Starting salaries in the accounting and finance, information technology, and administrative fields are expected to remain relatively flat or see modest declines next year, but some positions will buck this trend, according to the 2010 Salary Guides from Robert Half International.

Starting salaries for accounting and finance positions are expected to increase by an average of 0.5 percent in 2010. Businesses will seek financial professionals who can help them manage costs and enhance profitability. Companies will also value personnel who possess deep technical expertise, are excellent communicators and collaborate effectively with colleagues across multiple departments.

Positions with the best prospects include:

1.    Tax accountant: Companies will seek tax accountants who can help their organizations achieve bottom-line savings through effective tax management strategies. Businesses also need their guidance to maintain compliance with tax regulations, such as FAS 109 and FIN 48. Tax accountants with one to three years of experience at large companies (more than $250 million in sales) are expected to see an average national starting salary in the range of $46,500 to $61,500.

2.    Compliance director: Firms need professionals who can help them comply with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission mandates and prepare for the potential transition to International Financial Reporting Standards. New regulations that are issued as a result of the financial crisis may generate further demand for professionals with the requisite compliance expertise. The starting salary range for a compliance director at a small company (up to $25 million in sales) is forecast to be $83,750 to $108,500.

3.    Credit manager/supervisor: Companies need professionals who can contribute to the bottom line by reducing inefficiencies and enhancing profitability. As a result, credit and collections specialists who can evaluate credit risk, manage delinquent payments and help improve cash flow are in demand. Base compensation for credit managers/supervisors working in small companies is projected to range between $42,500 and $57,500.

4.    Senior financial analyst: Businesses need professionals who are able to evaluate financial plans, forecasts and budgets, and identify ways to improve profitability. A senior financial analyst at a midsize company ($25 million to $250 million in sales) is anticipated to earn $57,750 to $74,000 in starting salary in 2010.

For more information, visit www.roberthalf.com.

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