The term “senior accountant” usually refers to an experienced accounting expert holding a position in any of three categories: Accounting consultants, assistant controllers, and certified public accountants at the managerial level. Those falling into these categories may or may not have the word “senior” or “accountant” in their official job titles, but in most cases, they will hold CPA or CMA certification, they will have earned a degree in accounting or finance, and they will have spent at least five years working in public accounting or corporate accounting in any of a wide range of industries, from manufacturing to hospitality.
If the description above applies to your career trajectory, you’ll want to conduct periodic research to make sure your salary stays in line with national and local trends. And if you’re currently searching for work, keep the results of your research in mind as you negotiate with potential employers.
According to our data and reports from our clients and contacts in the DC area, senior level accountants, accounting consultants and assistant controllers for mid-sized firms are earning an average of 80,000 dollars annually, plus comprehensive insurance benefits.
In the DC area, the market for senior accountants peaked in 2011, with average salaries reaching an all-time high of about 80,000 – 90,000 dollars. But since that time, salaries have fluctuated and in many cases have been scaled back. Offers are on the rise again in 2014. Senior accountants for large and international firms earn at the highest end of the spectrum, on average taking home about 90,000 annually. Accounting consultants at smaller firms drop into the lower end of the spectrum at an average of 75,000.
Before negotiating an offer with a potential employer, review every available source of information and weigh your findings against your personal level of experience and the balance between your unique skill sets and your employer’s needs. You’ll also need to factor in your commuting costs, living costs, and your ability to obtain competing offers.