Finance salary trends and what to expect in 2023
The post-Covid economic landscape is in flux. “Recession” seems to be the word on everybody’s lips, and businesses are planning to batten down the hatches. CFOs especially are feeling the heat and facing pressure to cut costs where possible.
But there’s good news out there for finance professionals: in times of economic uncertainty, finance roles are more important than ever. In fact, there is a current talent shortage in finance roles.
We collected data around finance salaries and other trends in finance that will hopefully help finance professionals. By shedding light on finance salaries around Europe, it will be easier to know where you stand compared to other roles.
Data collection with Figures
Figures, the all-in-one compensation platform, started collecting data around finance salaries in early 2021. As of December 2022, Figures had collected data from over 67,000 employees in more than 1,100 companies. Amongst those companies, about 15% are in the Fintech industry.
Since a majority of Figures customers are connected to their HRIS (Human Resource Information System), the employee's data remains fresh and reliable. Figure’s three major markets are France, the United Kingdom, and Germany.
We collected data on finance roles at all levels, and for both individual contributors and managers. The finance roles represented in the data span from junior to C-suite:
Finance salaries compared to other roles
High-level (manager, CFO) finance roles seem to be better paid than other, non-finance roles (+2% on average, +6% on median). This could be due to the amount of responsibility and strategic weight these top-level managers bear.
Individual contributors, or employees who do not have direct reports, are paid below average: based on median compensation, junior, intermediate and senior finance roles are paid 1% to 5% less than their "non-finance" counterparts.
Prediction for 2023
Finance roles are becoming more and more impactful, especially with the rise in inflation, cost of living, and mass layoffs in the business world. We suspect 2023 will be another volatile economic year for companies, leading to more pressure being put on CFOs to cut costs where necessary and make important strategic decisions that have long-lasting impacts.
Salary increases with company size
In the three regions represented in the data, C-level compensation seems to increase with company size, ranging from:
€110k for companies with 1-25 employees
€135k for companies with 26-50 employees
€173k for companies with 51-100 employees
€187k for companies exceeding 100 employees
CFO salaries follow the same pattern as above: CFO compensation increases along with the company’s size.
€102k for companies with 1-25 employees
€134k for companies with 26-50 employees
€161k for companies with 51-100 employees
€197k for companies with 100+ employees
Interestingly, CFOs in small companies earn almost 8% less than the average of other C-level employees at similar-sized companies.
Prediction for 2023
Whether it was pay transparency or inflation, compensation was at the forefront of many business-related conversations in 2022, and we think in 2023 compensation will become even more transparent.
As countries continue to mandate transparent pay scales on job descriptions, compensation is destined to be top of mind in 2023. Such measures are already underway, or have been approved but not yet implemented in several regions, including the EU.
It will be interesting to see what happens to salaries in C-level roles, as companies will soon be pushed to be more transparent when it comes to pay.
The gender pay gap: still present in finance salaries
Women are equally represented in finance roles, at 51%. This is higher than other industries, like the tech startup world, where women represent only 41% of the workforce.
But, much like in other fields, fewer women are present the higher up the company hierarchy you go. Gender parity is significantly less balanced as seniority increases: only 21% of finance C-levels and 33% of finance VPs are women.
Compared to the average, however, there are more women in senior positions in finance than in other fields. In any industry, women account for 17% of C-level positions and less than 30% of VP positions.
We’d like to point out that the unadjusted gender pay gap (comparing all compensation no matter the role or level) in finance roles is very high: women earn 30% less than men (see above). But the picture becomes more clear when we zoom into the details.
When adjusted, the pay gap shrinks, but is still higher than average.
Adjusting for the same job, level, and location, the gender pay gap rests at 4.3%. That’s twice the standard we usually observe; the adjusted pay gap is particularly pronounced in high-level roles. Women finance leaders (C-level and VP positions) earn 13% less than their male counterparts.
Prediction for 2023
In an ideal 2023, the percentage difference of female C-level vs. male C-level executives will continue evening out, as the non-C-level roles did in 2022. We predict that compensation transparency laws will impact how quickly the gender gap closes.
Finance roles and remote work
⚠️ At this time, Figures do not collect data about "part-time remote": our data set only distinguishes full-time remote workers from onsite workers.
About 6% of finance employees are fully remote, which is less than the European average of 10%. This could be due to old-fashioned ideas about who needs to be in the office, and whether or not finance teams’ tools are up to snuff when it comes to remote work. Without at least some digital tools, finance teams are forced to come to the office, rather than enjoy the flexibility that their non-finance colleagues are allowed.
Whatever the reason, finance team members do not seem to have the same rate of full remote work as other teams or fields.
Prediction for 2023
In 2022 we saw a big return to the office, but with one major change: working from home (hybrid work) was more encouraged than ever. In 2023 we see hybrid work continuing to grow in popularity.
Much like 2022, it looks like 2023 could very well be a turbulent year. Finance employees will have their work cut out for them.
Our predictions? CFOs and upper-level finance managers will see increased pressure from their company boards to cut costs and increase efficiency. We also predict that hybrid work conditions will become more acceptable in finance, leading to better employee retention.
We predict that transparency in finance salaries will increase, and that the gender pay gap will shrink even more thanks to this transparency. In fact, several countries and regions are putting laws in place that ensure salary transparency. Many of these laws go into effect soon, and HR leaders will play a large part in facilitating this change.
Finance employees, especially CFOs and high-level managers, bear a lot of decision-making and strategic responsibility in the best of times, and their workload only increases during difficult economic periods. Finance roles are more important than ever; and salary data will help empower employees.
It’s never been easier to get reliable real-time data to align your compensation decisions with the market. Get the latest trends and news on compensation on figures.hr.
Join CFO Connect!
CFO Connect is a global community of finance leaders. Gain access to exclusive events, connect with like-minded peers in a private Slack group, and receive curated content for finance professionals like you.Apply for free