Am I underpaid (FP&A)?

Hey all, I feel as though there's the chance I'm underpaid in comparison to my peers. Thus, I would appreciate WSO's feedback on the matter.

To summarize at a high level:

High(est) COL Region

7 years total experience

5 years total "finance" experience: 3 years BB middle office ops (past), 2 years FP&A (current)

Base Salary: $83K Bonus Target: 10-12%

Title: Analyst (this might be the driving issue, my company has a very weird hierarchy where they rarely if ever higher direct from undergrads so there are people in their late 20's with prestigious MBA's at Analyst and Senior Analyst level)

Thoughts and advice?

I like the company and my management quite a bit but due to my experience and age I feel like my hand will eventually be forced.

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Comments (18)

Best Response
Sep 25, 2017 - 12:52pm

Do you have another moniker on here? I've either discussed this with you via PM or someone in a very similar situation.

It's a tough case - at face value 7 years experience in presumably NYC, that is definitely underpaid. However, if it's viewed as 2 years of relevant experience and you're an analyst, that's pretty fair. These 2 (legitimate) points of view just show that your situation is unique and it depends upon perspective.

The reality is that you agreed to a position with that salary and that title. If you feel that your experiences are above that then test the market. There are a LOT of FP&A jobs out there and I get calls almost every day. If you have/spin a compelling story then you can try to get Mgr and $100k+.

If you want to chat more privately, feel free to PM me.

twitter: @CorpFin_Guy
  • 7
Sep 25, 2017 - 7:00pm
accountingbyday:

Do you have another moniker on here? I've either discussed this with you via PM or someone in a very similar situation.

It's a tough case - at face value 7 years experience in presumably NYC, that is definitely underpaid. However, if it's viewed as 2 years of relevant experience and you're an analyst, that's pretty fair. These 2 (legitimate) points of view just show that your situation is unique and it depends upon perspective.

The reality is that you agreed to a position with that salary and that title. If you feel that your experiences are above that then test the market. There are a LOT of FP&A jobs out there and I get calls almost every day. If you have/spin a compelling story then you can try to get Mgr and $100k+.

If you want to chat more privately, feel free to PM me.

thank you for the feedback.

i agree it is relatively unique. 2 completely different roles and skillsets. however the experience is still strong.

imho, it shouldn't necessarily have been a start at ground floor thing (which i kind of did) when i made the lateral transition but i was so desperate to get out of middle office that i made the move.

would you agree, however, that in order to play catch up i will have to jump around at least once or twice?

Sep 26, 2017 - 10:44am

You know your company's dynamics better than anyone on this board. I'd say this it's unlikely that your company will all of the sudden realize you have another 5 years of experience and give you a $20k raise. However, if your company is one that has a lot of opportunities and rewards hard work then you might be able to make it up over the next few years.

Jumping around can certainly lead to more significant pay increases and (sometimes) promotions in title. That being said, unless you're just chasing short-term dollars you're going to have to work your way up a promotion or two internally at a company. You just need to decide if your current company will be the place you earn a few promotions.

Like you said, you started at the ground floor at your current company. Unfortunately, that's now your bar for other companies as well. It'll be hard to convince other companies that you should be a $120k Manager. That being said, there are always a lot of open FP&A positions, there could easily be one thats a better fit for you.

twitter: @CorpFin_Guy
  • 5
Sep 25, 2017 - 10:12pm

I am a FP&A manager in a mid-cost city and it sounds like you are slightly underpaid. To echo the points above though, it really depends on your skillset and how relevant the prior experience is. You could probably jump ship and make $100k with a 20-25% bonus in a year or two (if not sooner). I doubt your current company will suddenly reset your pay, regardless of what you do.

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Oct 10, 2017 - 5:23pm

Before you jump ship, you should have a candid conversation with your boss and bring up your concerns. Get specific feedback on what you need to do to get to the next level and have a formalized plan to do so that both you and your boss agree on. Simply saying that you're underpaid or under-titled solely based on your years of experience is poor rationale, and excludes your performance, attitude, and internal network. You accepted the role as an Analyst and, in doing so, you are compensated accordingly. Given your non-traditional background with 2 year non-finance, 3 year BB ops, 2 years FP&A, I'd recommend that you give serious thought about what company/group you really want to be in and don't sacrifice your long-term goals for short term comp. If you like the company, people, and industry where you're currently at, my advice is bust your ass and figure out a way to get promoted.

  • 6
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Oct 17, 2017 - 6:13pm

Any idea what salary the MBAs come in at? I have a hard time believing an M7 would take a job below $100k base, and after 2 years I think you can make a push for senior analyst potentially.

Oct 19, 2017 - 11:13pm

i am also in highest COL region and make around the same as you $92K (including bonus), my base salary is even lower than yours, and i'm SFA. i know for a fact I am underpaid compared to my coworkers.

its difficult not to be stew over, but i try to keep my head up and keep applying for other jobs. Thats about the only way to get a raise.

Mar 9, 2018 - 12:51pm

Yeah, I'm at a tech start-up so they can't stretch as much, but I believe equity and potential raise will come after a 6 month review. Will report back.

Additional background, I have about 4.5 years of experience coming from a FDD and Investment Banking (M&A) background.

Feb 12, 2018 - 5:26pm

From an experience standpoint (5 years of finance experience and 7 years total experience), you are definitely underpaid However, from a title standpoint, I wouldn't say you are so much underpaid making $90K+ as an"analyst".

There are plenty SFA positions out there and I think, given your experience, you can easily get a SFA position making over $100K all-in. To be honest, it will be a bit harder, but I think you should seriously consider applying for manager roles as well. Some smaller firm's may take that chance on you. Not much downside to it if you ask me.

Feb 16, 2018 - 1:48pm

What would a future employer in general (could be future corporate or business unit fp&a role) expect an Fp&a analyst with 2-3 years experience to be able to do? Thinking about jumping ship but want to know what other analysts are exposed to within 2-3 years of being in Fp&a.

Jun 7, 2018 - 8:36pm

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