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By my last question, suppose I've been doing amazing, and it's time to ask for a raise. As someone in the accounting department handling multiple confidential financial reports, I not only see people's current salaries (including those in a higher position than me), but also the company's overall financial statements.

Now obviously it'd be unethical for me to go into a salary negotiation with a "I know what everyone makes, I want to make this much, and here is where I can show the company has the money to pay for it." It's not that I'm not supposed to know this information, but rather how to ignore it during a salary negotiation where it's the main focus. Most declined raises and such are in my experience caused by poor performance, or lack of company money, and I'm not sure how to go about having this conversation with my manager. There is a difference in the conversation when I have the information that $25k is on the table versus having no idea.

How do I approach a conversation about salary with my manager when I know well and handle all of the financial information for the company?

Do I ask for the whole lot, do I ask for a portion? Do I make a judgement decision and say I'll get x% of it? It's a bit more complex than just "gimme a raise!".

Note: I do not handle financial information in a way the CFO does, I handle them in an analytical and reporting capacity.

  • @DarkCygnus I looked at that question, but it doesn't take into consideration knowing the financials of the company. It's a different coversation if I make $50k a year and the company can afford and has allocated $75k for that position, but obviously asking for the exact number would be a bad way to go. – Anoplexian - Reinstate Monica Nov 3 '17 at 16:15
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    Why do you think knowing about the financials will make any difference in the way you should approach a raise, or talk to your boss about it? In any case, you now have an advantage over other people asking for raise, as you now have a number to aim (or surpass) for. – DarkCygnus Nov 3 '17 at 16:20
  • Assuming you know they have more than enough money to give you a raise, if they use the argument that they don't, you know they are lying to you, but that's not to say you can do much about it. Not that you (presumably) have the information about individual contributions made to justify each salary or the company's future plans, which are extremely relevant. – Dukeling Nov 3 '17 at 16:52
  • Ethics aside, what makes you think that this financial information isn't a matter of public record? Are you really trying to ask "Can I ask for a (higher) raise when the company is doing well?"? – Lilienthal Nov 3 '17 at 18:33
  • @Lilienthal No, it's not information widely available. Information such as specific salary information of other employees, general ledger information, and other (less relevant) financial information. The question is more along the lines of "I have information that may affect salary negotiations, how can I ignore/leverage/react to information I have collected in my day-to-day. I know that I'm an indispensable asset (I have been told so, it's not my words), so if I ask for a raise, how can I not make it seem like intentional extortion? – Anoplexian - Reinstate Monica Nov 3 '17 at 18:39
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I'm pretty sure that your manager won't appreciate you waving company confidential data at him in order to get a raise.

If you want a raise, you need to do that the same way as everyone else does in the company.

Technically, you're using inside information to force the situation and that never ends well.

Forget the data, and work off your own back to get that raise.

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    Yes, knowing about the financials should not change the way you approach your boss about a raise. – DarkCygnus Nov 3 '17 at 16:22
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    I won't be waving the information around; I stated as much in the question. Do I shoot for the max number I know they can afford without waving it around? What are some rules of thumb when looking to ask for this when I know that (with my example prior) I could get another 25k. Just ask for the farm? – Anoplexian - Reinstate Monica Nov 3 '17 at 16:32
  • @Anoplexian if you shoot for that number chances are your boss will negotiate it down. That is why you should probably just "forget" the data and try for your boss to offer a number, or if is up to you to say it you now know for what to aim (I would bit a bit higher in case boss negotiates it down). – DarkCygnus Nov 3 '17 at 16:39
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    What your company pays you has nothing to do with what they can afford and everything to do with how much they are willing to part with to retain your services. Knowing the company financials does not change this. Your manager doesn't care that they can afford to give you a raise; focus on why you deserve a raise, just like everyone else. – Seth R Nov 3 '17 at 18:11

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