Many people find an accounting career rewarding, both personally and financially. However, those rewards come with hard work. Accounting careers can have long hours at times, and you need to know how to best manage your schedule and maintain a work–life balance in order to deal with hectic times.
Usually, tax preparation season, which lasts from January until mid-April, is the busiest time of year for accountants. Schedules tend to be more flexible during the other months of the year, but many accountants are on call for heavy workloads and long hours during tax season.
Many firms are adapting flexible policies in order to better accommodate their employees during busy and stressful times. With the advent of more and more technology, accountants are becoming increasingly able to work remotely. This practice is popular in many accounting firms, as it leads to happier and sometimes more productive employees. That way, you have more control over the aspects of your schedule that cannot always revolve around work, such as familial obligations.
Often, accounting firms may not grant time off during the busy season but are willing to be flexible with regard to time off taken during other times of year. For many employees, this flexibility increases their willingness to work long hours.
Alongside flexibility in the workplace, good organizational skills will help you get through the busy season. Plan ahead not only for what you need to accomplish, but also demarcate when you plan to accomplish each specific task. That way, you will be sure that everything is accounted for and on time. When you are particularly short on time, do not feel as though you have to respond to every communication immediately, as this can slow your progress down. Instead, resolve to check your e-mail and voice mail every thirty minutes or on the hour in order to avoid getting distracted every time something shows up in your in-box.
Take advantage of all the resources you can find to make your busy schedule manageable. Utilize any helpful suggestions given by your firm, and spend time outside of the busy season catching up on the latest accounting technology and news so that you will be up to date on everything you need to know when it is tax time.