Robert Half Releases 2008 Guide to Accounting and Finance Salaries; Annual Report Finds Salaries Rise as Competition for Skilled Professionals Persists

MENLO PARK, Calif., Oct. 22 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Starting salaries for accounting and finance professionals are expected to increase an average of 4.3 percent in the coming year, according to the just-released 2008 Salary Guide from Robert Half International. Public accountants, financial analysts and internal auditors are projected to see the largest gains.

Robert Half International is the world's first and largest staffing services firm specializing in accounting and finance. Robert Half's financial staffing divisions include Accountemps(R), Robert Half(R) Finance & Accounting and Robert Half(R) Management Resources, for temporary, full-time and senior-level project professionals, respectively. The 2008 Salary Guide is based on an analysis of the thousands of job placements managed by the company's U.S. offices.

"Competition for skilled financial professionals has prompted many companies to offer higher compensation to attract and retain top performers," said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International. "Employers seek staff who possess broad skill sets -- in addition to expertise in their functional areas. This includes information technology proficiency and strong communication abilities."

Not surprisingly, experienced candidates have greater leverage in negotiating compensation, and salaries for the most in-demand specialties are rising faster than the national average. Nationwide, demand is particularly strong among commercial construction, financial services and healthcare firms, Robert Half research shows.

Corporate Accounting: Salaries Rise for Analyst, Internal Audit Positions

Business expansion and ongoing corporate governance initiatives are fueling hiring among corporate accounting and finance departments. Entry- level financial, budget, treasury and cost analysts at large companies (more than $250 million in sales) are expected to see the biggest increases in base pay in 2008, with the average starting salary expected to rise 6.9 percent, to between $38,250 and $47,500 annually. Internal audit managers at large companies are forecast to receive starting compensation between $81,500 and $109,500 annually, an increase of 6.7 percent over last year's projections.

Public Accounting Outlook

Steady hiring is expected to continue in public accounting as firms seek staff to help deliver an expanding set of service offerings. Average starting salaries for senior managers and directors at midsize firms ($25 million to $250 million in sales) are projected to increase 7.7 percent in the year ahead, to between $88,250 and $129,250.

Professionals with one to three years of experience also are highly sought as firms look to address rising workloads and hire their next generation of leaders. At small firms (up to $25 million in sales), professionals at this stage of their careers can expect a 7.7 percent increase in average starting salaries, to a range of $44,750 to $53,250.

Banking and Financial Services Outlook

In 2008, commercial lenders with more than five years of experience can anticipate a 4.7 percent gain in starting salaries, to a range of $82,000 to $107,500. Average starting salaries for hedge fund accountants are expected to rise 6.5 percent, to between $46,250 and $64,500.

All salaries listed in the 2008 Salary Guide from Robert Half International are national averages. Because hiring activity and compensation vary significantly by industry and geographic market, the Salary Guide includes a regional analysis of hiring trends and compensation variances for select U.S. markets.

Information in the guide is based on the thousands of job searches, negotiations and placements managed each year by Robert Half's staffing and recruiting managers. Continuing or ongoing salaries are not reported because many external factors -- such as seniority, work ethic, job performance and training -- impact the salaries of full-time professionals as work histories develop. For decades, companies have consulted the Salary Guide from Robert Half to determine appropriate compensation for all levels of accounting and finance professionals. In addition, the U.S. Department of Labor's Bureau of Labor Statistics references the guide when preparing its comprehensive Occupational Outlook Handbook.

Robert Half International has more than 350 staffing locations in North America, South America, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, and offers online job search services on its divisional websites, all of which can be accessed at

EDITOR'S NOTE: Your readers can order a free copy of the 2008 Salary Guide from Robert Half International by visiting or calling (800) 474-4253. Media requests should be directed to Michael Weiss at (650) 234-6383.

Source: Robert Half International

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