What Are Some of the Top Accounting and Finance Jobs?

By Robert Half February 20, 2017 at 5:30pm

For professionals working in accounting and finance jobs, it’s no secret you’re good with numbers. And your skills have paid off, because the numbers are now being good to you.

The latest Salary Guide from Robert Half indicates there's a strong demand for skilled talent in today’s market for top accounting and finance jobs, with salaries continuing to increase. If you're a job seeker, that should be music to your ears, and if you're a manager trying to hire in this thriving market, it means your job will be more challenging.

What are hot accounting and finance jobs, and why are they growing in importance? Here's a look at some of the top positions and what’s driving the demand for these roles:

Financial analysts

Two of the top accounting and finance jobs that offer excellent opportunities are financial analyst and senior financial analyst. The demand for skilled candidates to fill these positions is being driven by companies’ greater reliance on analytics. Firms are now looking for ways to use big data to manage resources and increase revenue more efficiently. They need finance employees who can prepare and analyze that data and make the numbers meaningful to management.

Additionally, the number of analytics tools continues to increase, and their quality keeps improving. As companies upgrade these tools and their enterprise resource planning systems (ERPs), they need to hire more expert assistance to get the best results.

A financial analyst with one to three years of experience can expect a midpoint salary of $67,000, according to the 2019 Robert Half Salary Guide for Accounting and Finance Professionals. The midpoint salary at the higher levels can be anywhere from $82,500 for a senior financial analyst to $102,500 for a financial analyst manager and $130,000 for a director.

At the midpoint, candidates have average experience with the necessary skills to meet the job requirements, and the role may be in an industry where competition for talent is moderate.

Internal and external auditors

Internal and external auditors are also in great demand, and the supply of candidates for these accounting and finance jobs often isn’t meeting employers’ needs. As a result, external auditing firms snatch up top candidates as soon as they graduate. And because fewer people are completing accounting degrees today, the talent pool is dwindling further.

As financial services firms encounter more regulations, internal auditor careers offer growing opportunities. Many banks and insurance companies are hiring auditors, in some cases from other organizations. This approach takes even more professionals from the supply chain.

Corporate accounting also rely heavily on its internal auditors. According to the Salary Guide, the midpoint salary for an internal auditor in corporate accounting with one to three years of experience is $71,000. The room for growth in this sector is large, with chief audit executives earning a midpoint salary of $179,250.

Senior and staff accountants

We’re also seeing a great demand for senior and staff accountants. There are a few factors fueling the need for these professionals. The first is that the unemployment rate for college-educated finance pros is lower than the average to begin with. Additionally, it now takes five years of college to earn an accounting degree plus your CPA designation. This can be daunting to students and dissuade them from going into accounting.

At the same time, many finance professionals are retiring, so there are more people leaving the field than there are entering. The combination of these three factors results in a dearth in senior and staff accounting candidates, as not only are there fewer individuals on the market, but fewer are entering the field as well.

Midpoint salaries for staff accountants in corporate accounting with one to three years of experience is $62,000, according to the Salary Guide. Senior accountants can expect a midpoint salary of $77,750.

Accounting operations

Accounting operations — accounts payable, accounts receivable, bookkeeping, payroll, credit and collections — positions, which require two-year degrees, are also among the top jobs available. Here again, the law of supply and demand is in effect. The number of available candidates is simply smaller than the number of employees retiring.

Operational support salaries range from a billing clerk, with a midpoint salary of $34,750, and inventory analyst, at $47,500, to AR/AP manager, with a $61,750 midpoint salary, according to the Salary Guide.

Top accounting and finance jobs

Naturally, top jobs will differ by location, and so will their salaries, which vary widely from city to city. Whether you are a job seeker or a hiring manager, you probably want to know: What accounting and finance jobs are hot in your city, and what's the going rate in your area?

Visit the Salary Center, where you'll be able to get your own copy of the Salary Guide — and adjust salaries for top accounting and finance jobs in your city.

This post has been updated to reflect more current information.

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