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A boost in base salaries for local finance and accounting professionals

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A higher demand for professionals skilled in finance and accounting has prompted countries in the Asia Pacific region to boost compensation packages for staff.

According to research by Robert Half, 55% of local companies are paying higher salaries to professionals in their finance and accounting department this year.

In addition, the survey found 37% of Singaporean companies are increasing bonuses for the sector this year, while 59% are paying the same as last year.

“Much of the increase in salaries in Singapore is driven by competition for the best staff,” Stella Tang, managing director, Robert Half Singapore, said. “Companies are confident in their growth prospects and are prepared to pay more to attract or retain the top people they need.”

The report highlighted 65% of large Singapore firms (with 1,000 or more staff) are paying their finance and accounting staff more, compared to 54% of smaller firms with less than 500 employees and 51% of medium-sized firms.

The survey, which polled 2,431 chief financial officers in 16 countries, found only five other countries (China, Hong Kong, New Zealand, Australia and Brazil) are increasing their finance and accounting incomes.

The majority of countries surveyed, however, were reported to be either freezing or reducing salaries.

According to the report, China paved the way for higher finance and accounting salaries, with 70% of CFOs in China intending to increase income levels this year. Hong Kong followed at 69%, with New Zealand close behind at 60%.

“While the trend is definitely up, it does not mean everyone should expect a pay rise,” Tang said.

“The ability to increase salaries depends on the performance of individual companies. Employees moving to new firms are likely to get a bigger pay rise than employees staying where they are.”

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