Bethesda, Md. (July 29, 2004) -- Despite a lukewarm job market, financial professionals are seeing solid salary increases, according to a survey by the Association for Financial Professionals.

While salary increases are smaller than they were a decade ago, finance professionals experienced an average salary increase of 3.6 percent in 2004, compared to an average of 3.5 percent for all professional workers, AFP's 2004 Compensation Survey found.

This year's AFP report shows healthy salary increases across the board, with directors of treasury or finance receiving the highest increases. Almost 90 percent of companies plan to grant salary raises in treasury and finance in 2004, AFP reported.

While average total compensation for financial professionals rose to $96,000 this past year, AFR said that compensation varied widely between industries. For example, chief financial officers who work in the utility industry received salaries of $260,000, while CFOs who work in the government or nonprofit industry received average pay of $131,200. Financial professionals in companies with revenues greater than $1 billion earned compensation of $44,000 more than their peers at companies with revenues of less than $100 million. Public companies pay more than private companies. The average salary for financial staff in public companies was $29,100 higher than in private companies, AFP said.

AFP also noted that an MBA degree and professional certifications increase earning power. Treasurers with an MBA out-earn their non-MBA peers by an average of $25,100. Likewise, controllers who are CPAs averaged total compensation of $130,000, versus their counterparts who were not CPAs, who earned $120,800.

On average, financial professionals received bonuses equal to 33 percent of their base salary during the past 12 months. More than three out of four companies provided bonuses to reward achievements, with cash bonuses occurring most often. Overall, half of the organizations surveyed by AFP based bonuses on company profits.

-- WebCPA staff

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