Robert Half releases 2020 salary guides for accountants and other professionals

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The staffing firm Robert Half has released its annual salary guide for the accounting and finance field, along with separate salary guides for legal, technology, creative and administrative jobs, including the hiring trends within each sector.

“Demand is high and supply is low for accounting and finance professionals in the United States,” according to the accounting and finance report.

Robert Half found that more hiring managers are assessing job candidates' technology knowledge in areas such as data analytics, cloud-based systems, enterprise resource planning and other tech tools, including Microsoft Excel and Intuit QuickBooks. With repetitive data entry becoming increasingly automated, they are also looking for employees who can do more strategic types of work. Nevertheless, many of the traditional job functions also remain in demand, including accounting manager, internal auditor, business analyst, payroll manager, controller, senior accountant, financial analyst and staff accountant.

“Hiring managers in nearly every industry are scrambling to find skilled accounting and finance professionals, especially CPAs,” said the guide. “Staff and senior accountants, financial analysts, and payroll professionals are in demand as firms must comply with new regulations and complete system implementations.”

Accounting and finance leaders are also relying more on interim workers rather than full-time employees. A Robert Half survey found that seven out of 10 CFOs said they work with project professionals for major initiatives such as mergers and regulatory compliance.

Companies are also investing in professional credentials, helping foot the bill for certifications like the CPA and CMA. Forty-one percent of the 1,100 CFOs surveyed by Robert Half cited increased productivity as a benefit for investing in professional credentials, while 30 percent cited improved retention.

The Robert Half 2020 Salary Guide for Accounting and Finance includes salary ranges for more than 190 positions in accounting, finance and financial services. A new survey released Aug. 29 by Robert Half found that more workers in various sectors are checking their salaries against such sources, with 73 percent of workers saying they’ve checked their salary against market rates within the last year. The survey showed that 82 percent of workers feel well-informed about what they should be making. Nearly half of professionals (46 percent) feel underpaid, but 57 percent believe the stronger economy has helped their earning potential. More than half of workers (54 percent) said they are discussing salaries with each other and taking action from information they glean, with 28 percent using the information to ask for a raise, and 17 percent using it to negotiate a new job.

“Workers have more access to information about their salaries, roles and career options than ever before, arming them for conversations with current and potential employers,” said Robert Half senior executive director Paul McDonald in a statement. “Managers must remain equally knowledgeable, regularly evaluating salaries to ensure they’re paying at or above market rates to recruit and retain highly skilled talent in today’s competitive hiring market.”

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