Why did the accountant bring a ladder to work during the busy season?
So they could climb their way out of the pile of paperwork on their desk.
As accounting professionals, we are all too familiar with the ebb and flow of the busy season. Working tirelessly for weeks or months on end to meet deadlines, only to be left exhausted and depleted come springtime.
According to a recent survey from FloQast, 99% of accountants reported feeling at least some level of burnout. It’s no surprise then that the busy season is closely followed by the quitting season.
Our leadership team understands the complexities of the issue which is why we’ve gathered some tips on how small to mid-sized accounting firms can ensure their employees stay committed, fulfilled, and satisfied with their roles during and after the dreaded busy season.
Prioritize Employee Wellbeing
Clients are undoubtedly crucial to any accounting firm’s success, but they are not the only key stakeholder. The importance of happy and motivated employees cannot be overstated, especially during challenging times. Balancing the needs of both clients and employees is vital for the long-term sustainability of any firm.
According to a study conducted by the World Health Organization (WHO), depression and anxiety disorders cost the global economy $1 trillion per year in lost productivity. However, companies that invest in mental health interventions can see a return on investment of up to 4.2 times.
Moreover, prioritizing wellbeing and mental health not only benefits employees but also the business. To promote mental health, accounting firms can provide employees with access to mental health resources such as counseling, therapy, and support groups. They can also encourage employees to take breaks and practice self-care during the workday. To encourage physical health, firms can provide resources for employees to stay physically healthy, such as virtual workout classes or ergonomic equipment for home offices.
Fostering a sense of community is also essential for employee wellbeing. Accounting firms can create virtual spaces for employees to connect, such as regular virtual coffee breaks or team-building activities. This can help combat isolation and promote a sense of belonging, leading to improved employee engagement and satisfaction.
In addition, firms can support work-life balance by providing flexibility with schedules and workload to accommodate employees’ personal responsibilities and needs. This can help reduce burnout and increase productivity, leading to better retention rates and improved job satisfaction.
Finally, providing opportunities for growth and development can help employees build skills and stay motivated during challenging times. Accounting firms can offer virtual training and development programs to help employees stay competitive and enhance their skill sets, leading to better job satisfaction and retention rates. Establishing a culture that not only acknowledges but also proactively promotes positive mental health is essential to the overall health of the firm.
Rightsizing Your Client Base
When it comes to your client base, often less is more as highlighted by the Pareto Principle or the “80/20 rule”. It states that approximately 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. In accounting terms, this means that roughly 80% of a firm’s revenue could be generated by 20% of its clients.
Understanding the Pareto principle can help companies focus their resources on the most critical areas, such as investing in top-performing clients, rather than spreading their resources thinly across all clients. The key benefit of rightsizing is that it refocuses efforts on core clients and creates the bandwidth to offer quality services, which in turn increases client satisfaction and retention.
Rightsizing helps create time and mind space for employees to do creative, fulfilling, and value-adding work instead of performing repetitive tasks. As a result, it enables firms to allocate their resources more effectively and optimize their profitability.
No one wants to be greeted by the dreaded “wheel of death”, especially not at 1 am in the dead of busy season after spending countless hours prepping a financial statement only to realize you forgot to hit…
CTRL employee burnout, SAVE your employees the gut-wrenching feeling we all know too well.
Outdated technology in the workplace can quickly sap enthusiasm and drive out even the most passionate Excel enthusiast. This explains why 67% of accountants preferred cloud-hosted accounting solutions over on-premise accounting software.
Leveraging technology can help employees eliminate tedious processes and repetitive tasks. Updating processes, tools, and programs may be an initial strain on resources, but it can ultimately pay off by boosting productivity and reducing employee burnout. In fact, businesses that switched to cloud-based accounting have experienced a 15% boost in revenue, according to Flexi.
Automation not only reduces manual paperwork but also leads to improved accuracy which is a critical factor amid intense competition where companies need to deliver results efficiently within tight time frames. 58% of accountants say automation improves efficiency and productivity, according to a study by Sage.
Upgrading to new technologies can help reduce employee burnout by automating workflow and reducing repetitive tasks thereby freeing up time for more complex work such as advisory services and strategic planning.
…Or you can stick to legacy systems, up to you. Just don’t forget to hit Ctrl+S.
Investing in People, Processes, and Technology
Employee burnout, outdated technology, and repetitive tasks are all issues that have plagued the accounting industry for far too long. It’s time employers take notice and start making meaningful changes to create better conditions in the workplace.
By investing in the right people, efficient processes, and advanced technology, firms can optimize the day-to-day workflow of their team. This optimization translates to more time for meaningful work, leading to improved employee morale, increased job satisfaction, and the retention of talented staff.