Some straight talk from Barry Salzberg:
Barry had a [recent] session in LA at which time he said essentially the following about comp:
1. Raises and bonuses will be distributed this year
2. Raises and bonuses will be larger than last year, but are unlikely to return to “pre-recession” levels any time soon
3. More people will be receiving raises and bonuses this year
Unfortch, Deloitte doesn’t seem to be getting involved in the pissing match with E&Y and PwC by putting a number out there but “more people” and “larger” are both somewhat encouraging, no? Well, not really, according to our source:
To my knowledge, we’re not getting any more info. On the people side; the video didn’t say anything new and everybody knows that the economy’s getting better and that Deloitte’s doing better; so we all assumed it was going to be like he said. Without a number benchmark, words are pretty much useless.
Last week we kicked off our certification series by looking at the CFE for those of you interested in becoming numbers sleuths that also have the figurative iron-clad stones that Sam Antar insists are imperative for any CFE.
This week we look at the Certified Management Accountant (“CMA”) credential and while it’s probably not as sexy as the CFE, a lot of you may want to consider the CMA if you see yourself spending a good portion of your career working as an in-house accountant or finance pro.
The credential is administered by the Institute of Management Accountants whose website states that “85% owork inside organizations, where expertise in decision support, planning, and control over value-adding operations are crucial elements of operational success,” and boasts 60,000 members worldwide.
Here’s the rundown on the CMA:
You can meet the education requirement by verifying that you have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university or that you have a professional qualification, such as a CPA (here’s a partial list of global certifications that qualify).
The professional requirement for the CMA is two continuous years of experience in management accounting or financial management. This can be completed prior to the application or within two years of passing the CMA exam. The website states that, “Qualifying experience consists of positions requiring judgments regularly made employing the principles of management accounting and financial management.”
There is a long list of experience that will satisfy this requirement including financial analysis, budget preparation, management information system analysis, financial management, management accounting, auditing in government, finance or industry, management consulting, auditing in public accounting, research, teaching or consulting related to management accounting or financial management.
The CMA Exam is currently transitioning from a four-part format to a two-part format. The two-part format rolls out on May 1st but testing of the four-part format will be available through December 31, 2010. The new format will focus on financial planning, analysis, control, and decision support. The two four hour exams consist of 100 multiple choice questions and two 30 minute essay questions.
Part 1 breaks down like this:
Planning, Budgeting and Forecasting (30%)
Performance Management (25%)
Cost Management (25%)
Internal Controls (15%)
Professional Ethics (5%)
And Part 2:
Financial Statement Analysis (25%)
Corporate Finance (25%)
Decision Analysis and Risk Management (25%)
Investment Decisions (20%)
Professional Ethics (5%)
There’s a lot of information on the new exam format including fees, testing windows, and more that can be seen here.
After certification, you are required to complete 30 hours of CPE annually, of which, 2 hours are required to be in ethics.
Many CMAs work in budgeting, financial planning, cost accounting, performance evaluation, asset management and other various capacities. The work often times result in internal reports that will help management make prudent decisions rather than just taking wild stabs at running their respective companies. So it goes without saying that this is important stuff.
For those of you still working in the public realm, you can get benefits out of a CMA too. Our favorite Exuberant Accountant, Scott Heintzelman, has a CMA and he told us that it helps him better understand the needs of his manufacturing clients, “I had a bunch of clients in the manufacturing space and many of the controllers were CMA’s. I thought taking the time to get this certification would give me more creditability with this group…it helped me gain more manufacturing clients as they saw me as one of them, not just a CPA.”
Compensation and Other Benefits
According to the IMA’s most recent survey, CMAs earn 24-31% more than their non-certified colleagues. Those surveyed that have both a CMA and a CPA have even higher salaries. Now, we know what that you’re hung up on money but there are some other advantages too.
According to Scott, “Partners then had this belief [then] that the CMA was a brutal test (and it was). So a year later I started the process and actually was fortunate to pass the entire test on the first attempt. I had also passed the CPA exam on the first attempt a year earlier and so my partners suddenly thought I was some super smart young accountant and many believed I was ‘fast tracked’ to partner. I believe I just worked my butt off to learn that stuff, but none the less several of my partners looked at me differently. A very key moment in my young career.”
Multiple sources have told us that Bob Moritz has put a number out there for comp adjustments during the firm’s webcast today :
Sitting in the Bobby Mo Firmwide Townhall Webcast. Raises: 5% to 8%.
But don’t start high-fiving just yet:
PwC expected to be 5% to 8% raises this year, but still a “quarter to go” per Moritz on today’s townhall webcast.
Early reports also are that internal firm services (IFS) will be getting 3-5%.
Thoughts? Your move, KPErnstDeloitteMG.
• Rangel Challenged by a Historic Foe [WSJ]
Someone finally realized that Charlie Rangel’s constituents in New York’s 15th District have maybe had enough of Chuck and his “pay taxes as I wrote them, not as I pay them” ways. Rangs will be challenged in the primary by New York State Assemblyman Adam Clayton Powell IV, according to the Journal. Not only does Mr Powell have an upper hand in the ad campaign department but there’s a bit of history here.
Powell Number III, sire of IV, was defeated by ChaRang back in 1970 amid his own ethical trubs. ACP 4th Edition insisted to that this had nothing to do with sweet, sweet revenge, “It has nothing to do with revenge or anything like that. Anyone with that record in public service would be interested in higher office.”
It won’t be easy for ACP4 however. He was flicked away by Rangs in a primary challenge back in 1994 and was recently convicted of “driving while impaired,” which actually seems worse than hogging rent-controlled apartments, since that could result in, you know, someone getting killed.
• My Paycheck, My Self? [FINS]
Does your salary define you as a human being? Or, at the very least, does it feel that way? Master pay czar Ken Feinberg had to snoop around some people that pull down some hefty scratch and he found out that the human psyche can easily be affected by their pay stub.
• PCAOB Issues Staff Audit Practice Alert on Auditor Considerations of Significant Unusual Transactions [PCAOB]
Don’t worry about the plain old vanilla transactions auditors, the PCAOB needs you to be on the lookout for significant unusual transactions. What that entails, we don’t really know but we’ll assume that means any transaction, and the PCAOB means any transaction, that looks remotely out of the ordinary, has a funny name (that may or may not include a “105”), requires smokey-filled room approval etc., definitely give it a second look. Or a third.
Back again to decipher more of the data that you so graciously shared with us on our salary thread from December.
After noting that average Big 4 salaries and non-Big 4 salaries were essentially even, we now present the average regional salaries for you enjoyment or dismay:
• Mid-Atlantic– $88,831
• Northeast– $72,024
• Southeast– $56,000
• Midwest– $65,124
• Southwest– $73,185
• West – $64,706
Some analysis and the map, after the jump.
Surprisingly the Mid-Atlantic boasted the highest average salary based on the data collected. This was due primarily to two salaries that were reported from “JDs” working in “Washington National Tax.” The Mid-Atlantic average also included an Associate Director that reported a considerably higher salary than the average. If these three salaries are removed, the average salary is $76,254. which may be more in line with your expectations.
Another surprise that we saw was the higher than expected Southwest average salary. Again in this case, a brave Senior Manager in an advisory practice reported a much higher salary than most submitted. When this is removed the Southwest average comes down to $68,134, again, probably closer to what you would expect.
The Northeast, Southeast, and West all seem about right to us although we might have expected the West salaries to be a bit higher but then again we’re going with what we’ve got.
The map below shows how we grouped the states in the respective regions, with a few additional details on the regions.
Last month we opened a thread on your salaries and your response was impressive. Just for fun, we found some poor soul to crunch some of the numbers so that we might share some information on the data we gathered.
We’ll start off with a post facing off the Big 4 salary against non-Big 4 salary. Here are the average salaries for each based on the data we collected:
• Non-Big 4 – $72,136
• Big 4 – $71,166
If you getting worked up over less than a $1,000 difference, then you’re more shrewd than we imagined. For the more reasonable of you, the discussion is, what are the unmentionables here? Both Big 4 and non-Big 4 firms have their advantages and many of you have made the jump from Big 4 to non-Big 4; non-Big 4 to Big 4; Big 4 to non-Big 4 back to Big 4, whatever.
A popular argument is that the Big 4 work experience is irreplaceable on a resumé but is it? Will potential employers really pick someone with a Big 4 background the majority of the time?
Most people would agree that auditing is auditing and the tax law is the same no matter where you work. Smaller firms have just a many unique clients as large firms so there’s experience to be gained everywhere.
Now before you start shouting, “if you want a job at a Fortune 500 company, blah, blah, blah” how many of those jobs are really out there? Enough so that everyone that has left a Big 4 firm will be able to find a job? Let’s not pretend we all have the same ambitions here.
The good folks at Accounting Principals (they’re your pals) and Parker & Lynch put out their salary guide for 2010 last week and we managed to pour through the thing as superficially as possible.
With that in mind we present to you the top five average base salaries at various levels as presented by the guide:
Accountants and Financial Personnel
• Senior Budget Analyst – $75,200
• Tax Accountant – $74,000
• Senior Financial Analyst – $72,900
• Senior Treasury Analyst – $72,400
• Senior Internal Auditor – $72,300
• Financial Reporting Supervisor – $80,400
• Tax Supervisor – $77,800
• Budgeting Supervisor – $77,300
• Auditing Supervisor – $73,600
• Cost Accounting Supervisor – $71,900
• Audit Manager – $109,300
• Tax Manager – $105,400
• Sarbanes Oxley Manager – $99,800
• Financial Analysis Manager – $99,500
• Financial Reporting Manager – $95,700
Executive and Senior Managers
• CFO – $329,600
• Finance Director – $210,600
• Treasurer – $183,900
• Top Audit Executive – $179,200
• Controller – $175,500
It’s pretty clear that the first big jump is at the manager level and then we see another even bigger jump at the executive/senior manager level. The guide doesn’t appear to include partner salary data which as it has been discussed, varies widely.
For anyone that’s looking for a job based primarily on salary (you know who you are), these positions may be the ones to look at first.
We received a request over the weekend to discuss everyone’s favorite topic: money.
This is a great idea on many levels since A) it’s been quite some time since we’ve dedicated a post to the subject B) there are plenty of newbies that have started since then but mostly C) knowing what everyone else is making is your God-given right.
Hopefully, this new thread will get everyone up to speed (or just completely pissed off on a Monday) and ready to run through brick walls in 2010.
In the comments, provide the following:
• Salary without bonus, bonus amount
• Practice (audit/tax/advisory), practice subgroup
• Firm, city/region
• Other notes/complaints
The reader requesting the thread, was kind enough to provide their details:
• $52k, $3k (in start year, bonus was a whopping $0 this year)
• Associate 2
• PwC, Northern California
This is an equal opportunity post so regardless of your firm, get your numbers out there (this means you: GT, BDO, RSM/M&P, Crowe, Moss Adams, anyone else).
UPDATE, Tuesday: Thanks for all the input so far. Feel free to email us if you want to give us more details on your salary or ideas or other related thread discussions.
Other money related discussions:
Problem of the Day: Do You Quit Your High-Paying Job with the Idiot Boss?
Satisfied with Your Salary?
Problem of the Day: Your Staff Makes the Same Money As You (Maybe More)
An official tally was necessary since it’s pretty obvious that Americans are way more hung up on money than our British counterparts. Results after the jump.
• So satisfied I need a cigarette – 8.7%
• Even if it’s bad, it’s still pretty good – 36.4%
• I can’t get no satisfaction – 54.9%
Frankly, we expected a larger margin of victory for “no satisfaction” what with the ubiquitous Siberia treatment and some of the staff making more than you. We admire your resolve.
As for the 9% of you that are getting hot thinking about your paycheck, we’re assuming you’re either in a constant state of bliss or delusional. Kindly elaborate.
Thanks to all that voted!
This is the last thing we thought we would see: No grumbling from accountants over pay freezes.
Maybe our number crunching friends across the pond are less hung up on money but Stateside “No grumbling” is, at the very least, debatable.
We figured getting a comparison poll was in order. So, continuing the theme of election day, we’ll ask you to vote again, this time on how you feel about your current salary. Feel free to elaborate in the comments.
Robert Half has issued its salary guide for 2010 and we wouldn’t say that’s its chock full of good news. It follows the Ajilon salary guide that came out a couple of weeks ago and it seems to present a lot of the same sobering conclusions.
Salaries will be virtually flat, according to Bob’s guide, increasing approximately 0.5% for next year. However, there are some areas that seem to have better prospects than others including:
• Tax accountants
• Financial analysts
• Senior and staff accountants
• Business analysts
Along with these positions, the guide states that employers are seeking professionals with certifications, broad experience, and expertise in technology or compliance.
RH also has a “Public Accounting Outlook” in the guide and it does not paint a pretty picture:
Compensation packages in public accounting have seen notable changes. Salary levels have moderated, with declines reported in some areas. Additionally, instances of large signing bonuses and raises are far less common and typically reserved for premier performers.
The silver lining is, again, for tax professionals but since more companies are trying to do tax work in house, public firms are now competing directly with their corporate clients for the talent. It also indicates that some smaller firms have done some hiring and our earlier post on considering a smaller firm elicited some comments in favor of choosing that route.
Overall, with the significant change in the political environment, the job market for accountants seems to be trending towards positions centered around compliance and rule changes and the competition will likely be fierce. You can request a copy of the salary guide by going here.
For those of you currently on the job search, discuss the salary trends that you are seeing in the current market. Good luck to everyone that is currently on the hunt.
Maybe! Depends on who you ask. We’re looking for opinions since we received a tip on what Jim Turley is pulling down:
Saw some info yesterday in a partner’s office. JDawg is pulling down $6 million…every year in October timeframe the partners at EY get a partner report on the “partner news network”. In this report EY shows partner information – the 5 highest paid US partners that are not in client service. So this includes generally JDawg, the AABS managing partner, tax managing partner, the Americas Vice Chair and a few other vice chairs. They started giving out this information about 4-5 years ago.
Our tip also stated that the non-J Dawg execs were pulling down in the nabe of $2.5 million.
Considering that J Dawg’s CEO duties include appearances on CNBC, being an IFRS cheerleader and eating f*(king chicken with Rahm, among other glad-handing and back-slapping duties, $6 mil makes for a nice round number.
Is $6 million fair for J Dawg? Discuss in the comments and pass along any further details you’ve got JT or other CEO salaries.
Apparently it’s happening, people. With several firms freezing pay for this fiscal year, some already hinting at an additional freeze for fiscal year 2010, and with
less fewer offers being made on campus, it’s not outside the realm of possibility that the new associate nearly has the same salary as you.
It goes without saying that this is a contentious issue amongst the staff and it can be made worse if it is known to exist between members of the same team.
If you’ve been busting your ass for the last two to three years and seen very little appreciation in the form of merit increases and suddenly the new associate walks in making virtually the same as you, your motivation may evaporate on all fronts.
From a staff perspective, no new associate, no matter how virtuous will ever ask, “Is that what a senior associate makes? I wouldn’t be comfortable making that much without any experience.” Nice thought but not gonna happen. Firms will claim that they have to keep salaries competitive in order to win the best talent and may even encourage it in order to foster the “competitive environment”.
So discuss how prevalent this is on your team, in your office, or at your firm. Is there any good solution here? We’re talking about money, so there has to be some opinions.