Job Hunting

Survey: Finance Department Pay Up 8%

Study shows finance professionals got hefty pay hikes last year; average treasurer made $150,000.
Stephen TaubSeptember 24, 2002

So much for salary freezes and meager pay hikes.

Last year, the average corporate finance professional enjoyed an 8.2 percent salary increase. As a result, the average salary and bonus package for 2001 worked out to $130,900, according to a new survey conducted by the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP).

One reason for the strong growth among practitioners: many finance managers were promoted over the past year, the AFP noted.

The best title to have held last year was VP-finance. Those finance department executives enjoyed $183,500 in total compensation, thanks to a 9 percent rise in salary.

Looking at the other functions:

  • Treasurers had an average total pay package of $150,600, with a 7 percent increase in salary.
  • Controller/comptroller: $134,300, 8 percent.
  • Assistant treasurer: $111,900, 8 percent.

Which part of the country was the best place for finance executives to work? Clearly the northeast, where the average pay package came to $153,300 on a 7 percent average salary increase.

In the southeast part of the nation, the average package for finance staffers was $121,300, including an 8 percent salary hike.

In the Midwest: $117,800, 8 percent.

In the west: $125,300, 10 percent.

The average financial industry service provider received a salary of $115,800, an increase of 6.8 percent from 2001.

The hefty raises compare to just a 4.3 percent salary hike for all white-collar occupations, according to the AFP, citing data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“The ability of treasury and finance professionals to receive a healthy salary increase during a period of economic weakness is an indication of the valuable role they play within their companies,” said Jim Kaitz, AFP’s president and CEO. “Finance continues to be a growing and solid profession across the board.”

Interestingly, nearly half the respondents in the survey cited individual merit as the top factor determining salary increases. That was followed by company-wide pay hikes.

The survey also found that treasury and finance professionals typically receive many benefits in addition to their salary, including health insurance, retirement benefits, annual paid leave, flexible spending accounts for medical and dependent care expenses, life insurance and long-term disability insurance.

And what typically triggers promotion for a finance staffer? Added job responsibilities and contributions to profitability, according to the respondents. In addition, professional credentials, such as CCM (certified cash manager) are important factors for moving up within a company.

AFP’s annual survey was sent to 17,758 finance professionals, including practitioners, members who provide bank-related services to the treasury and finance profession, and alumni members of the Financial Executives Networking Group.

As CFO.com reported yesterday, high-ranking finance managers at mid-to-large size companies continue to derive the bulk of their pay from bonuses. According to a study of CFO bonuses released by executive-benefits consultancy The Todd Organization, finance chiefs last year took home cash bonuses that were 64 percent of base pay. (To read more about that study, click here.)