Corporate finance professionals at all job levels received pay increases in 2013, but staff-level employees earned the greatest hikes in pay, according to a new report by the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP).
Overall, financial professionals reported a 3.8 percent average gain in their base salaries in 2013, after garnering a 3.4 percent raise in 2012: staff-level finance employees earned the greatest increase — 4.1 percent — while management-level personnel received an average increase of 4 percent and executive-level employees an average raise of 3.5 percent.
The staff-level increase was up a full percentage point on 2012’s rise, the AFP survey found. “Analyst” titles earned the biggest salary increases, averaging 4.8 percent. Among management-level professionals, the “financial reporting specialist” title saw the highest salary increase — 5 percent. The 3.5 percent salary hike for executives, meanwhile, was down 0.3 percentage points from 2012, but still higher than was reported in the three years prior to 2012, the AFP said.
Directors of treasury/finance did the best in the “executive” category, earning base salary increases of 4.6 percent, followed closely by vice presidents of finance (4.4 percent). For chief financial officers, the average base salary increased just 2.8 percent, to $201,271 from $195,811. However, CFOs, like other executives, earned a substantial amount of pay in bonuses. Of all three job tiers, executive-level financial professionals received the largest average bonuses in 2013 — both in terms of total dollars and as a percentage of base salary, the AFP survey found.
However, the numbers showed no increase over 2012 or 2011. The average bonus for executive-level professionals in 2013 was $54,632, or 34 percent of base salary, about the same as in 2012. CFOs earned an average $76,620 in bonuses in 2013.
At the management and staff levels, bonuses were smaller — $16,357 (17 percent of base salary) for management and $5,874 (10 percent of base salary) for staff. For the most part, companies based performance bonuses on traditional measures, at least in part: 62 percent used operating income or EBITDA targets; 51 percent “completion of specific projects”; 48 percent “profit or increased profit” targets; and 34 percent “sales or increased revenue” targets.
Holding an MBA or graduate degree earned financial professionals at all levels a premium salary. This was particularly true at the management level, where managers with an MBA or graduate degree earned on average $15,000 more than their peers who did not hold advanced degrees.
The AFP compensation survey was conducted in February 2014 and had 4,300 respondents at more than 2,800 companies. About half the companies had revenue of more than $1 billion, and 22 percent had revenue of less than $100 million.