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Happiness is being a CPA … and getting paid

Smile2 Happy, Pappy?

If you're a CPA, the answer is probably, "Heck, yeah!"

Really, what's not to like? "Joy," Leo Tolstoy once said, "can be real only if people look upon their life as a service." If that's true, a good CPA has to be among the most joyful folks around.

Now, we have proof.

A recent survey from found that accounting is the sixth happiest job in America. It follows only biotechnology, customer service, education, administration / clerical, and purchasing / procurement.

"The overwhelming results of this new data," writes Meghan Casserly for Forbes, "reveals that the key driver for work happiness in all employees does not come in the form of a paycheck, but in a person’s sense of accomplishment, their relationship with their peers and the feeling of personal control over day-to-day tasks."

Still, a little loose change doesn't hurt, does it? And according to Robert Half International's 2011 Salary Guide, CPAs in corporate finance should see a bit more in their paychecks this year.

Corporate finance jobs should see an average 3.1 percent increase in starting salaries this year, compared to 0.6 percent in 2010. Senior business analysts, financial analysts and tax accountants could see some of the biggest jumps in salary, according to the Guide.

And CFOs? According to the Journal of Accountancy's Connie Gentry, their starting salaries "are expected to increase this year from 1.8 percent (in companies under $50 million) to 3.3 percent (in companies with sales of $250 million to $500 million)."

Can you feel the love?

How about it, CPAs? How happy are you these days? What keeps you smiling at work?


Bill Sheridan