The top 10 finance and financial services roles set for the biggest salary gains in 2017

19 April 2017

2017 Robert Half Salary Guide

  • Starting salaries for Hong Kong finance and accounting professionals are set to grow by 1.5%, while financial services professionals are set for a 1.4% increase. 
  • 30% of finance and accounting and 27% of financial services workers think they earn above-industry average.
  • 98% of finance and accounting and 95% of financial services employees are willing to accept a job offer with a higher salary if they felt they were not being paid a fair salary with their current employer. 
  • 33% of finance and accounting professionals and 47% of financial services professionals say their salary is not proportional to their workload.  

Specialised and highly skilled finance, accounting and financial services professionals are in a prime position to negotiate competitive salary gains in 2017. Despite cautious hiring sentiment among Hong Kong’s CFOs and finance leaders, the 2017 Robert Half Salary Guide has identified the key finance and financial services roles that can expect the highest pay gains in terms of starting salaries in 2017.

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Companies need to be aware of industry-standard salary benchmarks to secure and hold onto top talent. Robert Half research found that while 30% of finance workers in Hong Kong believe they earn an above-industry average wage, one in three (33%) feel that their salary is not proportional to their workload. Likewise, 27% of financial services employees feel they earn above-industry average, but 47% feel their pay does not match the responsibilities of their role. 

Adam Johnston, Managing Director at Robert Half Hong Kong said: “Economic uncertainty and volatile market conditions have left some salaries growing slower than others, however many employers are willing to pay an above-average salary for hard-to-fill and challenging-to-find finance and financial services positions. Hong Kong companies will be able to win the war for talent as long as they are prepared to offer competitive remuneration and, by doing so, they will be able to retain their top performing staff as well. 

“Top performers go where the money is. Companies who are struggling to fill specialised roles will need to review their salary offers and be prepared to offer rates that are at least in line or above the market average”

“At the same time, Hong Kong finance and financial services professionals looking for a higher salary need to reassess their skillsets and upskill accordingly to increase their market value. With companies continuing to adapt to digitisation and automation to gain a competitive edge, Hong Kong professionals working in the finance and financial services sectors need to keep up with this change by improving their IT-based skillsets,” Adam Johnston concluded. 

What are the finance jobs with the highest salary gains? 
With salaries still proving to be a key driver to move jobs, companies in Hong Kong understand the importance of paying competitive and above-industry averages to secure and hold onto top talent. Yet only top performing candidates who can ensure cost-saving measures, high profitability margins and streamline internal processes for their organisation will be able to command above-average salary gains in the year ahead. 

1.    Financial Planning and Analysis/Business Manager
In a small/medium-sized organisation [1]

2017 min [2]  2017 max   YoY growth [3]
$480,000 $720,000 + 11.1%

Source: 2017 Robert Half Salary Guide

With businesses focused on initiatives aimed at supporting growth, employment options for Managers within the Financial Planning and Analysis function will continue to increase. Highly skilled Financial Planning and Analysts Managers with well-developed technical and communication skills will be able to negotiate an above-average salary. 

2.    Finance Controller 
In a small/medium-sized organisation 

2017 min 2017 max YoY growth
$660,000 $960,000 + 8.0%

Source: 2017 Robert Half Salary Guide

Companies need to take a proactive approach to potentially volatile market conditions, and Finance Controllers who can effectively manage an organisation’s cash flow will be in high demand and enjoy above average salary gains. 

3.    Finance Manager
In a small/medium-sized organisation 

2017 min 2017 max YoY growth
$360,000 $780,000 + 5.6%

Source: 2017 Robert Half Salary Guide

Finance Managers who are able to maximise business profitability are highly valuable to organisations. In a competitive business environment, Finance Managers – particularly those with strong commercial acumen and leadership skills – can expect to receive above-average salary gains in 2017. 

4.    Internal Audit Director
In a large organisation [1]

2017 min 2017 max YoY growth
$850,000 $1,300,000 + 5.4%

Source: 2017 Robert Half Salary Guide

Director-level finance professionals who specialise in internal auditing are highly sought-after as they manage the crucial role of assessing risks and improving internal processes. Professionals with extensive experience in risk management, compliance and internal auditing are in high demand, which is placing upward pressure on salaries. 

5.    Accountant 
In a small/medium-sized organisation 

2017 min 2017 max YoY growth
$215,000 $350,000 + 4.6%

Source: 2017 Robert Half Salary Guide

In uncertain economic conditions, Accountants who can work independently to help manage the financial activities of an organisation remain in high demand. The extraordinary ability with numbers, a real passion for pinpoint accuracy and an unparalleled eye for detail that would assist in making strategic budgeting and investment decisions for a company places these professionals in a prime position to enjoy steady salary growth. 

What are the financial services jobs with the highest salary gains? 
Despite a challenging period after the Global Financial Crisis, the financial services industry in Hong Kong is still perceived to be one that offers attractive remuneration. Job roles that can expect above-average salary growth are those that can add significant value to the business by streamlining internal processes and ensuring maximum cost-savings. 

1.    Treasury Accounting Director/MD

2017 min 2017 max YoY growth
$1,320,000+     + 10.0%

Source: 2017 Robert Half Salary Guide

Treasury Accounting professionals are currently in high demand, and Directors with strong communication skills who possess the ability to lead a high performing team of Treasury professionals and cross-functional teams will be able to command high salary gains in 2017. 

2.    Treasury Accounting Analyst 

2017 min  2017 max YoY growth
$336,000 $480,000 + 7.9%

Source: 2017 Robert Half Salary Guide

As Treasury Accounting professionals are already in high demand, Analysts who are able to ensure their organisation’s success by building an efficient financial structure to support the company’s operational and strategic projects can expect substantial salary growth in the year ahead. 

3.    Fund Accounting VP 

2017 min 2017 max YoY growth
$590,000 $1,200,000 + 6.5%

Source: 2017 Robert Half Salary Guide

Professionals within Fund Accounting, particularly those in leadership positions, are currently in high demand, and VPs who can increase profitability for their organisation through the efficient management of mutual or institutional funds are set to experience generous salary growth in 2017. 

4.    Management Reporting Analyst 

2017 min   2017 max YoY growth
$312,000 $400,000 + 6.0%

Source: 2017 Robert Half Salary Guide

Management Reporting Analysts who are able to effectively address the needs of their organisation and improve upon internal practices and procedures for the business remain in high demand. Because the talent pool for highly qualified Management Reporting Analysts is limited, top candidates can expect above-average salary growth over the next 12 months. 

5.    Financial Control Analyst

2017 min  2017 max  YoY growth
$264,000 $456,000 + 5.3%

Source: 2017 Robert Half Salary Guide

Financial Control Analysts are experiencing strong demand for their skillsets, as companies are increasingly focused on ensuring cost-compliance procedures are met and reporting standards are accurate. Highly skilled Financial Control Analysts can therefore expect steady salary growth.

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[1] Company turnover

Small companies  S < HK$50million
Medium companies HK$50million ≤ M ≤ HK$ 150 million
Large companies  L >HK$150million 

[2] Salaries refers to starting salaries. Salary figures provided vary according to level of experience, size of the company, sector, employee skills and the organisation itself. 

[3] Salary difference between 2016 and 2017.

 

About the Robert Half Salary Guide
The 2017 Robert Half Salary Guide is the most comprehensive and authoritative resource on starting salaries and recruitment trends in finance and accounting, financial services and information technology.

It offers a comprehensive overview of the current salary ranges, industry trends and specific job trends for finance and accounting professionals, finance professionals in the financial services sector and information technology professionals. The results and insights of the 2017 Robert Half Salary Guide are based on comprehensive analyses, local job placements, local expertise and independent research of executives and office workers. For the first time we have also aggregated our data with Broadbean job posting data (a digital tool that captures job advertisement analytics and talent acquisition behaviour).

About the research
The research is developed by Robert Half and was conducted in February 2017 by an independent research firm, surveying 100 finance and accounting, 100 technology and 100 financial services employees in Hong Kong.  

MEDIA CONTACT

Gabrielle Nagy 
Public Relations Manager, Asia Pacific
P: +61 2 8028 7751
E: gabrielle.nagy@roberthalf.com.au

 

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