Corporate CFOs at the 50th percentile in compensation earn $202,750 a year, according to the 2020 Robert Half Salary Guide for Accounting and Finance Professionals, released this week.
The guide listed the range of salaries for CFOs in corporate accounting and financial services. For those under the corporate accounting umbrella, the CFO salary at the 25th percentile is $121,500; at the 75th percentile, it's $240,000; and at the 95th percentile, it's $498,000. For those in financial services, the median salary is higher: $208,250. For CFOs at the 25th percentile, it's $172,250; at the 75th percentile, it's $248,000; and at the 95th percentile, it's $510,000.
The survey also found workers are drawn to employers who will invest in their career development, and employers are heeding that call. More than 60% of CFOs said they would cover all educational costs for employees who are working towards and maintaining their professional certifications.
The report looks at salaries for executives throughout the corporate finance function. In addition to CFOs, it lists salaries for treasurers (median: $192,750), vice presidents of finance (median: $185,750), director of finance (median: $152,250), and director of accounting (median: $146,750), among others. Salaries for equivalent positions in financial services tend to be a little higher.
"Hiring managers in nearly every industry are scrambling to find skilled accounting and finance professionals," the report says.
The report provides a factor for adjusting salaries based on market areas, since salaries can vary widely by geographic area. For instance, there is a double-digit percentage difference in executive compensation in cities like Birmingham, Alabama, and Duluth, Minnesota, compared to larger metropolitan areas like Chicago and Los Angeles. You can make the adjustment automatically by entering your area in a calculator on the report website.
Organizational culture is becoming an increasingly central priority within the finance and accounting field, the study found. 91% of managers say a candidate's fit within the company culture is "as or more important than skills and experience." 35% of workers agreed that they would decline a job offer if the role was a perfect fit but the organizational culture wasn't.
"In a job market where skilled candidates can often write their own ticket, employers must have a clear understanding of the current hiring environment to compete for the best talent," the report says.
The guide includes a list of job features and incentives that entice employees to stay with their firms. Perks like lifetime income retirement plans and demonstrated corporate commitment to career development remain in high demand. The survey confirms that newly common perks are lifestyle-based accommodations such as flexible work schedules, telecommuting and paid parental leave. But workers also value corporate-sponsored wellness programs like gym access, ergonomic evaluations and on-site vaccinations.
The future of work will become increasingly technology and interpersonal skills-heavy, the guide indicates. It provides six pillars for thriving in the new job economy: investing in workers, looking at training differently, committing to a level [technological] playing field, upskilling oneself, communicating change, and evaluating soft skills.