What's the Typical Senior Accountant Salary?

By Robert Half September 2, 2016 at 1:30pm

If you have experience as a senior accountant, you may be sitting on a gold mine. Senior accountant salary ranges are up and shows no signs of falling. Same goes for demand.

If you're looking for a new opportunity, this is a great time to find a rewarding job with an equally rewarding salary. It’s also a great time if you're a general accountant looking to step up to a more senior role in your company.

No matter your situation, here's what you need to know about working as a senior accountant.

Salary expectations are up

2017 Salary Guide cover According to the Robert Half's latest Salary Guide for Accounting and Finance, a senior accountant in a midsize company ($25 million to $250 million in annual revenue) can expect a starting salary of between $66,500 and $87,500 in 2017.

The starting salary for a senior accountant at a smaller company, with revenues up to $25 million, is projected to be between $63,250 and $76,250 in 2017 At larger corporations ($250 million or more in annual revenue), a senior accountant can expect a starting salary between $75,000 to $95,750.

These salaries represent a 4 percent increase over the 2016 salary ranges for a senior accountant, which indicates just how keen employers are to recruit experienced specialists.

Accountants with specialized skills can command even higher salaries. Senior tax accountants at large companies can expect a starting salary of $81,750 to $105,000, while the starting salary for senior cost accountants at large companies can range from $75,750 and $99,000. 

Visit the Salary Center, where you'll be able to adjust salaries for senior accountant jobs in your city with the Salary Calculator, and download your own copy of the Salary Guide.

Senior accountant roles are in demand

Job seekers with accounting and finance experience in roles that are in demand rarely stay unemployed for long, something that's particularly true for senior accountants. The Robert Half report, The Demand for Skilled Talent, notes that the unemployment rate for accountants and auditors in the second quarter of 2016 was 2.2 percent.

Solid skills are a requirement

A senior accountant is responsible for the integrity of all accounting information. That means everything from supervising the accounting staff to preparing financial statements to assisting with risk assessments and budget preparations.

The key qualifications and attributes hiring managers look for in senior accountants include:

  • At least three years’ experience in accounting and corporate finance
  • Solid communications skills
  • Technology skills, especially experience with financial software such as QuickBooks and Microsoft Dynamics GP for smaller firms, or experience with enterprise resource planning systems or cloud-computing solutions for larger firms
  • Organizational and analytical skills 
  • Thoroughness and attention to detail
  • Professional certifications such as the CPA or Certified Management Accountant (CMA)

Are you ready to take the next step in your career? Take a look at our available jobs for senior accountants.

Editor's note: This post was published in 2015 and has been updated recently to reflect new Salary Guide information.

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