Accountants with five years under their belt “have been exposed to their share of war stories, and many reevaluate their career choice and realize it’s not for them,” said Costa, noting that many opt out of public accounting, and perhaps even accounting in general, at that point.
In the last decade, many young people chose not to enter the profession, opting for sexier opportunities with Wall Street firms or dot-com startups.
Further, “in 2008 and 2009, when things went haywire, a lot of firms didn’t make offers, or rescinded offers, so the profession lost a group of people who didn’t come in and would be seniors now,” said Roberto Viceconte, a partner at Raich Ende Malter & Co., which has an office in East Meadow.
Like many firms, PricewaterhouseCoopers is mindful of higher marketplace demands for staff with four to seven years of experience and, therefore, focuses considerable resources on campus recruiting and retention strategies.
As a result, “we currently do not have a shortage of staff at any level,” said Paul Salerno, managing partner of PwC’s Melville office.
Demand for senior accountants modestly pushed up the starting salary in the last year, by about 4.2 percent, according to the Robert Half 2013 Salary Guide. Salaries on Long Island run $54,000 to $60,000 for new staff accountants and about $70,000 to $100,000 for seniors, according to an informal survey of small and midsized firms.
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