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CPA firms increase entry-level pay and benefits to combat capacity challenges, VSCPA compensation survey finds

March 13, 2023

For Immediate Release

Tina Bates, VSCPA 
(804) 612-9416  
[email protected]
Twitter: @vscpanews 

Richmond (March 2, 2023) — As CPA firms and corporate finance teams compete to hire the best accounting talent to keep up with unprecedented demand, the Virginia Society of CPAs (VSCPA) 2022 Compensation & Benefits Survey reveals firms are increasing newer accountants’ salaries, increasing support for aspiring CPAs, and exploring other solutions such as offshoring and outsourcing. The data showed little variance in salary for non-managing accountants working in corporate finance, government or nonprofit compared to public accounting.

The VSCPA conducted the biennial compensation and benefits survey to CPAs in Virginia in November and December 2022 in partnership with Whorton Marketing & Research. Participants included public accounting firms and accountants working in corporate finance and government/nonprofit. The findings included the mean and median salaries at all levels of employment, including breakdowns by geographic region, and investigated other issues related to benefits like paid leave and insurance. Other questions touched on remote work, outsourcing and offshoring solutions, and turnover.

“The results are clear — firms are doing everything in their power to attract talent and explore innovative solutions to reduce employee stress,” said VSCPA President & CEO Stephanie Peters, CAE. “We’ve heard from leaders since the pandemic began that firm capacity challenges are their biggest concern, and the survey shows they are increasing base salaries and offering more benefits to compete with private industry — even at the expense of partner salary increases.”

Key findings:

  • Since 2020, newer accountants have experienced the greatest salary growth. This includes 15.5% for entry-level accountants, 13.5% for second level, and 10.7% for third level. First-year managers saw 12.7% growth and senior managers 13.9%.
  • Support positions in CPA firms also saw large salary increases. Most notably, the finance and IT positions saw growth of 34.5% and 21.8%, respectively, with HR at 12.5%.
  • Partners saw minimal salary increases. CPA firm leaders began increasing the pay of lower-level staff while flatlining their own salaries, which only reveal a 0.5% bump.
  • More companies are supporting aspiring CPAs. The number of public firms offering professional license/credential support increased by 12% over 2020, and tuition assistance increased 11%.
  • Outsourced accounting services are ballooning. Since 2020, the number of firms offering outsourced accounting and/or bookkeeping services increased by 20%. In contrast, 92% of corporate finance teams have not tried it or have no plans to do so.
  • A fifth of public accounting firms are offshoring. Currently, 20% are already offshoring certain work internationally, and 17% are exploring the approach. Numbers are considerably lower in the other sectors with 90% of corporate finance and 95% of government/nonprofit not tried it or planning to explore it.

More details are available in “New Accountants See the Money,” a Disclosures magazine exclusive, and the downloadable executive summary. Participants received a complimentary 78-page report; it’s also available for purchase by contacting the VSCPA at (800) 733-8272.

The VSCPA offers a variety of resources and reports dedicated to help CPAs solve their capacity challenges including the 2022 Future of Work Survey, a members-only Capacity Resource Center, the VSCPA Career Center, and more. Coming soon: The VSCPA will release a comprehensive Recruitment and Retention Guide to further assist members with the war on talent.


About the VSCPA  

The Virginia Society of Certified Public Accountants (VSCPA) is the leading professional association in the Commonwealth dedicated to empowering CPAs to thrive. Founded in 1909, the VSCPA has nearly 13,000 members who work in public accounting, corporate finance, government and education. For more information about the VSCPA, visit vscpa.com, email [email protected] or call (804) 612-9416.