Accounting has been an in-demand field for the last few years, and salaries for accountants will continue to rise in the new year. Increases will range from 3 to 4.3 percent for beginner accountants, while industry vets may realize an average bump of up to 6 percent.
Growing demand doesn’t mean accountants face an easy job market, however. Employers are screening heavily for important skills, including technical proficiency, IT acumen and leadership talent. From staff accountant to auditor to controller, they’re also looking to fill a number of key roles. The following are a few of the most in-demand accounting positions for 2017.
It’s not the most glamorous title, but the staff accountant is in demand at corporations large and small, and the BLS puts their median pay at nearly $70,000 per year. Given the now-five-year college requirement for an accounting degree and CPA — and the rapid retirement of experienced accountants — companies are in dire need of people who can handle their day-to-day number-crunching and analysis.
With the growth of big data, real-time analytics and interconnected information systems, the need for good analysts is on the rise. These professionals help firms manage resources, increase revenue and reduce costs. They also need to be able to organize all of that data in ways that are meaningful to management and other stakeholders.
Senior Budget Analyst
Do you have a knack for spotting oversights and opportunities for improvement? As an analyst, you’ll review budgets to find the most efficient ways to allocate resources within your company. You may also need to double check your organization’s compliance with regulations and established best practices. The lower end of the pay range is about $60,000, while some senior analysts can earn in the low six figures.
Internal and external auditors are in short supply, and many companies are hiring third-party auditing firms to examine their business practices, risk and financial statements. With the increasing scrutiny of the financial services industry, banks and insurance companies also are taking more of these candidates off the market. Starting internal auditors will make between $55,250 and $67,250 in 2017, while veterans will make between $82,000 and $101,750.
Do you have a decade or more of financial experience and a thorough knowledge of recent regulatory provisions? If so, you may perform well as a midsize or larger company’s controller, the employee responsible for planning and forecasting the company’s financial position. Starting salaries are in the low six figures, and some controllers make well over a quarter million per year.
Accounts payable and receivable clerks are also in high demand, and big businesses need them to make sure their invoices and outlays are paid on time. These employees are paid less than other accounting professionals — usually between $40,000 and $50,000 per year — but starting positions don’t require specific degrees or professional certifications.