Public Accounting Salary Guidance

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    AccountingProf
    Participant

    Hi everyone. For those in public accounting, I'm sure you know it's evaluation/compensation adjustment season. I'm having an uneasy feeing about my compensation adjustment this year, and I wanted to reach out to the forum for guidance.

    For a little background, I got almost 10 years of experience. I started off as an auditor for the first 3 years of my career, went into private industry for 5 years and eventually became assistant controller, and then went back into public accounting as a senior accountant for the last two years. While some of the work I do at my firm is financial statement work, about 80% of the work I do is partnership and S-Corp taxes. I also directly manage several staff accountants (I conduct their performance evaluations). I'm up for promotion to manager this year, and based on my performance evaluation and recent conversations with HR, my promotion to manager should be a shoe-in.

    We recently received guidance on percentage increases to recommend for staff. For the highest level of performance, a 10% pay increase was recommended. So if one of my staff was an absolute rockstar, I can recommend a 10% pay increase for them. However, even if someone is up for promotion, the recommended percent increase is capped at 10%. I'm unsure if these percentages include COLA, but for simplicity, I'm assuming these are strictly performance-based.

    Upon reading that, I felt discouraged. Even at a 10% increase, that didn't get me to what I would expect a public accounting tax manager to make. While I'd be new to the position in terms of title, I've been managing staff and client accounts for over a year. The last year has really been an audition for the manager position. For reference, I'm currently earning around the 75th percentile for senior public accounting tax accountants in my area per Robert Half (not sure how reliable that is). At a 10% increase, that would put me much closer to the 25th percentile of public accounting tax managers than it would the 50th percentile.

    Does a 10% performance-based percentage increase from being promoted from senior to manager seem accurate? Given that my last percent increase was 5% with no title bump or promotion, a 10% increase (could possibly be less as high performers were recommended to receive a 6-10% increase) seems like a low-ball offer. Are my expectations too high? If they aren't, how do I go about discussing with my manager/HR?

    I appreciate your input.

    AUD - 97
    BEC - 80
    FAR - 84
    REG - 82
    CMA Part 1 (10/2019) - 430

    CMA Part 2 (10/2020) - 440

    #3312631 Reply
    AccountingProf
    Participant

    I also just learned that the recommended percentage increases include COLA. There is no separate COLA adjustment.

    AUD - 97
    BEC - 80
    FAR - 84
    REG - 82
    CMA Part 1 (10/2019) - 430

    CMA Part 2 (10/2020) - 440

    #3312826 Reply
    Roger
    Participant

    just tell us the salary. I'm at 93k as a senior in big 4. 7k bonus was well so that's 100k TC

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