The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 was designed to increase corporate compliance and accounting transparency. But it has also created whole new departments of auditors and compliance experts, which have reduced the supply of experienced staff accountants and financial analysts. They're the ones who handle companies' general ledger account management, budget development and financial statement preparation.
Staff accountants with two to four years' experience might earn $50,000 to $70,000 in a major metropolitan area, or between $40,000 and $50,000 in more suburban areas.
Financial analysts can earn between $75,000 and $100,000 in big cities, or between $55,000 and $75,000 elsewhere.