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Here’s How Much Starting Salaries Will Be in Public Accounting Next Year

Starting pay is expected to increase between 2.3% and 5.8% in 2023 based on data from Robert Half.

Starting salaries in public accounting are projected to increase between 2.3% and 5.8% in 2023 based on data from the 2022 and the newly released 2023 Robert Half Accounting & Finance Salary Guide, according to Going Concern.

The salary guide features salary data for jobs in 35 categories within accounting and finance. In the public accounting category, Robert Half provides projected 2023 starting salaries for eight positions: four in tax services and four in audit and assurance services.

Comparing starting salary projections from Robert Half’s 2022 and 2023 salary guides, Going Concern determined how much starting pay is expected to increase next year for each of the eight positions featured.

Tax services

  • Senior manager/director: 3.4%
  • Manager: 2.3%
  • Senior tax associate: 3.9%
  • Tax associate: 2.7%

Audit and assurance services

  • Senior manager/managing director: 3.4%
  • Manager: 3.7%
  • Senior associate: 4.3%
  • Associate5.8%

In its annual salary guide, Robert Half provides starting pay ranges by percentile, based on a candidate’s experience. For the 2023 salary guide, there are three salary percentiles with the following descriptions:

  • 25th percentile: New to the role, with little to no experience; requires more than casual instruction or supervision to perform day-to-day duties.
  • 50th percentile: Has the experience to consistently perform core responsibilities without direct supervision; very comfortable with processes and subject matter associated with the role.
  • 75th percentile: Value to the organization goes far beyond the ability to perform normal job duties; has rare qualifications that enable consistent contribution in unique ways; ready for next career level when available.

Below are the projected starting salaries in public accounting for 2023, according to Robert Half:

Senior Manager/Director Tax Services$118,500$146,250$175,750
Manager of Tax Services$92,750$112,750$131,000
Senior Tax Associate$65,250$78,500$90,500
Tax Associate$51,250$63,000$72,750
Senior Manager/Managing Director, Audit/Assurance Services$116,750$144,500$167,500
Manager, Audit/Assurance Services$80,000$100,000$114,000
Senior Associate, Audit/Assurance Services$57,250$72,000$82,000
Associate, Audit/Assurance Services$48,500$59,750$68,750
Source: Robert Half

Robert Half also revealed that 51% of senior finance hiring managers plan to add new staff this year. The staff and recruiting firm also noted that firms face a steep challenge in growing their teams to expand business initiatives, as 54% of managers said they are seeing increased quits at their company.

“Flexibility might help. Only 27% of professionals looking for a job in finance and accounting are considering fully in-office roles, but 54% said they are required in the office full time,” Robert Half stated in the salary guide.