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Staff shortages and growing demand have accounting firms and finance departments desperate for employees – which puts job seekers in a great position.

With that in mind, financial staffing company Accounting Principals has put together its 2014 list of the Top 10 Cities for Accounting and Financial Profession. The list is compiled from data from the field, and takes into consideration which positions are most in demand in a particular city, the outlook of the local job market, average salary figures, and local quality of life.

Over half of the list is new this year compared to last, but they’re all great places to be an accountant. To see all 10 cities (in alphabetical order), and Accounting Principals’ description of what makes them stand out, hit Next.

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CHICAGO
Chicago is a great city for accounting and finance jobs in that it is diversified in terms of sectors, but there are also a large number of banks and financial services companies. Chicago is a candidate-driven market, with accountants and financial analysts seeing the most demand.
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HOUSTON
With the energy sector continuing to do well, jobs that revolve around the energy trading floor, such as reporting and trading oil, are particularly in demand. Salaries in Houston are higher than the national average and the city has a lower-than-average cost of living. Houston also offers a high quality of life, as the downtown area is becoming a social center that young professionals are opting to move into.
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LOS ANGELES
Los Angeles is a global city home to multinational organizations that is seeing an increase in job growth. Accounts payable and payroll managers are two of the hottest hiring areas right now. Amazing weather coupled with the California lifestyle is a major draw for employers.
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NEWPORT BEACH, CALIF.
Orange County’s growing economy currently sees less than 3% unemployment for accounting professionals. Degreed staff and senior accountants with industry specific skills and software knowledge are in demand. The demand for property management and commercial construction experience has increased, as well as aerospace and technology. Orange County prides itself on a strong school system, safe environment, and emphasis on family activities.
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PARAMUS, N.J.
Northern New Jersey is a dynamic career environment that is home to a number of corporations in the pharmaceutical, manufacturing and distribution industries. The area is currently seeing a high demand for controllers and cost accounting professionals. The close proximity to New York City is a bonus.
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PORTLAND, ORE.
Portland is a candidate-driven market that offers an excellent work-life balance. Candidates will find they can spend more time with family and friends and still have the same access to high-caliber accounting/finance jobs. The cost of living in Portland is relatively low compared to other areas of the West Coast, like California, and it includes plenty of opportunities for an active, outdoor lifestyle.
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RALEIGH, N.C.
Raleigh has a diverse economy that features opportunities in a variety of industries, including technology, pharmaceuticals, government/nonprofit, health care, and education. Raleigh is a job-seeker-driven market. Its friendly climate and short drives to the coast and mountains offer residents plenty of time for recreation. The high number of major universities nearby contributes to the city’s strong culture and diversity.
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RICHMOND, VA.
Richmond is home to companies from many major industries -- manufacturing, insurance, finance, retail, professional services, etc. There is long-term stability nearby without generally needing to leave the city for work opportunities. There is high demand for tax and audit professionals and those with knowledge of SEC procedures, particularly in Fortune 500 companies.
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SAN FRANCISCO
San Francisco features a proliferation of tech start-ups and emerging companies backed by venture capital. With many companies in the area interested in going public or being bought, expertise is needed to engage that process. Accounting professionals are also needed at emerging or start-up companies.
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SAN MATEO, CALIF.
San Mateo falls in the middle with a nice mix of company sizes and backgrounds — start-ups in San Jose and more established companies in San Francisco. There is a high demand for well-rounded employees in small to midsize companies where the teams are leaner and employers are looking for candidates who have experience in a little bit of everything.