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accounting and finance

While accounting and finance functions weren’t as impacted by the disruptions of the past two years as many others were, they’re nevertheless facing a number of human capital issues. Here’s what leaders in the space will need to address to succeed in 2022 and beyond.

the perils of an aging workforce

There’s no way to sugarcoat it: The accounting workforce isn’t getting any younger. The average age of accountants in the U.S. is 43, and 60 percent of all accountants are over 40. Meanwhile, according to Burning Glass, there were 228,661 entry-level accounting jobs posted during the previous year, but fewer than 125,000 accounting degrees were awarded during the same period. In other words, the U.S. economy created more accounting jobs than it did accountants.

It’s not hard to see the problem here: With an aging workforce approaching retirement and too few recent graduates joining the profession, companies are likely to find it increasingly difficult to hire the accounting talent they need — especially at the staff level.

improving EDI&A is still an imperative

Within the accounting space, improving equity, diversity, inclusion and access (EDI&A) continues to be an uphill battle — and a battle few firms appear to be winning. According to the most recent trends report by the American Institute of CPAs, 84 percent of accountants at CPA firms are white. Among partners at those firms, that number rises to 91 percent. Across the accounting profession as a whole, just 14 percent of all CPAs in the U.S are nonwhite, and just under 10 percent of Fortune 500 and S&P 500 companies have racially diverse CFOs.

In finance, the EDI&A situation is somewhat less dire — but only somewhat. A report by the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) found that among the largest financial institutions in the U.S., almost 31 percent of workers at the professional level are nonwhite. However, like accounting, that number dwindles toward the top: Just 13.6 percent of executives at those institutions are nonwhite.

Clearly, there’s more work to be done in both sectors, especially when it comes to diversifying C-suites.

finance salaries soar

Accounting and finance isn’t immune to today’s talent attraction challenges, and salaries are starting to reflect that. While financial services companies are already paying top dollar for tech talent, candidates for non-tech roles are also seeing their rates rise.

Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs have recently raised annual first-year pay to $110,000. As of Q3 2021, Morgan Stanley first-years were taking home $85,000 a year, while JPMorgan Chase, Citi, Barclays, Bank of America and Deutsche Bank have all bumped entry-level investment banker pay to $100,000. Meanwhile, Ally Bank is raising salaries and bonuses and increasing its contribution to employee 401(k)s — all in the wake of losing candidates to other offers.

Employers looking for similar accounting and finance talent should expect to do the same throughout 2022 if they want to keep pace with the competition.

remote work is both a must — and a mystery

Accounting and finance teams, like virtually every white-collar function, went largely remote as a result of the pandemic. That’s old news. Today, however, firms are struggling to bring them back — or to hire new talent that’s willing to work in the office. Accounting firms are losing talent to remote opportunities, while finance firms are finding — often the hard way — that their teams just don’t want to come back to the office. In New York City, the capital of America’s financial sector, just 27 percent of finance employees had returned to the office as of October 2021.

But even firms that do offer flexible or remote work are encountering challenges. While CFOs were more optimistic than other executives when it came to hybrid work (31 percent said that hybrid work was not a challenge to revenue growth compared to 20 percent of all other executives), the hybrid model is not without its challenges. Specifically, leaders of finance and accounting departments cited loss of in-person culture (48%), innovation opportunities (29%) and mentoring opportunities (40%) as their biggest concerns around hybrid work.

Ultimately, accounting and finance leaders are faced with a difficult choice: offer remote work or lose out on top talent. But offering remote work isn’t a magic bullet, it’s merely a first step — and further work will need to be done to integrate it seamlessly.

takeaways

  • The Great Resignation is poised to add an extra level of difficulty to accounting and finance’s already-precarious human capital position. With an aging workforce straining talent pools throughout the sector, companies that focus on skilling, internal advancement and EDI&A initiatives may see major dividends when it comes to hiring and developing talent.
  • Firms that are able to offer flexible remote work options to their workforces will have a leg up on those that don’t, but they must be prepared to overcome the challenges associated with them.
  • Rising salaries across the board mean the cost of hiring and retention is only going up. With that in mind, companies in this space will need to be even more judicious about their hiring processes. After all, the wrong fit is going to cost more now than ever.

national salaries

Let's review the salaries for entry-level, mid-level and senior-level positions.

accounting
accounting entry-level mid-level senior-level
accounting manager $72,480 - $92,512 $92,512 - $120,032 $120,032 - $160,096
accounts payable clerk $34,992 - $42,512 $42,512 - $52,016 $52,016 - $62,416
accounts payable manager $76,419 - $92,749 $92,749 - $109,557 $109,557 - $140,384
accounts payable supervisor $45,008 - $58,256 $58,256 - $72,304 $72,304 - $84,272
accounts receivable clerk $34,992 - $42,512 $42,512 - $52,016 $52,016 - $62,416
accounts receivable manager $76,515 - $90,656 $90,656 - $105,915 $105,915 - $140,384
accounts receivable supervisor $45,008 - $58,256 $58,256 - $72,304 $72,304 - $84,272
assistant controller $97,531 - $132,679 $132,679 - $146,470 $146,470 - $170,222
controller $136,935 - $244,750 $150,195 - $268,451 $165,386 - $295,601
cost accountant/analyst $59,882 - $71,809 $71,809 - $83,215 $83,215 - $103,328
cost accounting manager $88,765 - $107,733 $107,733 - $123,493 $123,493 - $141,627
credit and collections manager $83,583 - $100,232 $100,232 - $114,767 $114,767 - $149,984
junior accountant $61,240 - $73,437 $73,437 - $81,224 $81,224 - $90,555
payroll coordinator/clerk $30,950 - $37,731 $37,731 - $47,029 $47,029 - $57,990
payroll manager $72,367 - $87,831 $87,831 - $103,116 $103,116 - $116,804
payroll supervisor $51,346 - $61,572 $61,572 - $72,213 $72,213 - $85,040
SEC reporting manager $102,311 - $124,174 $124,174 - $142,359 $142,359 - $186,035
senior accountant $66,846 - $79,199 $79,199 - $90,161 $90,161 - $103,199
staff accountant $61,240 - $73,437 $73,437 - $81,224 $81,224 - $97,531
banking
banking entry-level mid-level senior-level
branch manager $45,843 - $67,454 $67,454 - $103,646 $103,646 - $161,179
commercial credit analyst $56,118 - $65,000 $65,000 - $74,984 $74,984 - $103,834
commercial credit manager $95,763 - $110,000 $110,000 - $134,181 $134,181 - $186,035
commercial lender $63,960 - $93,496 $93,496 - $110,000 $110,000 - $133,848
commercial loan administrator $33,654 - $45,531 $45,531 - $63,960 $63,960 - $93,496
commercial portfolio manager $74,784 - $93,152 $93,152 - $133,216 $133,216 - $188,256
loan processor $27,352 - $33,738 $33,738 - $41,371 $41,371 - $50,939
loan servicing manager $70,824 - $95,763 $95,763 - $134,181 $134,181 - $186,035
mortgage processor $41,371 - $50,939 $50,939 - $61,360 $61,360 - $65,000
retail lending manager $70,824 - $95,763 $95,763 - $134,181 $134,181 - $186,035
senior mortgage underwriter $75,000 - $81,456 $81,456 - $95,024 $95,024 - $120,000
underwriter $72,800 - $90,336 $90,336 - $100,000 $100,000 - $127,520
executive
executive entry-level mid-level senior-level
chief accounting officer $114,525 - $125,000 $125,000 - $185,952 $185,952 - $255,722
chief financial officer $185,952 - $255,722 $255,722 - $384,229 $384,229 - $431,504
credit risk officer $70,000 - $81,120 $81,120 - $114,400 $114,400 - $120,000
vice president of accounting and finance $163,228 - $200,504 $176,128 - $216,348 $189,469 - $232,738
vice president of financial planning and analysis $163,228 - $200,504 $176,128 - $216,348 $189,469 - $232,738
vice president of internal audit $142,251 - $190,068 $151,099 - $201,889 $160,052 - $213,853
vice president of tax $172,779 - $245,160 $185,602 - $263,356 $198,200 - $281,232
finance
finance entry-level mid-level senior-level
business systems analyst $68,209 - $83,639 $83,639 - $100,297 $100,297 - $117,472
director of finance $145,398 - $191,951 $156,021 - $205,976 $166,715 - $220,095
director of financial planning and analysis $120,000 - $130,000 $130,000 - $144,992 $144,992 - $190,048
finance manager $70,824 - $95,763 $95,763 - $134,181 $134,181 - $186,035
financial analyst $69,926 - $83,853 $83,853 - $95,576 $95,576 - $112,466
manager of financial planning and analysis $110,000 - $120,000 $120,000 - $144,992 $144,992 - $190,048
senior financial planning and analysis analyst $48,755 - $63,669 $63,669 - $83,658 $83,658 - $112,466
internal audit
internal audit entry-level mid-level senior-level
director of internal audit $120,854 - $161,477 $128,215 - $171,313 $135,808 - $181,459
internal audit manager $99,490 - $122,211 $122,211 - $140,267 $140,267 - $160,096
internal auditor $54,976 - $69,664 $69,664 - $85,024 $85,024 - $112,480
procurement/purchasing
procurement/purchasing entry-level mid-level senior-level
procurement specialist $46,935 - $56,965 $56,965 - $65,314 $65,314 - $75,051
purchasing manager $84,957 - $103,112 $96,408 - $125,944 $125,944 - $158,163
small business accounting
small business accounting entry-level mid-level senior-level
accounting clerk $34,465 - $39,864 $39,775 - $46,004 $46,004 - $52,437
bookkeeper $32,814 - $38,879 $38,879 - $45,219 $45,219 - $54,992
tax
tax entry-level mid-level senior-level
director of tax $139,694 - $184,422 $147,698 - $194,989 $155,729 - $205,593
tax accountant $63,448 - $77,006 $77,006 - $87,118 $87,118 - $100,000
tax manager $94,306 - $115,842 $115,842 - $132,708 $132,708 - $152,341
treasury
treasury entry-level mid-level senior-level
corporate treasurer $185,932 - $257,551 $202,284 - $280,202 $222,200 - $307,791
treasury analyst $54,080 - $66,016 $66,016 - $83,232 $83,232 - $114,144
treasury associate $54,080 - $66,016 $66,016 - $83,232 $83,232 - $114,144
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