Accounting Principals, a staffing company that recruits accounting and finance professionals, published its 2018 Salary Guide on Wednesday, providing salary data in various parts of the country for different jobs in the accounting and finance sectors.

Accounting Principals said it is seeing increased demand and competition for accounting and finance talent in specialized high-level knowledge careers, such as financial analysts and tax preparation specialists. U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows the unemployment rate for accounting and finance professionals is far below the national average, at 2.5 percent in June 2017, compared to the overall U.S. unemployment rate of 4.4 percent.

The strengthening economy is exacerbating the traditional talent shortage in accounting and finance, especially as the tax code and regulatory requirements grow more complicated and Baby Boomer accountants retire and leave the workforce.

The data in Accounting Principals’ Salary Guide is based on national averages compiled through the company’s partnership with the career community CareerBliss. Each office in the Accounting Principals nationwide branch network reviewed their local market data to validate the information, revising some of the figures to make sure the numbers accurately reflected local conditions.

The 2018 Salary Guide also includes information on the top-paying industries for accountants and auditors; the most in-demand accounting skills and core competencies wanted; the fastest-growing financial services roles; and the most sought-after soft skills in banking and finance

An Accounting Principals Google Consumer Survey of 337 professionals who work in accounting, banking and finance found that 35 percent of respondents cited salary as the most important factor they consider in a job offer, followed by opportunities for growth (19 percent) and company culture (14 percent).

“For accounting and finance professionals, a competitive salary remains the most important factor when considering a job offer,” said Accounting Principals president David Alexander in a statement. “And given the record low unemployment rates in the space, it's critical for employers to offer the right salaries to ensure that they not only hire, but retain, the best talent.”

Most important factors considered in a job offer

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Michael Cohn

Michael Cohn

Michael Cohn, editor-in-chief of AccountingToday.com, has been covering business and technology for a variety of publications since 1985.