Accountants' Salaries Rise to Highest Levels in 24 Years

IMA’s Annual Salary Survey Reveals that Certification Commands Greater Earning Power

MONTVALE, N.J.--()--Following a challenging 2011 that saw accounting salaries decline for the first time in 23 years, IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants) members saw increases in both average salary and total compensation in 2012, according to the association’s 2012 Annual Salary Survey. To view the survey’s highlights, visit: http://www.imanet.org/about_ima/news/press_release_detail/13-06-20/Accountants%E2%80%99_Salaries_Rise_to_Highest_Levels_in_24_Years.aspx.

The report, published in this month’s issue of Strategic Finance, cites professional certification, advanced degrees, and experience as the factors that drive salary increases. The findings suggest that the outlook is optimistic for accountants as recovery from the 2007 recession continues.

IMA members saw average salaries increase by $3,624 in 2012, raising the average salary by 3.3 percent to $112,625. The average total compensation (base pay plus incentives) climbed $6,063 to $135,654 – the first time total compensation topped $130,000 in the history of the report.

Professionals holding the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) credential continued to enjoy greater earning power. CMA holders reported an average annual salary of $115,290, or 25 percent more (compared to $92,570) than those without certification. The average annual total compensation for CMAs was $139,578, a difference of more than $34,000 (or 32 percent) compared to their noncertified peers. The certification advantage is evident at all stages of one’s career as certified professionals in all five of the survey’s age categories reported higher earnings.

“As the profession grows, accountants must find ways to differentiate themselves in order to stand out,” said Jeff Thomson, CMA, IMA president and CEO. “The findings of this year’s Salary Survey point to the value of certification – not only in terms of earning power, but the value to employers who need highly qualified accounting talent.”

According to Mr. Thomson, the CMA’s impact is seen even at the earliest career stages (19 to 29 year age category). The average total compensation for CMA-certified young professionals was 44 percent higher than those not certified.

The data in the survey is divided into multiple sections, including management level, academic degrees earned, industry, and geography. Data was collected from a random sample of 5,117 IMA members in the U.S. in December 2012 and January 2013.

About IMA® (Institute of Management Accountants)

IMA®, the association of accountants and financial professionals in business, is one of the largest and most respected associations focused exclusively on advancing the management accounting profession. Globally, IMA supports the profession through research, the CMA® (Certified Management Accountant) program, continuing education, networking, and advocacy of the highest ethical business practices. IMA has a global network of more than 65,000 members in 120 countries and 200 local chapter communities. IMA provides localized services through its offices in Montvale, N.J., USA; Zurich, Switzerland; Dubai, UAE; and Beijing, China. For more information about IMA, please visit www.imanet.org.

Contacts

Marc Gerrone
IMA
(201) 474-1502
mgerrone@imanet.org
or
Ryan Bartholomew
Stern + Associates
(908) 276-4344, x-221
ryan@sternassociates.com

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Contacts

Marc Gerrone
IMA
(201) 474-1502
mgerrone@imanet.org
or
Ryan Bartholomew
Stern + Associates
(908) 276-4344, x-221
ryan@sternassociates.com