Accounting work life balance: 7 Tactics for success

Accounting can be a hectic profession where you must constantly work for clients and meet their requirements. In this way, accountants often get trapped into working for longer hours and ignoring things they love to do. 

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Like any profession, accountants also need a healthy work-life balance to improve their productivity and offer better results to clients. This guide will provide 7 strategies for improving accounting firms‘ work-life balance. 

Table of contents 

Why do accountants struggle with accounting work-life balance?

The definition of a good work-life balance differs from person to person.

While some believe they have a proper work-life balance by working 80 hours a week, others may not say the same, even with 30 hours a week. Several other accountants are mixing their personal and professional lives for work-life balance. 

The best way to manage a healthy work-life balance is to spend a good amount of time on things you love to do. 

You haven’t achieved a proper work-life balance if you aren’t getting time for them. 

Accounting firms have struggled to balance work and life for a long time for multiple reasons. Some of these are:

  • Running an accounting firm is stressful as you deal with people’s money. You have multiple deadlines throughout the year, which causes stress. 
  • During the busy season, this stress increases, and accountants need to work crazy hours.
  • Poor job planning, prioritising, and strategising make people overwork many times, causing stress and depression. 

Top 7 ways to improve work-life balance in accounting

Here are 7 strategies that can help you improve work-life balance in your accounting firm.

1. Engage in capacity planning 

An accounting firm can save themselves from working crazy hours with proper capacity planning. For that, you need to assign a time forecast to each task, enter each expert’s weekly capacity, and generate a report to compare forecasted time requirements to available capacity. 

This report will help you understand the work pressure on each individual. If someone is already overstuffed with work, you can share it with another expert or hire a new professional. It eliminates overwork and creates a positive impact on your employees. 

2. Establish strong work-personal boundaries

There must be a strong boundary between your professional and personal life. Make sure you have fixed working hours, and restrict doing business work during your personal time. 

Set specific time slots to engage in different activities that help you relax and improve mental well-being. For example, practice meditation, fulfil your hobbies, and perform physical exercises regularly. The physical and mental health of an accountant is important for handling their work-related stress.

3. Efficient delegation and outsourcing 

You can choose to outsource some of your tasks to reputed third-party agencies or individuals. For example, payroll processing, tax preparation, and audit support. These tasks may be the ones that you don’t prefer to do, but losing clients can harm your firm’s reputation. Outsourcing some of your tasks helps streamline operational processes, reducing administrative burden, and allows you to focus on essential responsibilities. 

Otherwise, you must focus on hiring more professionals in your business if the amount of tasks in your firm is overstressing the present capacity. Delegating tasks between multiple people improves their overall job performance and allows your firm to meet client requirements efficiently.

4. Manage time efficiently and embrace technology 

Time management in accounting form is essential for enhancing overall productivity. You must prioritise tasks, make comprehensive to-do lists, and use technology to automate repetitive and time-consuming processes. 

Technology helps fulfil multiple functions like record keeping, preparing financial statements, assisting in tax preparation, reconciling accounts, etc. This saves time for your employees to focus only on core activities and use their free time for personal development. 

5. Live by the 80/20 rule

You may get trapped in different tasks and activities as an accounting firm owner. But you must step back and see how important that activity is. Will it help your firm move forward? Is it something that you must prioritise? Will it give you the healthy work-life balance you need?

If most of your activities in the accounting firm generate little results, you can avoid them. Put your effort into tasks that are essential for your firm and cut the other functions out. This will save you ample time, ensure a flexible work arrangement, and foster a positive work environment.

6. Learn to say “No”

Sometimes, it is essential to say “No” to create balance in your life and focus on doing tasks you are passionate about. You must establish your roadmap with 90-day priorities, and anything that doesn’t fit your roadmap should be ignored. 

As a firm owner, your inbox might be full of client messages asking for time here and there. If you spend time in any area that isn’t helping you fulfil your priorities within the 90-day road map, you must politely say “no”.

7. Change your perspective 

For several accounting firm owners, prioritising work-life balance makes them feel guilty about being selfish or irresponsible. You must change this perspective and believe in doing something more productive. Do only the tasks you enjoy, like if you hate doing an audit, stop offering audit services in your firm. 

A part of ensuring a healthy work-life balance is spending time in the areas you love and are passionate about. Otherwise, it will make you feel measurable during the busy season. 

Similarly, you must work with clients you love and avoid others who can drive you crazy. Stop adding long hours per week to pleasing unreasonable clients and putting excess stress on your life. 

Consider living a balanced life as an investment towards your mental and physical health, happiness, and the future of the firm.

Hire an Accountants

Work with UK-based Experts for tax, audit, accounting, payroll, & EIS/ SEIS needs.

Have a question? Call us on
0203 983 8100
Monday to Friday 9am – 4:30pm

Final thoughts!

These 7 strategies will help you gain a healthy work-life balance. You must learn how to separate your professional and personal life, ensure good work arrangements, prioritise tasks essential for your firm, and adopt healthy business practices. Mental health for accountants is equally important as their physical well-being in delivering the best results.