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Steady as you go: auditors expect modest salary rise for 2004

Accounting and finance professionals in the US can look forward to 2004 salaries in line with 2003 levels, according to the 2004 Salary Guide from Robert Half International, the recruitment consultant.


Audit staff at large corporates can hope for at least a 2.9% increase in salary, taking

the average income levels to between $60,000 and $81,000. Senior tax and cost accountants

will also see a modest rise of 1.6%, taking average levels to between $48,000 and $62,000.


As one of the best paid markets for auditing professionals, the US provides a sound

benchmark for ex-US auditors to follow. Robert Half also notes that experienced accountants

with the ability to improve cash-flow and effectively deal with the changing regulatory

environment in the US will be able to demand much improved compensation packages.


"While salary levels overall will likely remain stable, candidates with highly sought-after

skill sets may see modest gains in compensation," said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO

of Robert Half International. "Companies faced with increasing workloads are recruiting

financial professionals in areas such as internal audit, credit and collections, and general

accounting."


The real estate and health-care industries, according to Robert Half, will provide the strongest

demand for accounting professionals, but with more encouraging GDP data from the US,

corporates will surely see improved results in 2004.





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