How to Use the 2015 Salary Guide for Your Business Planning and Budgeting

Temperatures are cooling, the leaves are turning, and the end of the year is in sight. For managers, autumn brings the task of putting together business plans and setting budgets for the next year. What positions will you need to add in 2015? Which ones require you to start recruiting immediately or to increase your salary budget?

The annual Salary Guide from Robert Half is a comprehensive resource that details starting salary and hiring trends in finance and accounting. It’s for companies, job candidates and researchers alike, and Robert Half has been producing the guide every year since 1950.

Here are four ways you can use the latest guide to plan for 2015:

1. Learn which positions are in highest demand

The employment market is still recovering, but don’t fall into the trap of thinking that means hiring new talent will be a cakewalk. More than half of CFOs polled for the guide said finding skilled candidates was a challenge. Prioritize your new-hire needs and start recruiting those with the most desirable skills now. According to the 2015 Salary Guide, these include financial and business systems analysts who can help your organization increase its efficiency. The constantly evolving regulatory environment means that compliance and internal audit professionals should be at the top of your list as well.

2. Know which skills to look for

As finance and accounting departments become more focused on analytics and big data, employees with tech skills are hot commodities. Keep an eye out for resumes that list advanced Excel skills and training in programs like QuickBooks, Hyperion, Cognos and MicroStrategy. Global companies are also on the lookout for multilingual candidates with an understanding of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS).

3. Prepare for salary increases

Not surprisingly, the most in-demand positions are expected to see the greatest salary increase from 2014 to 2015. To attract top talent, you’ll need to meet these salary expectations. For example, in corporate accounting, business analysts at large companies will see a 4.3 percent increase. Those with one to three years of experience are expected to earn between $59,500 and $81,500 next year.

In financial services, internal auditors with one to three years of experience can anticipate a 4.1 percent salary increase, earning between $53,000 and $73,000 in 2015, reflecting the importance that many organizations are placing on compliance.

4. Customize salary ranges for your local market

To get the most out of the Salary Guide, try using the salary calculator to adjust the predicted salary range for a specific position in your area.

As you think ahead to 2015, the Salary Guide is a resource to help prepare budgets and plan for your hiring needs, so you can keep one step ahead.

How are you preparing your budget and business plan for 2015? Share your tips in the comments below.