Starting salaries for accounting and finance professionals will increase an average of 4.3 percent in the year ahead, predicted the 2008 Salary Guide from staffing firm Robert Half International.

In public accounting, steady hiring is expected to continue, as firms seek staff to help deliver an expanding set of services. Average starting salaries for senior managers and directors at midsized firms – those with between $25 million and $250 million in revenue – are projected to increase 7.7 percent in the next year, in a range of $88,250 to $129,250.

Last year, entry-level professionals at small firms – those with up to $25 million in sales – received an estimated 5.1 percent increase in their starting salaries. This year they can expect more, according to the guide. Professionals at this stage in their careers can anticipate a 7.1 percent increase, shaking out to a range of $44,750 to $53,250.

The study found that business expansion and ongoing corporate governance initiatives are fueling the hiring trend among corporate accounting and finance departments. For some positions, demand is extremely high. The starting salaries of financial, budget, treasury and cost analysts at companies with more than $250 million in sales are expected to rise 6.9 percent, to between $38,250 and $47,500 annually.

Internal audit managers at large companies will receive starting compensation of between $81,500 and $109,500 annually, a 6.7 percent increase over last year’s projections, predicted the study.

For a free copy of the 2008 Salary Guide, visit or call (800) 474-4253.

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