Compensation Keeps CPAs in N.Y., N.J.

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CPAs in New York and New Jersey have a good reason to stay in the area: money.

With a large number of regional and large accounting firms needing help and the preponderance of corporate accounting spots going wanting for accountants, area CPAs are reaping the benefits of demand.

According to PayScale.com, the median total cash compensation for experienced CPAs in New York is about $94,000. Their colleagues in New Jersey earned $82,500. The figures include base salary combined with bonuses, profit sharing and other forms of cash earnings. Interestingly, the figure doesn't include equity or stock compensation.

The data represents compensation for CPAs with between 10 and 20 years of experience, who work full-time in the given state. It generally only represents CPAs who work at for-profit companies or in private practice. Those who are self-employed or work for the government, schools, hospitals, or non-profit organizations aren't included.

Those in New York's 75th percentile earned $120,000, while those in the same percentile in the Garden State earned $98,500.

Younger Accountants Take Note

The accounting world's less experienced set is especially enjoying the cash, says Eric Frankel, founder of Frankel Corporate Consulting, a Westwood, N.J., firm that provides financial consulting, executive recruiting and advisory services. "North Jersey firms are offering signing bonuses for those right out of college or with two to five years of experience, so they can attract them into the firm," he says.

More seasoned CPAs, if gifted and talented, are doing very well, too, he says. However, they do need to show expertise in a specific realm of accounting, good leadership and communication skills, and management savvy. "It's always good to have Big Four or public accounting experience in your background, too," he adds.

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