October 20, 2021

2022 Projected Public Accounting Salaries In Five HCOL Cities

One of the cool features of the Robert Half 2022 Accounting & Finance Salary Guide is the location feature, where you can type in the name of a city and it spits out the projected starting salaries next year for that city, taking into account factors like cost of living and talent availability. It also tells you if starting salaries in that city are expected to be higher or lower than the national average.

Let’s take Los Angeles, for example. Starting salaries in the 10 public accounting roles highlighted in Bob Half’s latest guide are expected to be 33% higher in LA next year than the national averages.

So using data from this 2021 cost of living index, here are Robert Half’s projected public accounting starting salaries for 2022 in five of the top 11 cities with the highest cost of living in the US: San Francisco (I decided to go with San Fran instead of LA because Adrienne used to live there); New York City; Washington, DC; Boston; and Seattle. These five cities have both a Big 4 presence and a national accounting firm presence (i.e., RSM US, BDO USA, Grant Thornton).

The salary data below from Robert Half shows the national average -> the average for that city by percentile per position. As a reminder, there are three salary percentiles in the 2022 Accounting & Finance Salary Guide:

  • 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.

Here are the starting salary comparisons for those five HCOL cities:

1. San Francisco

Salaries in San Francisco are 42% higher than the national average.

Senior manager/director tax services

  • 25th percentile: $114,500 -> $162,590
  • 50th percentile: $141,500 -> $200,930
  • 75th percentile: $170,000 -> $241,400

Manager of tax services

  • 25th percentile: $90,750 -> $128,865
  • 50th percentile: $110,000 -> $156,200
  • 75th percentile: $128,000 -> $181,760

Senior tax accountant

  • 25th percentile: $62,500 -> $88,750
  • 50th percentile: $75,500 -> $107,210
  • 75th percentile: $87,500 -> $124,250

Tax accountant, 1-3 years’ experience

  • 25th percentile: $49,750 -> $70,645
  • 50th percentile: $61,500 -> $87,330
  • 75th percentile: $70,750 -> $100,465

Entry-level tax accountant

  • 25th percentile: $41,000 -> $58,220
  • 50th percentile: $50,250 -> $71,355
  • 75th percentile: $59,500 -> $84,490

Senior manager/director audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $113,000 -> $160,460
  • 50th percentile: $139,750 -> $198,445
  • 75th percentile: $162,000 -> $230,040

Manager audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $77,000 -> $109,340
  • 50th percentile: $96,250 -> $136,675
  • 75th percentile: $110,250 -> $156,555

Senior audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $55,000 -> $78,100
  • 50th percentile: $68,750 -> $97,625
  • 75th percentile: $78,750 -> $111,825

Audit and assurance services, 1-3 years’ experience

  • 25th percentile: $46,000 -> $65,320
  • 50th percentile: $56,750 -> $80,585
  • 75th percentile: $64,500 -> $91,590

Entry-level audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $41,000 -> $58,220
  • 50th percentile: $50,500 -> $71,710
  • 75th percentile: $58,000 -> $82,360

2. New York City

Salaries in New York City are 40.5% higher than the national average.

Senior manager/director tax services

  • 25th percentile: $114,500 -> $160,873
  • 50th percentile: $141,500 -> $198,808
  • 75th percentile: $170,000 -> $238,850

Manager of tax services

  • 25th percentile: $90,750 -> $127,504
  • 50th percentile: $110,000 -> $154,550
  • 75th percentile: $128,000 -> $179,840

Senior tax accountant

  • 25th percentile: $62,500 -> $87,813
  • 50th percentile: $75,500 -> $106,078
  • 75th percentile: $87,500 -> $122,938

Tax accountant, 1-3 years’ experience

  • 25th percentile: $49,750 -> $69,899
  • 50th percentile: $61,500 -> $86,408
  • 75th percentile: $70,750 -> $99,404

Entry-level tax accountant

  • 25th percentile: $41,000 -> $57,605
  • 50th percentile: $50,250 -> $70,601
  • 75th percentile: $59,500 -> $83,598

Senior manager/director audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $113,000 -> $158,765
  • 50th percentile: $139,750 -> $196,349
  • 75th percentile: $162,000 -> $227,610

Manager audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $77,000 -> $108,185
  • 50th percentile: $96,250 -> $135,231
  • 75th percentile: $110,250 -> $154,901

Senior audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $55,000 -> $77,275
  • 50th percentile: $68,750 -> $96,594
  • 75th percentile: $78,750 -> $110,644

Audit and assurance services, 1-3 years’ experience

  • 25th percentile: $46,000 -> $64,630
  • 50th percentile: $56,750 -> $79,734
  • 75th percentile: $64,500 -> $90,623

Entry-level audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $41,000 -> $57,605
  • 50th percentile: $50,500 -> $70,953
  • 75th percentile: $58,000 -> $81,490

3. Washington, DC

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

Senior manager/director tax services

  • 25th percentile: $114,500 -> $152,285
  • 50th percentile: $141,500 -> $188,195
  • 75th percentile: $170,000 -> $226,100

Manager of tax services

  • 25th percentile: $90,750 -> $120,698
  • 50th percentile: $110,000 -> $146,300
  • 75th percentile: $128,000 -> $170,240

Senior tax accountant

  • 25th percentile: $62,500 -> $83,125
  • 50th percentile: $75,500 -> $100,415
  • 75th percentile: $87,500 -> $116,375

Tax accountant, 1-3 years’ experience

  • 25th percentile: $49,750 -> $66,168
  • 50th percentile: $61,500 -> $81,795
  • 75th percentile: $70,750 -> $94,098

Entry-level tax accountant

  • 25th percentile: $41,000 -> $54,530
  • 50th percentile: $50,250 -> $66,833
  • 75th percentile: $59,500 -> $79,135

Senior manager/director audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $113,000 -> $150,290
  • 50th percentile: $139,750 -> $185,868
  • 75th percentile: $162,000 -> $215,460

Manager audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $77,000 -> $102,410
  • 50th percentile: $96,250 -> $128,013
  • 75th percentile: $110,250 -> $146,633

Senior audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $55,000 -> $73,150
  • 50th percentile: $68,750 -> $91,438
  • 75th percentile: $78,750 -> $104,738

Audit and assurance services, 1-3 years’ experience

  • 25th percentile: $46,000 -> $61,180
  • 50th percentile: $56,750 -> $75,478
  • 75th percentile: $64,500 -> $85,785

Entry-level audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $41,000 -> $54,530
  • 50th percentile: $50,500 -> $67,165
  • 75th percentile: $58,000 -> $77,140

4. Boston

Salaries in Boston are 34% higher than the national average.

Senior manager/director tax services

  • 25th percentile: $114,500 -> $153,430
  • 50th percentile: $141,500 -> $189,610
  • 75th percentile: $170,000 -> $227,800

Manager of tax services

  • 25th percentile: $90,750 -> $121,605
  • 50th percentile: $110,000 -> $147,400
  • 75th percentile: $128,000 -> $171,520

Senior tax accountant

  • 25th percentile: $62,500 -> $83,750
  • 50th percentile: $75,500 -> $101,170
  • 75th percentile: $87,500 -> $117,250

Tax accountant, 1-3 years’ experience

  • 25th percentile: $49,750 -> $66,665
  • 50th percentile: $61,500 -> $82,410
  • 75th percentile: $70,750 -> $94,805

Entry-level tax accountant

  • 25th percentile: $41,000 -> $54,940
  • 50th percentile: $50,250 -> $67,335
  • 75th percentile: $59,500 -> $79,730

Senior manager/director audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $113,000 -> $151,420
  • 50th percentile: $139,750 -> $187,265
  • 75th percentile: $162,000 -> $217,080

Manager audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $77,000 -> $103,180
  • 50th percentile: $96,250 -> $128,975
  • 75th percentile: $110,250 -> $147,735

Senior audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $55,000 -> $73,700
  • 50th percentile: $68,750 -> $92,125
  • 75th percentile: $78,750 -> $105,525

Audit and assurance services, 1-3 years’ experience

  • 25th percentile: $46,000 -> $61,640
  • 50th percentile: $56,750 -> $76,045
  • 75th percentile: $64,500 -> $86,430

Entry-level audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $41,000 -> $54,940
  • 50th percentile: $50,500 -> $67,670
  • 75th percentile: $58,000 -> $77,720

5. Seattle

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

Senior manager/director tax services

  • 25th percentile: $114,500 -> $147,705
  • 50th percentile: $141,500 -> $182,535
  • 75th percentile: $170,000 -> $219,300

Manager of tax services

  • 25th percentile: $90,750 -> $117,068
  • 50th percentile: $110,000 -> $141,900
  • 75th percentile: $128,000 -> $165,120

Senior tax accountant

  • 25th percentile: $62,500 -> $80,625
  • 50th percentile: $75,500 -> $97,395
  • 75th percentile: $87,500 -> $112,875

Tax accountant, 1-3 years’ experience

  • 25th percentile: $49,750 -> $64,178
  • 50th percentile: $61,500 -> $79,335
  • 75th percentile: $70,750 -> $91,268

Entry-level tax accountant

  • 25th percentile: $41,000 -> $52,890
  • 50th percentile: $50,250 -> $64,823
  • 75th percentile: $59,500 -> $76,755

Senior manager/director audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $113,000 -> $145,770
  • 50th percentile: $139,750 -> $180,278
  • 75th percentile: $162,000 -> $208,980

Manager audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $77,000 -> $99,330
  • 50th percentile: $96,250 -> $124,163
  • 75th percentile: $110,250 -> $142,223

Senior audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $55,000 -> $70,950
  • 50th percentile: $68,750 -> $88,688
  • 75th percentile: $78,750 -> $101,588

Audit and assurance services, 1-3 years’ experience

  • 25th percentile: $46,000 -> $59,340
  • 50th percentile: $56,750 -> $73,208
  • 75th percentile: $64,500 -> $83,205

Entry-level audit and assurance services

  • 25th percentile: $41,000 -> $52,890
  • 50th percentile: $50,500 -> $65,145
  • 75th percentile: $58,000 -> $74,820

Later this week, we’ll take a look at starting salary comparisons in five medium cost of living cities in the US.

Related article:

How Are Public Accounting Salaries Stacking Up For 2022?

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