Accounting, Finance Salaries to Remain Flat

Starting salaries in the accounting and finance, information technology and administrative fields are expected to remain relatively flat or see modest declines next year, said Brandon Lyons, the division director of Robert Half Finance and Accounting in Tulsa.
“Tulsa is so hard to forecast. There was a little uptick since the summer, but employers remain cautious,” Lyons said. ““Employers continue to wait for more evidence of a sustained economic recovery before adding staff.”
As a professional staffing company, Robert Half International sees itself as a “canary in the coal mine.”
“If people are not seeing a trend, they simply will not add staff,” Lyons said.
Tulsa’s RHI office saw the slowdown at this time a year ago.
“There was a tapping on the brakes through May,” he said. “In June is when everything came to a halt.”
Lyons sees next year as a near repeat of this year. According to the 2010 salary guides from RHI, starting salaries for accounting and finance positions in Tulsa are the only ones expected to increase. Accounting and finance jobs could grow an average of 0.5 percent in 2010, the RHI study shows.
Salaries for IT roles are forecast to decrease by an average of 1.3 percent, while starting salaries for administrative professionals are projected to dip an average of 2.2 percent.
And the CFO Says…
When Lyons talks to company controllers and CFOs, he senses pent-up demand. The people still on the job are doing the work of several people — at a higher level of intensity.
“Budget numbers are being scrutinized more than ever,” he said. “Companies have lost people yet are not able to replace them.”
Eventually, the heads of accounting departments get to the point where they need help, Lyons said.
“In this job environment, many fall in line and are willing to take on more work,” he said.
Others want to add positions but know they “just have to get the work done with what they have.”
According to the first quarter Financial Hiring Index from RHI, CFOs in the Middle Atlantic region are most optimistic about hiring. Among industries, manufacturing shows promise.

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