Top 10 Cities for Accounting and Finance Pros

Accounting Principals’ list shows where your next job should be

Staff shortages and growing demand have accounting firms and finance departments desperate for employees – which puts job seekers in a great position.

With that in mind, financial staffing company Accounting Principals has put together its 2014 list of the Top 10 Cities for Accounting and Financial Profession. The list is compiled from data from the field, and takes into consideration which positions are most in demand in a particular city, the outlook of the local job market, average salary figures, and local quality of life.

Over half of the list is new this year compared to last, but they’re all great places to be an accountant. To see all 10 cities (in alphabetical order), and Accounting Principals’ description of what makes them stand out, hit Next.


Chicago is a great city for accounting and finance jobs in that it is diversified in terms of sectors, but there are also a large number of banks and financial services companies. Chicago is a candidate-driven market, with accountants and financial analysts seeing the most demand.


With the energy sector continuing to do well, jobs that revolve around the energy trading floor, such as reporting and trading oil, are particularly in demand. Salaries in Houston are higher than the national average and the city has a lower-than-average cost of living. Houston also offers a high quality of life, as the downtown area is becoming a social center that young professionals are opting to move into.


Los Angeles is a global city home to multinational organizations that is seeing an increase in job growth. Accounts payable and payroll managers are two of the hottest hiring areas right now. Amazing weather coupled with the California lifestyle is a major draw for employers.


Orange County’s growing economy currently sees less than 3% unemployment for accounting professionals. Degreed staff and senior accountants with industry specific skills and software knowledge are in demand. The demand for property management and commercial construction experience has increased, as well as aerospace and technology. Orange County prides itself on a strong school system, safe environment, and emphasis on family activities.


Northern New Jersey is a dynamic career environment that is home to a number of corporations in the pharmaceutical, manufacturing and distribution industries. The area is currently seeing a high demand for controllers and cost accounting professionals. The close proximity to New York City is a bonus.


Portland is a candidate-driven market that offers an excellent work-life balance. Candidates will find they can spend more time with family and friends and still have the same access to high-caliber accounting/finance jobs. The cost of living in Portland is relatively low compared to other areas of the West Coast, like California, and it includes plenty of opportunities for an active, outdoor lifestyle.


Raleigh has a diverse economy that features opportunities in a variety of industries, including technology, pharmaceuticals, government/nonprofit, health care, and education. Raleigh is a job-seeker-driven market. Its friendly climate and short drives to the coast and mountains offer residents plenty of time for recreation. The high number of major universities nearby contributes to the city’s strong culture and diversity.


Richmond is home to companies from many major industries -- manufacturing, insurance, finance, retail, professional services, etc. There is long-term stability nearby without generally needing to leave the city for work opportunities. There is high demand for tax and audit professionals and those with knowledge of SEC procedures, particularly in Fortune 500 companies.


San Francisco features a proliferation of tech start-ups and emerging companies backed by venture capital. With many companies in the area interested in going public or being bought, expertise is needed to engage that process. Accounting professionals are also needed at emerging or start-up companies.


San Mateo falls in the middle with a nice mix of company sizes and backgrounds — start-ups in San Jose and more established companies in San Francisco. There is a high demand for well-rounded employees in small to midsize companies where the teams are leaner and employers are looking for candidates who have experience in a little bit of everything.

The Worst Tax Clients in the World

Tax pros weigh in on who they most hate to see walk in the door

View the slideshow >>

Said No Client Ever ...

Things you never hear in accounting

View the slideshow >>

Accounting Movies Snubbed by the Oscars

Don’t expect to find these rarely seen accounting movies on Netflix or TCM. They never won more than a cult following, much less an Academy Award, perhaps because of an unfortunate resemblance to previous Oscar winners.

View the slideshow >>

Top 10 Year-End Tax-Planning Tips Your Clients Shouldn't Ignore

Grant Thornton LLP offers 10 tax tips for the end of calendar year 2015.

View the slideshow >>

Audit Risks to Look Out For

The CAQ highlights nine areas auditors will want to pay particular attention to in the next audit cycle

View the slideshow >>

7 Interview Tips to Win the Accounting Talent War

Finding qualified candidates is one of the main problems facing the accounting profession today, according to a recent survey by the AICPA. Tom Gimbel, founder and CEO of LaSalle Network, a staffing and recruiting firm based in Chicago, has seven tips to ensure firms identify the strongest candidates.

View the slideshow >>

The 2015 MP Elite

The fourth edition of our annual report highlights eight outstanding accounting firm leaders.

View the slideshow >>

Tax Extenders You Can Count On

Provisions that are likely to be passed – however late

View the slideshow >>

A Back-to-School Tax Break Refresher

A slideshow of education-related tax opportunities

View the slideshow >>

6 Strategies for a Stellar Site

Tips for improving your “online reception area”

View the slideshow >>