Tuesday, October 07, 2008

IIA Salary Survey Predicts 3.8% Bump

A whopping 91 percent of employers surveyed last May by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) planned to increase internal auditor salaries in 2009. And 69 percent said they were going to increase salaries for 100 percent of their audit staff.

However, there’s a catch. The study also found that the average percentage of increase is beginning to wane. Audit staff increases for the next year will be 0.5 percent lower, with increases averaging 3.8 percent, rather than the 4.3 percent average granted to audit employee during the past 12 months.

“The frenzied period spawned by the reporting and compliance requirements of the U.S. Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 – when many employers felt compelled to pay whatever the market would bear for internal audit skills – is waning and being overshadowed by the current economic uncertainty,” said Harrington & Associations Principal Consultant Judith Harrington, CCP. “Now that the legislation is a fact of life and they have aligned systems and staffing to ensure their ability to comply, it appears that those in the internal audit profession are no longer being singled out as the target of recruiters as they once were.”

Conducted by Harrington & Associates Inc. for IIA’s Global Audit Information Network (GAIN), the study estimates Certified Internal Auditors (CIA) earn anywhere from $58,250 (plain auditor) to $124,000 (chief audit executive).

In looking at certification, the survey found just what one would expect. The CIA paid off most directly for those in audit, while the Certified Information Systems Auditor boosted those in IT/Audit positions. Those with information technology expertise, on average, out-earned plain auditors.

Not surprisingly, the larger the firm, the higher the salary of its auditors. Companies with annual revenues of more than $1 million paid internal auditors, on average, $12,000 more than smaller organizations.

Which sectors are looking good? “Public accounting firms reported some of the highest increases during the past 12 months, with raises averaging 6 percent,” the survey said. “The consulting sector posted similar rates of increases for internal auditors for the last year at 6.3 percent – nearly double what other employees in that sector received. And internal auditors working in the advertising industry are expected to enjoy average increases of 7 percent next year.”

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