What Accounting Firms Need to Know About Updating Salaries and Giving Raises

What Accounting Firms Need to Know About Updating Salaries and Giving Raises

Are your accounting staff satisfied with their salaries? You might think so, right up to the moment your most productive team members hand in resignation letters.

In a Robert Half survey, chief financial officers agreed inadequate salary and benefits is the top reason employees quit. Separate research found that in just the past year one in four financial executives had lost a good employee to a company that paid more.

When you keep your top talent satisfied with their salaries, clients are happier — and your firm is more productive and successful. Here are tips to consider regarding raises and employee retention.

Regular salary review

If you can’t remember the last time you reviewed your employees’ compensation, it’s been too long. Your staff members know what they’re worth and what the local job market is paying, and so should you. At least once a year, benchmark your firm’s salaries and benefits against what other firms and companies — i.e., your competition for top performers — offer.

Fortunately, there are a number of helpful tools available. The Salary Guide from Robert Half is an excellent resource, and you can use our Salary Calculator to localize the salary ranges. Other valuable research includes the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook and reports from industry associations.

If after reviewing these tools you find your superstars’ salaries are near the low end, raises are likely in order — and soon.

Attractive raises

Professionals moving from one company to another often receive significant salary jumps today. Rest assured, your employees know this, so you’ll need to proactively reward them to entice them to stay on at your firm.

The situation is especially challenging in accounting, where demand and talent shortages are combining to drive up compensation. Unemployment for accountants and auditors remains below the national average, while salary growth is outpacing inflation and cost-of-living adjustments.

If you can’t afford across-the-board raises, focus on your most talented and hardest-to-replace employees. Bump up their salaries until they’re in the higher end of the spectrum. It’s no longer enough to just be competitive with compensation. Read more on CPA Practice Advisor