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November 30, 2022

Here Are the Projected 2023 Public Accounting Starting Salaries in Eight HCOL Cities

ICYMI yesterday, we reported that starting salaries for public accounting next year are expected to increase between 2.3% and 5.8%, depending on the position and an employee’s experience, according to data we analyzed from Robert Half’s 2022 and 2023 Accounting & Finance Salary Guides.

Last year around this time we looked at how public accounting starting salaries in five cities with the highest cost of living—San Francisco, New York City, Washington, DC, Boston, and Seattle—compared to the projected national averages for 2022. We’re going to do the same for 2023’s starting salary projections from Robert Half, and we included three additional HCOL cities (all in California) to the five we featured last year: San Jose, Los Angeles, and San Diego.

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.

As in previous years, Robert Half provides starting pay data 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.

Here are the 2023 public accounting starting salary comparisons for those eight HCOL cities:

1. New York City

Salaries in New York City are 38% higher than the national average.

Senior manager/director tax services

  • 25th percentile: $118,500 -> $163,530
  • 50th percentile: $146,250 -> $201,825
  • 75th percentile: $175,750 -> $242,535

Manager of tax services

  • 25th percentile: $92,750 -> $127,995
  • 50th percentile: $112,750 -> $155,595
  • 75th percentile: $131,000 -> $180,780

Senior tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $65,250 -> $90,045
  • 50th percentile: $78,500 -> $108,330
  • 75th percentile: $90,500 -> $124,890

Tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $51,250 -> $70,725
  • 50th percentile: $63,000 -> $86,940
  • 75th percentile: $72,750 -> $100,395

Senior manager/managing director, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $116,750 -> $161,115
  • 50th percentile: $144,500 -> $199,410
  • 75th percentile: $167,500 -> $231,150

Manager, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $80,000 -> $110,400
  • 50th percentile: $100,000 -> $138,000
  • 75th percentile: $114,000 -> $157,320

Senior associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $57,250 -> $79,005
  • 50th percentile: $72,000 -> $99,360
  • 75th percentile: $82,000 -> $113,160

Associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $48,500 -> $66,930
  • 50th percentile: $59,750 -> $82,455
  • 75th percentile: $68,750 -> $94,875

2. San Francisco

Salaries in San Francisco are 35% higher than the national average.

Senior manager/director tax services

  • 25th percentile: $118,500 -> $159,975
  • 50th percentile: $146,250 -> $197,438
  • 75th percentile: $175,750 -> $237,263

Manager of tax services

  • 25th percentile: $92,750 -> $125,213
  • 50th percentile: $112,750 -> $152,213
  • 75th percentile: $131,000 -> $176,850

Senior tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $65,250 -> $88,088
  • 50th percentile: $78,500 -> $105,975
  • 75th percentile: $90,500 -> $122,175

Tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $51,250 -> $69,188
  • 50th percentile: $63,000 -> $85,050
  • 75th percentile: $72,750 -> $98,213

Senior manager/managing director, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $116,750 -> $157,613
  • 50th percentile: $144,500 -> $195,075
  • 75th percentile: $167,500 -> $226,125

Manager, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $80,000 -> $108,000
  • 50th percentile: $100,000 -> $135,000
  • 75th percentile: $114,000 -> $153,900

Senior associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $57,250 -> $77,288
  • 50th percentile: $72,000 -> $97,200
  • 75th percentile: $82,000 -> $110,700

Associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $48,500 -> $65,475
  • 50th percentile: $59,750 -> $80,663
  • 75th percentile: $68,750 -> $92,813

3. Washington, DC
4. Boston

Salaries in Washington, DC and Boston are 33% higher than the national average.

Senior manager/director tax services

  • 25th percentile: $118,500 -> $157,605
  • 50th percentile: $146,250 -> $194,513
  • 75th percentile: $175,750 -> $233,748

Manager of tax services

  • 25th percentile: $92,750 -> $123,358
  • 50th percentile: $112,750 -> $149,958
  • 75th percentile: $131,000 -> $174,230

Senior tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $65,250 -> $86,783
  • 50th percentile: $78,500 -> $104,405
  • 75th percentile: $90,500 -> $120,365

Tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $51,250 -> $68,163
  • 50th percentile: $63,000 -> $83,790
  • 75th percentile: $72,750 -> $96,758

Senior manager/managing director, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $116,750 -> $155,278
  • 50th percentile: $144,500 -> $192,185
  • 75th percentile: $167,500 -> $222,775

Manager, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $80,000 -> $106,400
  • 50th percentile: $100,000 -> $133,000
  • 75th percentile: $114,000 -> $151,620

Senior associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $57,250 -> $76,143
  • 50th percentile: $72,000 -> $95,760
  • 75th percentile: $82,000 -> $109,060

Associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $48,500 -> $64,505
  • 50th percentile: $59,750 -> $79,468
  • 75th percentile: $68,750 -> $91,438

5. San Jose, CA

Salaries in San Jose are 32% higher than the national average.

Senior manager/director tax services

  • 25th percentile: $118,500 -> $156,420
  • 50th percentile: $146,250 -> $193,050
  • 75th percentile: $175,750 -> $231,990

Manager of tax services

  • 25th percentile: $92,750 -> $122,430
  • 50th percentile: $112,750 -> $148,830
  • 75th percentile: $131,000 -> $172,920

Senior tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $65,250 -> $86,130
  • 50th percentile: $78,500 -> $103,620
  • 75th percentile: $90,500 -> $119,460

Tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $51,250 -> $67,650
  • 50th percentile: $63,000 -> $83,160
  • 75th percentile: $72,750 -> $96,030

Senior manager/managing director, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $116,750 -> $154,110
  • 50th percentile: $144,500 -> $190,740
  • 75th percentile: $167,500 -> $221,100

Manager, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $80,000 -> $105,600
  • 50th percentile: $100,000 -> $132,000
  • 75th percentile: $114,000 -> $150,480

Senior associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $57,250 -> $75,570
  • 50th percentile: $72,000 -> $95,040
  • 75th percentile: $82,000 -> $108,240

Associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $48,500 -> $64,020
  • 50th percentile: $59,750 -> $78,870
  • 75th percentile: $68,750 -> $90,750

6. Los Angeles

Salaries in Los Angeles are 31% higher than the national average.

Senior manager/director tax services

  • 25th percentile: $118,500 -> $155,235
  • 50th percentile: $146,250 -> $191,588
  • 75th percentile: $175,750 -> $230,233

Manager of tax services

  • 25th percentile: $92,750 -> $121,503
  • 50th percentile: $112,750 -> $147,703
  • 75th percentile: $131,000 -> $171,610

Senior tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $65,250 -> $85,478
  • 50th percentile: $78,500 -> $102,835
  • 75th percentile: $90,500 -> $118,555

Tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $51,250 -> $67,138
  • 50th percentile: $63,000 -> $82,530
  • 75th percentile: $72,750 -> $95,303

Senior manager/managing director, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $116,750 -> $152,943
  • 50th percentile: $144,500 -> $189,295
  • 75th percentile: $167,500 -> $219,425

Manager, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $80,000 -> $104,800
  • 50th percentile: $100,000 -> $131,000
  • 75th percentile: $114,000 -> $149,340

Senior associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $57,250 -> $74,998
  • 50th percentile: $72,000 -> $94,320
  • 75th percentile: $82,000 -> $107,420

Associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $48,500 -> $63,535
  • 50th percentile: $59,750 -> $78,273
  • 75th percentile: $68,750 -> $90,063

7. Seattle

Salaries in Seattle are 29% higher than the national average.

Senior manager/director tax services

  • 25th percentile: $118,500 -> $152,865
  • 50th percentile: $146,250 -> $188,663
  • 75th percentile: $175,750 -> $226,718

Manager of tax services

  • 25th percentile: $92,750 -> $119,648
  • 50th percentile: $112,750 -> $145,448
  • 75th percentile: $131,000 -> $168,990

Senior tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $65,250 -> $84,173
  • 50th percentile: $78,500 -> $101,265
  • 75th percentile: $90,500 -> $116,745

Tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $51,250 -> $66,113
  • 50th percentile: $63,000 -> $81,270
  • 75th percentile: $72,750 -> $93,848

Senior manager/managing director, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $116,750 -> $150,608
  • 50th percentile: $144,500 -> $186,405
  • 75th percentile: $167,500 -> $216,075

Manager, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $80,000 -> $103,200
  • 50th percentile: $100,000 -> $129,000
  • 75th percentile: $114,000 -> $147,060

Senior associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $57,250 -> $73,853
  • 50th percentile: $72,000 -> $92,880
  • 75th percentile: $82,000 -> $105,780

Associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $48,500 -> $62,565
  • 50th percentile: $59,750 -> $77,078
  • 75th percentile: $68,750 -> $88,688

8. San Diego

Salaries in San Diego are 23% higher than the national average.

Senior manager/director tax services

  • 25th percentile: $118,500 -> $145,755
  • 50th percentile: $146,250 -> $179,888
  • 75th percentile: $175,750 -> $216,173

Manager of tax services

  • 25th percentile: $92,750 -> $114,083
  • 50th percentile: $112,750 -> $138,683
  • 75th percentile: $131,000 -> $161,130

Senior tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $65,250 -> $80,258
  • 50th percentile: $78,500 -> $96,555
  • 75th percentile: $90,500 -> $111,315

Tax associate

  • 25th percentile: $51,250 -> $63,038
  • 50th percentile: $63,000 -> $77,490
  • 75th percentile: $72,750 -> $89,483

Senior manager/managing director, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $116,750 -> $143,603
  • 50th percentile: $144,500 -> $177,735
  • 75th percentile: $167,500 -> $206,025

Manager, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $80,000 -> $98,400
  • 50th percentile: $100,000 -> $123,000
  • 75th percentile: $114,000 -> $140,220

Senior associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $57,250 -> $70,418
  • 50th percentile: $72,000 -> $88,560
  • 75th percentile: $82,000 -> $100,860

Associate, audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $48,500 -> $59,655
  • 50th percentile: $59,750 -> $73,493
  • 75th percentile: $68,750 -> $84,563

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

Related articles:

How Are Public Accounting Salaries Stacking Up For 2023? (Part 1, Robert Half)
2022 Projected Public Accounting Salaries In Five HCOL Cities

Latest Accounting Jobs--Apply Now:

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