How Do You Negotiate the Best Accountant Salary?

Tips to Avoid Fear When Talking Money

All your preparation has paid off. The interviewer must be happy with you because they just asked you the question you’ve been looking forward to and dreading at the same time: “What do you expect as your accountant salary?”
How do you avoid sinking the chance of an offer for the accountant job you’re interviewing for, while simultaneously obtaining a salary that reflects your value? This blog will prepare you to answer the accountant salary question with confidence and help you receive the best financial offer possible.

Why Do Interviewers Ask About Salary Expectations?

When an interviewer asks this question, consider it a compliment. You’ve been impressive in your interview. So impressive that the interviewer wants to know if they can afford to hire you. You could be asked this question in two ways (or variations of them):

  • “What salary are you expecting?”
  • “What are you currently paid?”

When asked about your accountant salary expectations, your job is to resell your experience, skills, and abilities – the qualities that you have shown in your interview questions that have prompted the interviewer to tackle the subject of salary. Planning to answer both types of salary questions is crucial to your success.

What Salary Are You Expecting?

If you are asked this question early in the interview, you should avoid answering it. You haven’t yet had the opportunity to sell yourself, and the interviewer is fishing. If your salary demand is too high, you will be ruled out immediately. To delay answering, you might say something like:

“My main concern is the opportunity and how I can advance my career here. It’s important that I fit in well, and that I can prove my value to the team. I’m certain that an offer would be based on my merit and market rates.”

When you have sold yourself as the ideal accountant, the interviewer will probably ask again. Now they will be fired up to hire you. To avoid selling yourself short or ruling yourself out because of a demand that is unrealistic, you should do your research before entering the interview room. Search through job sites, newspapers and trade magazines. Here in Atlanta, according to PayScale, the average accountant salary sits between around $39,000 and $69,000.

To hit the right level, consider the roles advertised that are similar to the one for which you are interviewing – similar duties and responsibilities, and requiring similar qualifications and experience. You’ll have the knowledge to answer in the following manner:

“According to my research, and based on my experience and seniority and the role’s duties and responsibilities, I understand that the market rate is around $52,000 to $62,000.”

“What Are You Currently Paid?”

This can be more difficult to answer, especially if you feel you are either paid too little or too well by your current employer. If your current accountant salary is on the low side, you’ll need to explain why. Delaying is once more a good tactic. You could answer in the following way:

“I’d like to discuss the role here a little more before discussing salary. That will help assess it against my current role and decide upon a reasonable salary.”

A lower-than-expected salary could be explained by several factors. For example, you may work shorter hours, benefit from working at home a couple of days each week, or have accepted more responsibility without a salary increase. You might also receive bonuses that more than makeup for a lower-than-expected salary.

Selling Yourself Is Your Most Potent Weapon

If you are asked about your expectations of an accountant’s salary, accept that it is a positive sign. The interview is progressing well, and you are selling yourself effectively. The answer you give may be dictated by when you are asked. How you answer could determine whether or not you get the salary you desire. For a confidential discussion about your career in accountancy in Atlanta, contact 6 Degrees Group today. Your real value in the market may only be an email away.

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