Accountants To Get Raise, Guide Predicts

Balancing The Account, photo by Ken Teegardin

Photo by Ken Teegardin

It’s a good time to study accounting. A new salary guide predicts a 2.8% salary increase for accounting and finance professionals in 2017, up from the 2.4% rise expected this year.

The guide was released Sept. 6 by Accounting Principals, an Adecco Group recruiting firm that has been producing salary guides since the 1990s. This year’s guide uses U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) numbers to show that accounting and finance occupations have recently seen significant job gains.

The job growth is driven by the improving economy, says Jeramy Kaiman, Chicago-area managing director of Accounting Principals. “More accounting and financial experts will be needed to prepare and examine financial records,” Kaiman says.


With qualified candidates able to pick and choose their jobs, employers need to up their offers if they hope to hire or retain talent, Kaiman says, adding that counteroffers for job candidates are becoming more common and are also driving salaries higher.

“Employers that do not offer perks sought after by millennials, such as flexible schedules and a relaxed workplace culture, may have to pay extra to fill positions,” he says.

Accounting Principals’ 2017 guide shows that from April 2015 to April 2016, accounting and finance occupations grew by 160,000 jobs. It projects that 632,000 new jobs will appear between 2014 and 2024.


The median annual wage for all business and financial occupations, according to the BLS, is $65,710. And within accounting and finance, Accounting Principals says average base salaries are $47,059 for an accountant, $52,535 for a financial analyst, and $43,976 for a payroll specialist. Job positions with the highest median pay are Chief Financial Officer at $547,280, Treasurer at $302,145, Finance Director at $301,924, and Controller at $275,157. 

The guide also identifies which occupations are expected to see the fastest growth through 2024. The top three are financial planning jobs, which are expected to increase by 30% by 2024; financial analyst jobs, which are expected to increase by 12%; and accountant and auditor positions, which are expected to increase by 11%.

The Accounting Principals salary guide, which Kaiman says over 10,000 human resources decision-makers use, is now free and can be accessed here.