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Big pay increases for finance and accounting staff

Media release 8 May 2008

Big pay increases for finance and accounting staff

Many Auckland finance and accountancy professionals have had double-digit pay rises in the past year, but those in the middle are leading the way, with those at the top seeing little or no increase.

The pay rises are revealed in the Robert 2008 Robert Half Auckland Salary Guide <> , just released by the specialist finance and accounting recruitment agency. It is based on a survey completed by more than 1,100 finance and accounting professionals, ranging from accounts payable/receivable, all the way up to CFOs, and across all industries and sectors.

At the top of the career ladder, the pay scale for CFOs increased by between 0 and 21% over the past year, with those employed by small and medium-sized businesses receiving the biggest increases. There was no increase in large company pay scales.

CFOs for companies with a turnover of $50 million to $250 million saw their pay scales increase by 8.7- 21%. For companies with turnover of less than $50m the pay scale increased by 0-10.5%, but for CFOs with companies with turnover of more than $250m, the pay scale remained static at $250,000.

The same pattern occurred for financial controllers and commercial managers, with the biggest increases being given by small to medium-sized companies, while larger companies held salary scales steady.

Financial controllers working for companies with turnover of up to $250m saw pay scales increase by up to 27%; commercial managers working in the same companies saw pay scales increase by up to 22%. In many cases, the top of the pay scale remained the same, while the bottom increased significantly.

The highest salary increase was for qualified accountants working in accountancy practice business advisory services - their salary range went from $60,000-$110,000 last year to $80,000-$130,000 this year, an increase of 18-33%.

At the lower end of the professional ladder, pay scales for accounts payable and payroll clerks rose by 5.3%-13.3%.

Megan Alexander, Senior Manager with Robert Half, says this year’s Robert Half Auckland Salary Guide <> shows that it’s still the mid-range finance professionals who are in shortest supply and highest demand.

“Senior level candidates have to work really hard to differentiate themselves in what is, for them, a difficult environment. At this level, Robert Half has more candidates seeking jobs than roles available, so candidates have to really stand out to be successful in their job search.

“While our survey shows no movement in this salary band, individual CFOs may have been able to negotiate increases based on their skills and individual and company performance.

“But the real shortage of skills occurs at the junior and mid-range level, where the pull of overseas experience and salaries has taken many people out of the New Zealand job market.

“The pay increases occurring in these roles show employers have realised they have to start closing the income gap with countries such as Australia in order to keep their skilled staff here.”

The 2008 Robert Half Auckland Salary Guide <> is based on a survey of 1,158 finance and accounting professionals, carried out from 28 January to 15 February 2008. The results of the survey were collated and analysed by Galaxy Research, an independent accredited market research company.

To order a free copy of the guide visit


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