with the following descriptions:

  • 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.

So without further ado, here are the starting salary projections in public accounting for 2023. Then we’ll take a look at how these projections compare to Robert Half’s starting salary predictions for 2022:

Title 25th
percentile
50th
percentile
75th
percentile
Senior Manager/Director Tax Services – Public Accounting $118,500 $146,250 $175,750
Manager of Tax Services – Public Accounting $92,750 $112,750 $131,000
Senior Tax Associate – Public Accounting $65,250 $78,500 $90,500
Tax Associate – Public Accounting $51,250 $63,000 $72,750
Senior Manager/Managing Director, Audit/Assurance Services – Public Accounting $116,750 $144,500 $167,500
Manager, Audit/Assurance Services – Public Accounting $80,000 $100,000 $114,000
Senior Associate, Audit/Assurance Services – Public Accounting $57,250 $72,000 $82,000
Associate, Audit/Assurance Services – Public Accounting $48,500 $59,750 $68,750

Robert Half expected starting salaries for these eight positions to increase between only 1.4% and 2.6% for 2022. For 2023, starting pay for these eight roles is expected to increase between 2.3% and 5.8%. Better than 2022 but still underwhelming, right?

Tax services

  • Senior manager/director: 3.4%
  • Manager: 2.3%
  • Senior tax associate: 3.9%
  • Tax associate: 2.7%

Audit and assurance services

  • Senior manager/managing director: 3.4%
  • Manager: 3.7%
  • Senior associate: 4.3%
  • Associate: 5.8%

Here again are the starting salaries for each of the eight public accounting roles in the 2023 salary guide, listed by percentile, compared with 2022’s starting salary projections from Robert Half (2022 -> 2023) so we can see how big the pay increases are expected to be by position and by percentile (in parenthesis):

Senior manager/director tax services

  • 25th percentile: $114,500 -> $118,500 (3.5%)
  • 50th percentile: $141,500 -> $146,250 (3.3%)
  • 75th percentile: $170,000 -> $175,750 (3.4%)

Manager of tax services

  • 25th percentile: $90,750 -> $92,750 (2.2%)
  • 50th percentile: $110,000 -> $112,750 (2.5%)
  • 75th percentile: $128,000 -> $131,000 (2.3%)

Senior tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $62,500 -> $65,250 (4.4%)
  • 50th percentile: $75,500 -> $78,500 (4%)
  • 75th percentile: $87,500 -> $90,500 (3.4%)

Tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $49,750 -> $51,250 (3%)
  • 50th percentile: $61,500 -> $63,000 (2.4%)
  • 75th percentile: $70,750 -> $72,750 (2.8%)

Senior manager/managing director, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $113,000 -> $116,750 (3.3%)
  • 50th percentile: $139,750 -> $144,500 (3.4%)
  • 75th percentile: $162,000 -> $167,500 (3.4%)

Manager, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $77,000 -> $80,000 (3.9%)
  • 50th percentile: $96,250 -> $100,000 (3.9%)
  • 75th percentile: $110,250 -> $114,000 (3.4%)

Senior associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $55,000 -> $57,250 (4,1%)
  • 50th percentile: $68,750 -> $72,000 (4.7%)
  • 75th percentile: $78,750 -> $82,000 (4.1%)

Associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $46,000 -> $48,500 (5.4%)
  • 50th percentile: $56,750 -> $59,750 (5.3%)
  • 75th percentile: $64,500 -> $68,750 (6.6%)

Upcoming: We’ll take a look at what public accounting starting salaries are expected to be like in several HCOL, MCOL, and LCOL cities for 2023.

Related article:

How Are Public Accounting Salaries Stacking Up For 2022? (Part 1, Robert Half)

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