CPAs and others with strong accounting expertise are rising up the ranks in the accounting and corporate finance world, reaping the benefits of the job path. According to the Accounting Principals 2012 Salary Guide for Finance and Accounting Professionals, among the executive and senior manager category, CFOs made the most, with $363,400 in base salary and $585,900 in total cash compensation. Among executive and senior managers, the second place was held by finance directors, earning $205,600 in base pay and $294,200 in total compensation.
Partners earned more than other positions in the public accounting arena, on average, taking home $186,700 in base pay and $235,800 in total compensation. Public accounting directors came in second place with $130,600 in base pay and $148,400 in total compensation.
In financial services, accounting professionals earned the most as the top mortgage loan servicing manager, with $165,100 in base pay and $201,900 in total compensation. The second spot was held by top credit and collections executives, earning $156,900 in base pay and $196,800 in total compensation.
Of the many positions in the accounting and finance realm, senior financial associates took home the most, with an average base salary of $138,300. With bonus and other perks, they earned a total of $428,100. In the second spot, senior quality assurance specialists were paid $79,000 in base pay and $82,300 in total compensation.
Under the supervisory category, budgeting supervisors made the most with $81,400 in base salary and $84,100 in total compensation. In the second spot of the supervisory category, financial reporting supervisors made an average of $80,500 in base compensation and total compensation of $84,000.
Among midlevel managers, auditing managers earned more than others, earning $109,400 in base salary and $119,000 in total compensation. Tax managers came in second for midlevel managers, with $106,900 in base salary and $116,800 in total compensation.
Other findings in the survey dealt with succession and leadership issues. Hiring managers and firm decision makers indicated that the drivers of leadership changes were retirement/departure (21 percent), M&As (19 percent), expansion plans (19 percent), company culture (15 percent), performance issues (12 percent), business divestitures (7 percent) and voluntary reasons (7 percent). The survey noted that the most important competency for leaders today was “thinking and acting strategically,” followed by “coaching for optimal performance” and “building the capacity to lead change.”