4 Public Accounting Hiring and Salary Trends to Know

Public Accounting Hiring and Salary Trends to Know

As public accounting firms usher in the new year, many executives are eager to see what 2015 has in store — especially when it comes to hiring and compensation trends. The 2015 Salary Guide from Robert Half includes projected accountant salary ranges as well as a discussion of the hiring outlook.

Here are four major trends noted in this year’s guide.

1. Firms are hiring at all levels.

As the U.S. economy continues to recover, companies are expanding and creating new jobs to support business growth. Public accounting firms are competing with corporate accounting departments for skilled practitioners, and demand for accounting professionals is rising.

2. Senior accountants are in particularly high demand. 

Senior accountants are among the most-in demand professionals. Due to the hiring downturn during the Great Recession, many firms are experiencing a major shortage of talent at that level.

Now, as the economy improves, firms are playing catch-up. As the competition to hire these experienced professionals escalates, skilled candidates have become even more difficult to find. 

As a result, the average senior accountant salary is on the rise. For example, senior accountants in tax roles are expected to see gains in starting pay of up to 3.9 percent this year, according to the Salary Guide

3. Firms are looking on campus.

Accounting firms are recruiting top accounting students while they are still in college and extending job offers to some well in advance of graduation. Firms are increasingly open to hiring recent graduates with internship or volunteer experience and then training these professionals for the firm’s specific needs.

4. Firms are offering higher salaries and better work-life balance.

Organizations are finding they must step up their retention efforts as well. To attract talented accounting professionals and keep them on board, public accounting firms are touting higher compensation and improved work-life balance, including offerings such as telecommuting options and additional vacation time.

What hiring and salary trends will affect your firm the most this year? Share your thoughts below.

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