As an accountant, you’re likely very busy. Many accountants work long hours during their busy season, and it can be hard to find time for anything else. This blog aims to help accountants balance their work life with their social life by providing insight on typical working hours for an accounting job, what an accountant does, and how to balance an accountant’s schedule.
What are an accountant’s working hour options?
It’s a common misconception that accountants have all the time in the world, says Auditox Accountancy! The reality is that they are busy people who need to balance their work with their personal lives.
Fixed-hour schedules or contract hours
Many accountants are employed by businesses, and will work standard business working hours. This is some form of a 9-5, adding up to around 40 hours a week depending on lunch-breaks. So, public accountants typically enjoy evenings and weekends off, with holiday days.
With an accounting degree, a full time job offering 40 hours a week is possible, and this offers spare time. Like all people, accountants love a life outside of work, and if you have other interests with interesting things, this schedule is of benefit.
Do you have your own business in the accounting field?
Certified public accountants often find they work longer hours carrying out accountancy work for other firms. If you carry out accounting work for clients, such as preparing financial statements and tax returns, you have to work hard each week to earn money.
Many companies choose not to hire staff for this work, turning to freelance accountants as opposed to hiring public accountants.
Not all freelance accountants work extra hours, some have fixed hours they work, but many find to further their career and generate sufficient income, they work additional hours a week.
Most accountants work overtime hours
Overtime is common in an accountancy job – it can range from 10-40 hours a week on average. Many firms expect accountants to work overtime. This pays more money, but if it prevents job satisfaction, is more money worth it? Accounting work is important, and a good accounting department is essential for firms, but working crazy hours causes many people to feel unhappy and leads to burn out.
As with all sectors, the accounting field is littered with public accountants working overtime. How much leverage you have in your organisation can impact how many hours you work, and this impacts job satisfaction.
Annual tax season
It is time of the year again when accountants are busy filing returns and advising their clients on the best way to pay their taxes. This process can take a lot of time, effort and stress – making it important to get good advice as early as possible. During annual tax season, accountants work crazy hours – often up to 16 hours a day!
Finding work life balance during tax season
As a tax professional, finding a work-life balance is important to succeed in your personal and professional life. Figuring out how much time you have is the first step in this process. It’s also important to be realistic about the amount of time you have available to work. Tax season is really busy for accountants, and achieving a work life balance can be difficult.
The finance sector is well paid, which is great at the month end, but equally, you might spend a lot of time in the office, using the skills you earned in school, college or University. During your training, you probably didn’t imagine 50 or 60 hour weeks in the office working for a firm of accountants. Yet, this is the common career path or job for many accountants, regardless of how well their training went.
This is a profession without a normal day or straightforward answer for a career
Some accountants are turning to remote working to make their lives easier, removing time wasted on a commute, but the reality is that there is no ‘normal’ day anymore. As technology changes, so too does the way tax professionals work, especially when liaising with clients or a company.
Think about what you want your schedule to be like
There is no doubt that accountants are in high demand these days. However, before embarking on this career path, it is important to have realistic expectations about your day-to-day schedule, and what free time you need.
Your accountant skills are in demand, and the more experience you have, the more jobs are on offer, and the higher the pay per hours you work. If all you need from a job is money, accountants are in the ideal industry.
Make enough time for you as a person with hobbies and interests
However, there is stress in this industry, and many accountants find they work evenings and weekends with their job. With regular deadlines, you might need to work long hours, especially when tax returns are due in a few days or a week. Your skills are in high demand, and even though you are paid accordingly, there is a lot of stress involved with this career and job.
If you don’t like long hours, find accountants jobs with fixed hours or contract hours.
Finding free time with your career is a dream for many people, not just accountants, but accounting and finance is a sector where most people struggle to find enough free time. Your career is built of many components, not just how much you earn per hour or how many jobs make your work and career.
You need the right finance environment and the right firm to enjoy free time
As a person, you need a good working environment, and you need to manage your time. The accounting profession isn’t always the best environment, not with demanding employers and clients. However, it is well paid, and with the right firm, being an accountant is a brilliant career.
When you know what matters to you, you can decide the right job, path or firm for your career.