October 20, 2021

2022 Projected Public Accounting Salaries In Eight MCOL Cities

Earlier this week we looked at public accounting starting salaries in five of the most expensive US cities to live in and how much higher they are than the projected national averages recently published in the Robert Half 2022 Accounting & Finance Salary Guide.

A discussion you often see among professionals on Fishbowl and Reddit is: Is such and such a city considered HCOL or MCOL? Or: Is such and such a city considered MCOL or LCOL? A lot of it is subjective. Let’s take Atlanta, for example. Would you consider Atlanta to have a high cost of living, a medium cost of living, or a low cost of living? It’s obviously cheaper to live in than New York City but more expensive than, say, Akron, OH.

From what I’ve seen discussed around the online water cooler, most people say Atlanta is a MCOL city. And according to this 2021 cost of living index, Atlanta is the 30th most expensive city when you factor in cost of living and rent. So because Atlanta is ranked lower than San Francisco, New York City, DC, Boston, and Seattle in that COL index, we’re going to consider the ATL as a MCOL.

Besides Atlanta, there are seven other big cities—ranked between 15th and 70th in the COL index—that we’re putting in the MCOL category for the purposes of this article. Each of these cities has a Big 4 presence and a national accounting firm presence (i.e., RSM US, BDO USA, Grant Thornton):

  • Chicago
  • Dallas
  • Denver
  • Portland, OR
  • Miami
  • Philadelphia
  • Phoenix

How do public accounting starting salaries in these eight cities for 2022 compare to the projected averages nationwide? There are 10 public accounting roles highlighted in Robert Half’s latest salary guide, each one having three salary percentiles:

  • 25th percentile: New to the type of role, still acquiring relevant skills.
  • 50th percentile: Average experience, has most of the necessary skills.
  • 75th percentile: Above-average experience, has all needed skills.

The salary data below from Robert Half shows the national average -> the average for that city by percentile per position. Here are the starting salary comparisons for those eight MCOL cities:

1. Atlanta

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

Senior manager/director tax services

  • 25th percentile: $114,500 -> $123,088
  • 50th percentile: $141,500 -> $152,113
  • 75th percentile: $170,000 -> $182,750

Manager of tax services

  • 25th percentile: $90,750 -> $97,556
  • 50th percentile: $110,000 -> $118,250
  • 75th percentile: $128,000 -> $137,600

Senior tax accountant

  • 25th percentile: $62,500 -> $67,188
  • 50th percentile: $75,500 -> $81,163
  • 75th percentile: $87,500 -> $94,063

Tax accountant, 1-3 years’ experience

  • 25th percentile: $49,750 -> $53,481
  • 50th percentile: $61,500 -> $66,113
  • 75th percentile: $70,750 -> $76,056

Entry-level tax accountant

  • 25th percentile: $41,000 -> $44,075
  • 50th percentile: $50,250 -> $54,019
  • 75th percentile: $59,500 -> $63,963

Senior manager/director audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $113,000 -> $121,475
  • 50th percentile: $139,750 -> $150,231
  • 75th percentile: $162,000 -> $174,150

Manager audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $77,000 -> $82,775
  • 50th percentile: $96,250 -> $103,469
  • 75th percentile: $110,250 -> $118,519

Senior audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $55,000 -> $59,125
  • 50th percentile: $68,750 -> $73,906
  • 75th percentile: $78,750 -> $84,656

Audit and assurance services, 1-3 years’ experience

  • 25th percentile: $46,000 -> $49,450
  • 50th percentile: $56,750 -> $61,006
  • 75th percentile: $64,500 -> $69,338

Entry-level audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $41,000 -> $44,075
  • 50th percentile: $50,500 -> $54,288
  • 75th percentile: $58,000 -> $62,350

2. Chicago

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

Senior manager/director tax services

  • 25th percentile: $114,500 -> $141,980
  • 50th percentile: $141,500 -> $175,460
  • 75th percentile: $170,000 -> $210,800

Manager of tax services

  • 25th percentile: $90,750 -> $112,530
  • 50th percentile: $110,000 -> $136,400
  • 75th percentile: $128,000 -> $158,720

Senior tax accountant

  • 25th percentile: $62,500 -> $77,500
  • 50th percentile: $75,500 -> $93,620
  • 75th percentile: $87,500 -> $108,500

Tax accountant, 1-3 years’ experience

  • 25th percentile: $49,750 -> $61,690
  • 50th percentile: $61,500 -> $76,260
  • 75th percentile: $70,750 -> $87,730

Entry-level tax accountant

  • 25th percentile: $41,000 -> $50,840
  • 50th percentile: $50,250 -> $62,310
  • 75th percentile: $59,500 -> $73,780

Senior manager/director audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $113,000 -> $140,120
  • 50th percentile: $139,750 -> $173,290
  • 75th percentile: $162,000 -> $200,880

Manager audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $77,000 -> $95,480
  • 50th percentile: $96,250 -> $119,350
  • 75th percentile: $110,250 -> $136,710

Senior audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $55,000 -> $68,200
  • 50th percentile: $68,750 -> $85,250
  • 75th percentile: $78,750 -> $97,650

Audit and assurance services, 1-3 years’ experience

  • 25th percentile: $46,000 -> $57,040
  • 50th percentile: $56,750 -> $70,370
  • 75th percentile: $64,500 -> $79,980

Entry-level audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $41,000 -> $50,840
  • 50th percentile: $50,500 -> $62,620
  • 75th percentile: $58,000 -> $71,920

3. Dallas
4. Denver
5. Portland, OR

Salaries in Dallas, Denver, and Portland, OR are 11% higher than the national average.

Senior manager/director tax services

  • 25th percentile: $114,500 -> $127,095
  • 50th percentile: $141,500 -> $157,065
  • 75th percentile: $170,000 -> $188,700

Manager of tax services

  • 25th percentile: $90,750 -> $100,733
  • 50th percentile: $110,000 -> $122,100
  • 75th percentile: $128,000 -> $142,080

Senior tax accountant

  • 25th percentile: $62,500 -> $69,375
  • 50th percentile: $75,500 -> $83,805
  • 75th percentile: $87,500 -> $97,125

Tax accountant, 1-3 years’ experience

  • 25th percentile: $49,750 -> $55,223
  • 50th percentile: $61,500 -> $68,265
  • 75th percentile: $70,750 -> $78,533

Entry-level tax accountant

  • 25th percentile: $41,000 -> $45,510
  • 50th percentile: $50,250 -> $55,778
  • 75th percentile: $59,500 -> $66,045

Senior manager/director audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $113,000 -> $125,430
  • 50th percentile: $139,750 -> $155,123
  • 75th percentile: $162,000 -> $179,820

Manager audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $77,000 -> $85,470
  • 50th percentile: $96,250 -> $106,838
  • 75th percentile: $110,250 -> $122,378

Senior audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $55,000 -> $61,050
  • 50th percentile: $68,750 -> $76,313
  • 75th percentile: $78,750 -> $87,413

Audit and assurance services, 1-3 years’ experience

  • 25th percentile: $46,000 -> $51,060
  • 50th percentile: $56,750 -> $62,993
  • 75th percentile: $64,500 -> $71,595

Entry-level audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $41,000 -> $45,510
  • 50th percentile: $50,500 -> $56,055
  • 75th percentile: $58,000 -> $64,380

6. Miami

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

Senior manager/director tax services

  • 25th percentile: $114,500 -> $125,950
  • 50th percentile: $141,500 -> $155,650
  • 75th percentile: $170,000 -> $187,000

Manager of tax services

  • 25th percentile: $90,750 -> $99,825
  • 50th percentile: $110,000 -> $121,000
  • 75th percentile: $128,000 -> $140,800

Senior tax accountant

  • 25th percentile: $62,500 -> $68,750
  • 50th percentile: $75,500 -> $83,050
  • 75th percentile: $87,500 -> $96,250

Tax accountant, 1-3 years’ experience

  • 25th percentile: $49,750 -> $54,725
  • 50th percentile: $61,500 -> $67,650
  • 75th percentile: $70,750 -> $77,825

Entry-level tax accountant

  • 25th percentile: $41,000 -> $45,100
  • 50th percentile: $50,250 -> $55,275
  • 75th percentile: $59,500 -> $65,450

Senior manager/director audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $113,000 -> $124,300
  • 50th percentile: $139,750 -> $153,725
  • 75th percentile: $162,000 -> $178,200

Manager audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $77,000 -> $84,700
  • 50th percentile: $96,250 -> $105,875
  • 75th percentile: $110,250 -> $121,275

Senior audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $55,000 -> $60,500
  • 50th percentile: $68,750 -> $75,625
  • 75th percentile: $78,750 -> $86,625

Audit and assurance services, 1-3 years’ experience

  • 25th percentile: $46,000 -> $50,600
  • 50th percentile: $56,750 -> $62,425
  • 75th percentile: $64,500 -> $70,950

Entry-level audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $41,000 -> $45,100
  • 50th percentile: $50,500 -> $55,550
  • 75th percentile: $58,000 -> $63,800

7. Philadelphia

Salaries in Philadelphia are 15% higher than the national average.

Senior manager/director tax services

  • 25th percentile: $114,500 -> $131,675
  • 50th percentile: $141,500 -> $162,725
  • 75th percentile: $170,000 -> $195,500

Manager of tax services

  • 25th percentile: $90,750 -> $104,363
  • 50th percentile: $110,000 -> $126,500
  • 75th percentile: $128,000 -> $147,200

Senior tax accountant

  • 25th percentile: $62,500 -> $71,875
  • 50th percentile: $75,500 -> $86,825
  • 75th percentile: $87,500 -> $100,625

Tax accountant, 1-3 years’ experience

  • 25th percentile: $49,750 -> $57,213
  • 50th percentile: $61,500 -> $70,725
  • 75th percentile: $70,750 -> $81,363

Entry-level tax accountant

  • 25th percentile: $41,000 -> $47,150
  • 50th percentile: $50,250 -> $57,788
  • 75th percentile: $59,500 -> $68,425

Senior manager/director audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $113,000 -> $129,950
  • 50th percentile: $139,750 -> $160,713
  • 75th percentile: $162,000 -> $186,300

Manager audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $77,000 -> $88,550
  • 50th percentile: $96,250 -> $110,688
  • 75th percentile: $110,250 -> $126,788

Senior audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $55,000 -> $63,250
  • 50th percentile: $68,750 -> $79,063
  • 75th percentile: $78,750 -> $90,563

Audit and assurance services, 1-3 years’ experience

  • 25th percentile: $46,000 -> $52,900
  • 50th percentile: $56,750 -> $65,263
  • 75th percentile: $64,500 -> $74,175

Entry-level audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $41,000 -> $47,150
  • 50th percentile: $50,500 -> $58,075
  • 75th percentile: $58,000 -> $66,700

8. Phoenix

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

Senior manager/director tax services

  • 25th percentile: $114,500 -> $135,110
  • 50th percentile: $141,500 -> $166,970
  • 75th percentile: $170,000 -> $200,600

Manager of tax services

  • 25th percentile: $90,750 -> $107,085
  • 50th percentile: $110,000 -> $129,800
  • 75th percentile: $128,000 -> $151,040

Senior tax accountant

  • 25th percentile: $62,500 -> $73,750
  • 50th percentile: $75,500 -> $89,090
  • 75th percentile: $87,500 -> $103,250

Tax accountant, 1-3 years’ experience

  • 25th percentile: $49,750 -> $58,705
  • 50th percentile: $61,500 -> $72,570
  • 75th percentile: $70,750 -> $83,485

Entry-level tax accountant

  • 25th percentile: $41,000 -> $48,380
  • 50th percentile: $50,250 -> $59,295
  • 75th percentile: $59,500 -> $70,210

Senior manager/director audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $113,000 -> $133,340
  • 50th percentile: $139,750 -> $164,905
  • 75th percentile: $162,000 -> $191,160

Manager audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $77,000 -> $90,860
  • 50th percentile: $96,250 -> $113,575
  • 75th percentile: $110,250 -> $130,095

Senior audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $55,000 -> $64,900
  • 50th percentile: $68,750 -> $81,125
  • 75th percentile: $78,750 -> $92,925

Audit and assurance services, 1-3 years’ experience

  • 25th percentile: $46,000 -> $54,280
  • 50th percentile: $56,750 -> $66,965
  • 75th percentile: $64,500 -> $76,110

Entry-level audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $41,000 -> $48,380
  • 50th percentile: $50,500 -> $59,590
  • 75th percentile: $58,000 -> $68,440

We’ll take a look at 2022 starting salary expectations in public accounting for a handful of LCOL cities in the coming days.

Related articles:

How Are Public Accounting Salaries Stacking Up For 2022?
2022 Projected Public Accounting Salaries In Five HCOL Cities

Latest Accounting Jobs--Apply Now:

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