Paycheck Peekaboo

Forget what the millionaire next door makes. How much money does that guy in the finance department pull in every month?

A new compensation survey offers a peek at the pay stubs of those who toil daily over the nickels and dimes of companies big and small. According to the Association for Financial Professionals (AFP), the average salary of those in the field -- factoring everyone from the CFO to the cash manager -- is $96,000. That includes the industry-average 3.6% raise awarded in 2004. (That's only a smidge -- .1% -- more than what the rest of us got after our annual reviews.)

Obviously, the higher-ups on the organizational chart earn more than their reportees. For example, CFOs earn an average total compensation of $211,500 compared with $126,900 for the director of treasury/finance and $64,100 by the cash manager. Bonuses can make up a big portion of a financial professional's compensation. The average bonus earned by directors of treasury/finance, for instance, is $26,100 -- a nice topper on that $109,800 base pay.

There are a few factors that can make a big difference in take-home pay.

Working for Uncle Sam: Working for a nonprofit or the government can nearly halve the salary of a CFO. Utility industry CFOs averaged $260,000 in total compensation compared to $131,000 made by their public-service counterparts.

Company size: Companies with revenues greater than $1 billion pay financial professionals $44,000 more than their peers at companies with revenues less than $100 million. Also, public companies compensate their finance department staff higher ($29,100) than privately held ones.

Profitability: Half of the companies surveyed by AFP base bonuses on company profits. Executives, on average, receive bonuses equal to 33% of their base salary.

Amount of education: Professional acronyms spell m-o-n-e-y. Treasurers with a master's degree in business outearn their non-MBA co-workers by more than $25,000. Controllers with CPAs earn an average of $130,000 (including bonuses) compared to $120,000 earned by their peers who are not certified public accountants.

Still in the mood for some salary snooping? Here's a report on what the average CEO rakes in compared with the rank-and-file employees.

For advice on negotiating a better salary or bonus, Ask the Headhunter.

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