Bay Area Financial Executives Increase Hiring Plans

Annual Hiring Survey by Armanino McKenna Indicates Base Salaries Likely to Increase and Most Workers to be Paid Bonuses in 2011

Aug 09, 2011, 13:00 ET from Armanino McKenna

SAN RAMON, Calif., Aug. 9, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Despite bad economic news emanating from Washington D.C. and Wall Street, Bay Area financial executives say they will increase hiring over the coming year, according to an annual hiring and compensation survey conducted by Armanino McKenna LLP (, the largest California-based accounting and business consulting firm.

Sixty percent of Bay Area Financial Executives say they expect to hire new employees in the next 12 months — a significant increase over 2010 when less than 37 percent of decision makers said they would hire.

"Last year, 77 percent of our survey participants said hiring was flat," says Julia Holian, director of Executive Search at Armanino McKenna. "This year, 45 percent of financial executives have increased hiring in the first half of the year and 60 percent expect to hire more people by year end, so, plans for local hiring appear to be on the upswing."

Nearly three-quarters of participants prefer to directly hire finance professionals to their staff rather than bring people in on a temporary or temporary-to-hire basis, demonstrating that finance organizations are seeking to grow their staffs and want fully engaged and committed talent on their teams.

In narrative comments from the survey, hiring managers said they are experiencing increases in transactional work, compelling them to replace people who have moved on in order to keep up with the demands of increasing workloads. Survey results indicate that staff, senior and manager level hiring is most in demand and that budget and hiring approvals are increasing in accounting and finance departments.

The survey findings also indicate increased optimism among Bay Area job seekers. For example, 56.5 percent of job seekers feel the hiring market is getting better and nearly the same percentage rated their optimism for hiring as at least a 7 on a scale of 10. Among hiring managers, job satisfaction is high with about 42 percent rating their own job satisfaction as at least an 8 on a scale of 10.

"While companies are indeed stepping up hiring, they also said they're looking very carefully at the talent on their teams and evaluating whether or not they have the right people going forward," Holian says. "That means it's important for employees to be aware of their performance, ask for feedback from their managers, and do what it takes to prove their value to the company."

Compensation: Small raises, but renewed focus on bonuses

In the realm of compensation, participants indicated that:

  • salaries have remained relatively unchanged in the past year
  • most finance professionals will likely see a raise of 3-4 percent or greater this year
  • nearly two-thirds feel they are paid at, or above, the market average
  • more than 80 percent of hiring managers will receive a bonus this year, whereas last year only 56 percent received bonuses

Finding Top Talent – Social Media's Impact

LinkedIn is viewed as the "go-to" source for recruiters and job hunters in the finance arena while Twitter and Facebook are slowly building momentum for finding jobs and potential candidates, according to the Armanino survey.

Both financial hiring managers and job seekers agreed that old school word-of-mouth, personal relationships and networking contacts still work best for making the right connections.  Says Holian, "In accounting and finance, it's still a matter of who you know."

About the Survey

The 2011 Bay Area Financial Compensation and Hiring Survey conducted by Armanino McKenna included 160 Bay Area CFOs, VPs, Controllers and other financial hiring executives from a broad spectrum of business categories, including technology, healthcare, manufacturing, retail, financial services, education and construction. Participating companies ranged from just a few million dollars in annual revenue to more than $1 billion, and included private, publicly held, investor-backed and nonprofit organizations.

The full report of the survey results can be downloaded by filling out the request form available at A webinar on the survey led by Holian can be viewed at


Lori Colvin

Curt Olsen

Armanino McKenna

AMF Media Group



About Armanino McKenna LLP

The Executive Search practice at Armanino McKenna leverages the experience, knowledge and internal network of the firm to recruit and place senior-level finance executives throughout the Bay Area. Armanino McKenna stands out in the profession by offering this value-added service as part of its consulting offerings. 

Armanino McKenna is the largest California-based CPA firm with 300 employees. It is a member firm in Moore Stephens International Limited, a global association of accounting and consulting firms in 98 countries. Armanino McKenna offers a comprehensive package of services from audits and reviews, to tax planning and preparation, SOX compliance, financial/IT staffing, IT software and service, valuations and consulting. The company has offices in San Ramon, San Francisco and San Jose, CA; Portland, OR; and Seattle, WA offices.

SOURCE Armanino McKenna