Accounting marketers share salaries, satisfaction levels in AAM survey

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Accounting firm marketers shared their salaries, level of satisfaction in their role within their firms, and more about the state of their jobs in the 2018 AAM Career and Compensation Survey, released by the Association for Accounting Marketing, CPA Trendlines and Capstone Marketing.

A total of 228 people responded to the survey, conducted between March 19 and April 6, 2018. Most of those respondents have the title of marketing director (33 percent) or marketing manager (21 percent). The average base salary for this year, plus variable compensation (bonus or commissions), is estimated to be $95,514 ($88,478 base salary plus $7,036 variable compensation).

Survey respondents were generally optimistic when asked about the status of their positions and of the marketing function as a whole in their firms. When asked if they were optimistic about what the next year has in store for them in their firms, nearly half of the respondents strongly agreed (46 percent) and 36 percent somewhat agreed.

Most respondents somewhat agreed (45 percent) on the marketing function at their firms meeting or exceeding goals and expectations, and many strongly agreed (29 percent). A similar percentage somewhat agreed that firm leadership regarded marketing activities as a competitive advantage (44 percent), with 26 percent strongly agreeing.

Those percentages were almost identical to respondents’ satisfaction with their compensation—43 percent somewhat agreed they were satisfied with the monetary component and 42 percent somewhat agreed they were satisfied with the benefits component.

Responses were more evenly distributed on the topic of being paid fairly compared to people doing similar work at other companies, and when asked whether they would consider leaving the tax and accounting business. In both cases, roughly a quarter of respondents were neutral, though responses were more weighted toward the positive side on the topic of fair pay, and responses were almost evenly positive and negative regarding the desire to leave the profession. Additionally, 24 percent of respondents are considering looking for another job in the next 18 months.

The survey also breaks down the salary responses by title and firm size, but across the board, 30 percent said their firms will be giving salary raises between 1 to 3 percent this year.

Accounting marketers have reason to be optimistic given the survey’s salary results, said Capstone Marketing president Jean Caragher during a webinar that delved deeper into those statistics. “There are opportunities of moving up and earning higher level marketing positions within the accounting marketing industry,” she told attendees.

The top three perks and benefits for the survey respondents are flex-time/telecommuting, paid leave to pursue charitable work, and cell phones.

The survey also found that the average marketing budget this year (excluding payroll) is 2.26 percent of the net annual revenue or fee income. For 41 percent of respondents, that represented no change from last year’s budget. The average number of people primarily dedicated to marketing, sales and/or business development for firms with 100 or fewer employees is 1.5 or less.

A strong majority (92 percent) of marketers would recommend their firms as a great place to work, with 58 percent strongly and 34 percent somewhat agreeing.

To purchase the survey, or download a free executive summary, visit the AAM website.

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