salary increase for cpa

This topic contains 6 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  spongfunk 3 years, 11 months ago.

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    Hi, I just passed all four parts of the CPA exam and I’m waiting for the board’s approval of my license application. Since I’ve put in so much time and efforts to study for the exam, I’m going to ask my boss to give me a salary increase. Does anyone know if it’s normal to have salary increase after you are certified? If so, what’s the approximate salary increase (percentage or dollar amount)? I work in the audit function within a financial service company. Thanks – Any feedback is appreciated.




    Your salary usually goes up by 10% but IF I am correct, I think having that Masters degree and “Experience” holds “slightly” more weight as far as salary goes. Some say that having the additional certificates are not so much needed once you have your CPA but to me, having more knowledge gives you more leverage.

    Person A=MA, CPA, 5YRS experience

    Person B=MBA, CPA, CIA, CMA 3YRS eperience

    Person B will probably get paid more due to the extra knowledge and that person has more of an edge.

    Now there are other factors that play a part in salary but I personally want to do WHATEVER makes me stand out more than the next CPA. 🙂

    I did not include numerical values b/c the firm size, city, state, number of employees, benefits package and etc…all factor into your salary.

    Hope this helps!



    How is the firm doing? Have you seen their financial statements? If they’re doing well, ask for a raise.

    If the firm is not doing well….Oh well. It was nice working here when the layoffs come.



    I’ve seen people get a small 1 time bonus like 1-2k. I have not seen anyone get a raise. However, having the license makes you eligible to be promoted from senior associate to manager (in a public accounting firm) which increases pay.


    I got just a 5% increase. I must admit I was pissed about it but they gave me a 10% raise the year before when I was half CPA so I guess it is not bad, considering I get a raise every year and a 20% bonus every year also.



    I received no increase after passing.



    For most situations simply passing the CPA exam does not automatically result in a pay increase. Normally there is a one time bonus for passing the exam, but pay raises are more based on job specific performance and the overall performance of the firm. In our office raises are discussed at the end of each fiscal year (so normally in July sometime). If I were you I’d wait until your firm normally does promotions and raises and use the fact that you’ve passed the CPA exam as leverage but don’t automatically assume it means an annual pay increase. There are lots of factors and honestly, for raise purposes the firm is much more interested in your billable hours and realization because that directly impacts how much money you make for the firm.

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