The senior accountant is a high-demand role — in part, due to the continuing talent shortage across the U.S. indicated by a low unemployment rate and continued demand. Almost 35% of accountants are employed in the Accounting, Tax Preparation, Bookkeeping, and Payroll Services industry.
About the Senior Accountant Role
An employee in this position must have sufficient accounting experience to have mastered basic business accounting skills and be able to manage other accountants or apply specialty knowledge in an individual contributor role. Teamwork and interpersonal skills contribute to success at this level.
A senior accountant would typically assist with month- and year-end closing and reconciliation, prepare financial statements and reports, conduct account quality control and analysis, assist with GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles) and tax compliance, and assist with internal and external audits.
Management responsibilities could include developing and documenting business processes and accounting policies, planning and reviewing accounting staff work, and working closely with other finance departments.
Required skills include accounting-software experience with NetSuite, SAP, QuickBooks or Great Plains, experience with tax software, advanced capabilities in Microsoft Excel (v-lookups, pivot tables, etc.), database and structured query language skills for data inquiries, and complex problem solving.
Other requirements are three to five years of relevant accounting experience and a bachelor’s or master’s degree in accounting. The Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certification is a plus, and the certified management accountant (CMA) and master’s degree in business administration (MBA) are also frequently preferred.
Compensation Comparisons and Explanations
In the Dallas metro area (Dallas-Fort Worth), LaborIQ® recommends a base salary of $98,574, across industries and company size, to competitively attract and retain a senior accountant with two to four years of experience, a bachelor’s degree and a CPA certificate. Both recommended and median salaries are approximately $10,000 higher in the Accounting, Tax Preparation, Bookkeeping, and Payroll Services industry.
As in other locations, this role and level of experience face a talent shortage. In the downloadable compensation report, the recommended competitive salary range of $93,645 to $103,503 is higher than the role’s current $82,481 median salary in Dallas-Fort Worth.
Individuals currently paid below the LaborIQ recommended salary are more likely to be receptive to recruiter poaching. To proactively retain their current talent, companies should budget a 1.4% increase in salary when benchmarking for this role in 2022 headcount planning.
The Dallas-Fort Worth salary is 1.1% higher than the national recommended base salary, which indicates recruiters might find more affordable senior accountants with comparable experience and education in other locations. Compared to San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Charlotte and Houston, the Chicago area offers the lowest recommended base salary of $93,673, followed by Charlotte as the next lowest. The recommended salary is higher than Dallas-Fort Worth in the other four metro areas.
LaborIQ forecasts that competitive salaries for senior accountants will continue to steadily rise over the next five years. A competitive salary is a key component of landing top-quality candidates, so employers must stay up to date with accurate data on this constantly evolving element of total compensation.
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