How much should I pay my accounting staffs? Am I paying too much for my accounting staffs? I pay them such a high salary and yet I still do not get what I want, why?
These are some of the common questions that I get as Accountant and Corporate Advisor. To most owners of SMEs, accounting functions are considered their black box - it seems to be working but not sure exactly how or why. Worst, the black box may no longer functioning but there are no tell-tale signs until too late (e.g. running short of cash, selling below costs etc).
This article will not deal into the details of accounting functions and its core responsibilities. It will focus on providing a summary of the salary range of accounting staffs vis-a-vis their skills, minimum qualification and ideal candidate for the position. The exact amount will be dependent on industry and location.
This salary range is for staffs based in Kuala Lumpur, work in SMEs and based on current situation of 2013.
Remember, you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. You certainly do not want monkeys to manage your money.
Accounts Clerk (RM1,500 - RM2,500 per month)
Qualification: Minimum SPM / O Level (STPM / A Level will be added advantage)
Skills required: Basic data entry and filing skills
Ideal candidate: Meticulous, follow rules strictly and happy with relatively routine tasks
Accounts Executive (RM3,000 - RM6,000 per month)
Qualification: Minimum diploma in accounting (defined as at least one year equivalent full time study)
Skills required: Must be able to prepare full sets of accounts on monthly basis (producing accounts on yearly basis is NOT acceptable)
Ideal candidate: Good knowledge of accounting entries, able to do administrative tasks such as banking, simple tax computation etc and have good Excel skills.
Accounts Manager / Finance Manager / Accountant (RM6,000 - RM12,000 per month)
Qualification: Must be member of Malaysian Institute of Accountants
Skills required: Analytical skills, able to prepare management reports such costing, budgeting etc
Ideal candidate: Able to supervise accounting staffs, thinker instead of doer, able to provide advice on improvement instead of merely following rules and legacy, excellent Excel skills (defined as know how to use Excel pivot table).
Note 1: For most SMEs, this is the most senior position in accounting.
Note 2: The CFO position will be suitable for those beyond SME size. CFO is usually a strategic thinker and not involved in the day-to-day operations of the accounts department. It is usually the next in line (after the CEO). Salary ranged from RM15,000 to RM25,000 per month plus perks.
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