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Starting salaries for accounting and finance professionals are expected to increase an average of 4.3% in the coming year, according to the 2008 Salary Guide from Robert Half International. Public accountants, financial analysts and internal auditors are projected to see the largest gains.
"Competition for skilled financial professionals has prompted many companies to offer higher compensation to attract and retain top performers," said Max Messmer, chairman and CEO of Robert Half International. "Employers seek staff who possess broad skill sets -- in addition to expertise in their functional areas. This includes information technology proficiency and strong communication abilities."
Experienced candidates have greater leverage in negotiating compensation, and salaries for the most in-demand specialties are rising faster than the national average. Nationwide, demand is particularly strong among commercial construction, financial services and healthcare firms, Robert Half research shows.