[IMGCAP(1)]It’s hard to negotiate a good salary—from either side of the table—without solid market knowledge. Accountants are lucky. Why? Because Robert Half, an international firm that specializes in recruiting accountants, publishes several high-quality salary guides.

They have just released their 2012 Guide for Accounting & Finance in the U.S. and Canada. You can download a free copy here.

The guide contains invaluable information. Highlights include:

    •    A read on the hiring environment. They say it’s tightening and that time to fill accounting and finance openings is up.
    •    Firms remain cautious. Temporary and interim hires remain popular. Thus, you might consider these employment models along with “permanent” positions if you’re looking for a job.

    •    A description of perks for accounting and finance types. Education (29 percent) and flex working arrangements (24 percent) are the most common.

    •    Credentials and skills employers want. The CPA and MBA continue to be the best designations you can earn. Expert knowledge of Excel and Access, along with experience with enterprise systems, makes you more competitive. If you want a leadership role, you will need good interpersonal skills.

    •    A list of positions in demand. This can help you focus your professional development efforts and note expertise to emphasize on your resume.

    •    A list of pay levels for a variety of job titles segmented by years of experience and company size along with adjustments for market factors. This lets you calculate your market worth and understand the impact that accepting a particular job might have on your long-term earning prospects.

      As you can see, Robert Half provides the accounting and finance community an incredible service with this survey. Don’t miss it!
      By the way, if you reach beyond the U.S. and Canada, or beyond accounting and finance, check here for Robert Half’s international surveys and their surveys for other professions.

      Donna Svei, CPA, CFE is an executive search consultant and resume writer. Monster.com named her one of their “11 for 2011: Career Experts Who Can Help Your Job Search.” Donna blogs at AvidCareerist.com. You will find her on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/in/donnasvei . Donna can be reached at (208) 721-0131 or donnasvei@gmail.com.