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Financial Reporting

The Difference Between Finance and Accounting: Salaries

There’s a wide salary range in the fields of both finance and accounting. Both fields have strong growth prospects between now and 2024, as projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Let’s take a look at a few examples of salaries and growth prospects.

According to the BLS, the median pay for a Financial Analyst in 2014 was $78,620 per year, $37.80 per hour. Between 2014 and 2024, the number of Financial Analyst jobs is projected to grow by 12%, a faster-than-average growth rate.

Accountants and Auditors have a median pay of $65,940 per year, $31.70 per hour. The number of jobs is projected to increase by 11% between 2014 and 2024, which is also an above-average growth rate.

Let’s take a look at an example on the lower end of the scale. According to the BLS, the median pay for Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks in 2014 was $36,430 per year, $17.51 per hour. The number of jobs is projected to decline by 8% between 2014 and 2024. As you can see, the field of accounting has both high-salary, high-growth jobs and lower-salary, negative-growth jobs.

Salaries in finance tend to be high, but there are exceptions. One example is fundraisers. The median pay for fundraisers is $52,430 per year, $25.21 per hour. However, the job outlook is for 9% growth between 2014 and 2024, still above average. The BLS puts fundraisers in the “Business and Financial” category, but many fundraisers don’t have a finance degree. (That may be one of the reasons for the lower pay).

Bottom Line

The Difference Between Accounting and Finance

If you work in accounting your recording and reporting of financial transactions will support the work of the finance team. Likewise, if you’re in finance you’re depending on the clear and accurate work of the folks in accounting. Both fields require a high level of skill, education and comfort with quantitative analysis. And (with luck and hard work on your side) both have the potential to provide challenging work that’s well