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The Dos and Don’ts of Salary Negotiation for Accounting Professionals

As an accounting professional, you’re supposed to know everything about money. But do you do everything you can to maximize your own financial well-being? Specifically, do you know the right way (and the wrong way) to conduct a salary negotiation?

If you think like your haggling skills need work, don’t feel bad. You’re not alone. One survey showed that nearly two-thirds of job seekers (64%) accept the first salary offer they get.

Salary negotiation is an art. To get the best compensation package, you need to know the Do’s and the Don’ts of the process. Here are a few things to keep in mind:

How to Best Negotiate Your Accounting Salary

Do Know Your Worth

When you hear an offer, how will you know it is fair? Research provides a crucial starting point. Understand the market value for your accounting skills. This will give you a quantitative baseline to judge an offer.

Do Master the Art of Communication

A negotiation is a kind of conversation. Communication skills come into play. You don’t just need a supportable position. In addition, you need to present it in a compelling way.

To get the highest offer possible, hone your pitch and stay reactive to what your HR contact is saying.

Do Talk to Others, Especially Other Accounting Professionals

Learn from experience. And not just always from your own.

Networking provides a great way to land a job. It also gives you an opportunity to profit from the mistakes and successes of others. Ask for negotiation war stories from the other accounting professionals in your web of contacts. You’ll get valuable tips on how to proceed.

Do Keep a Record of Discussions

Negotiations go back and forth. A lot of details can get lost in the shuffle — unless you write them down. Keep a record of your conversations. This way, you won’t miss an opportunity.

Don’t Give a Sob Story

You won’t get a higher salary because you have six kids or because your mom is sick. Sympathy is not a good negotiation tactic. You want to be respected (and fully compensated) for your talent and experience. To make sure this happens, keep your arguments in the professional realm.

Don’t Get Angry

You’ll lose the negotiation if you get sidetracked by emotion.

When asking for better compensation, you’ll inevitably have to defend your value. The other side will try to nitpick your track record and uncover reasons to pay you less. You can counter these. Just don’t get upset about the scrutiny.

Don’t Forget You Want to Work at This Company

People talk about burning bridges when they leave a company. Don’t burn the bridge headed in.

Ideally, you’ll want to work at this company in the near future — even if you are pushing for more money at the moment. Don’t sour your relationships with people in the firm by getting too aggressive in your negotiations.

Don’t Forget Non-Salary Compensation

Getting a higher salary might be impossible. The company might use an unbending formula to arrive at that number. But your base pay only covers a part of your total compensation.

Look for other ways to add value to your overall package. Consider things like additional vacation days or an education reimbursement. Even negotiating a quicker performance review can lead to accelerated raises.

Need Help Finding a Job that Pays What You Are Worth? Elby Professional Recruitment Can Help!

Salary negotiations can complicate the job-search process. It helps when you know you’re perfectly suited for a position. A top recruiter, like Elby Professional Services, can locate the perfect opportunities to maximize your accounting career.

Contact Elby today to find the ideal accounting job for you.