Public accounting firms are looking to hire throughout the coming year — not just in preparation for tax season — and at all levels, according to Robert Half's latest Salary Guide. Job growth is healthy, the demand is high and the salary increases are significant for all public accounting jobs, from bookkeepers to senior directors.
Hiring managers are looking, especially, for candidates with three or more years of experience in tax and audit, according to the Salary Guide. Entry-level professionals are also enjoying increased opportunities, and many public accounting firms continue to recruit top students while they are still in college.
While public accounting jobs traditionally don't share the same work-life balance that private accounting positions offer, some firms have started to introduce job-sharing and flexible work arrangements to attract top talent. To improve retention, many organizations also are providing their best performers with bonuses, raises, promotions, increased vacation time, and mentoring and professional development programs.
Curious about the differences between public accounting jobs and private accounting? Read this blog post.
Salaries for public accounting jobs
The next time you need to discuss pay, you'll want to consult the newest Salary Guide. Robert Half has been tracking pay ranges since 1950, and this year, it looks at more than 400 positions in the accounting and finance fields with customized salaries for more than 135 U.S. cities.
Salary levels are expected to rise an average of 3.7 percent for 2017, with some public accounting jobs seeing salary increases as high as 4.2 percent.
Here’s a look at five public accounting jobs projected to see starting salary increases in the coming year:
1. A tax services manager at a midsize firm ($25 million to $250 million in annual sales) can expect a 3.7 percent salary increase from last year to a range of $97,000 to $134,250.
2. A professional with one to three years of experience in audit/assurance services at a midsize firm will receive an estimated 4.2 percent pay jump to a range of $62,500 to $81,250.
3. A senior manager/director in audit/assurance services at a small firm ($25 million or less in sales) can anticipate a 4.1 percent increase in starting salary to a range of $103,500 to $146,750.
4. Management service professionals with one to three years of experience working at large firms ($250 million or more in sales) are projected to earn between $71,750 and $89,500 in 2017, a 3.7 percent increase.
5. Paraprofessionals and bookkeepers at firms of all sizes can expect to earn between $44,750 and $65,5000 in 2017, a gain of 3.5 percent.
Take a deeper dive
Editor's note: This post was originally posted in November 2014 and was updated recently to reflect new information from the Salary Guide.