Finance vs. Accounting Salaries

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Expertise in accounting, finance and business can lead to several different lucrative careers. Accountants focus on assisting businesses with keeping their financial records and taxes in order, while financial analysts use their knowledge to help businesses make strong investment decisions. A business's financial manager oversees all of the company's financial and investment activities. The salaries for these careers differ based on title, industry and location.

Accountant Salaries

  • Accountants in the U.S. earn an average salary of $67,430 a year, according to a May 2009 report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The salary range begins at $37,690 for those in the bottom 10 percent and goes through $104,450 for those in the top 10 percent. The majority of accountants work in accounting, tax preparation, bookkeeping and payroll services for an average salary of $73,920, while those working in the management of companies and enterprises earn $66,330 a year on average. The federal executive branch offers the highest salary average for accountants at $88,190.

Financial Analyst Salaries

  • The BLS states that the average salary for financial analysts is $85,240, with the salary scale ranging from $44,080 to $139,350. Financial analysts may be employed in the industry of financial investment activities for an average salary of $111,490, or in the management of companies and enterprises for a lower salary average of $79,420. Securities and commodity contracts intermediation and brokerage is another popular industry with a salary average of $98,220.

Financial Manager Salary

  • The average salary for financial managers in the U.S. is $113,730, according to the BLS. The median salary is $101,190, with managers in the 25th percentile earning $73,530 and those in the 75th percentile earning $138,010. Most work in the industry of depository credit intermediation for an average salary of $92,110, though wages are higher in the management of companies and enterprises at an average of $130,700. Securities and commodity contracts intermediation and brokerage is another industry with a high level of employed financial managers with an average salary of $154,770.

Location

  • Location plays a role in shaping the salaries of all workers in finance and accounting. New York City offers the highest average salary for accountants, according to the BLS, with an average salary of $84,280. Washington, D.C. follows with an average salary of $79,990. New York is the top paying state for financial analysts and managers as well, offering an average salary of $107,650 for the former and $148,070 for the latter. Delaware is the second highest paying state for financial managers at an average salary of $131,810, while California is second highest for analysts at $107,650.

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