Quality of Life vs Quantity of Wealth

/ Accounting, Business and Economy

Author: Henry Ejdelbaum

Tags: Accountants, practice, self-employed, Work/Life Balance

Work/Life balance is an eternal question for accountants running their own practice.

Do you want to focus on your work and client numbers, bringing in a higher turnover for your practice and giving you more financial freedom? Or do you want to have enough work for you to get by, bringing in less money but benefiting from more flexibility and free time whilst avoiding added stress?

There’s no right answer to the question, and the balance to be struck is one that only you can decide.

We recently saw the results of a survey in Taxation Magazine that shed some light on common views across practicing accountants and their priorities. The survey asked accountants how important they considered various factors when it came to running their practice – Quality of Life, Work Satisfaction, Profitability, Client Satisfaction and the Reputation of their business.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the two top priorities were Client Satisfaction and Reputation, with ~40% of those surveyed marking them as such – a fair focus for a directly client-interacting business. Intriguingly, Work Satisfaction and Profitability had the lowest percentage of “Top priority” rankings, at around ~15% each. This suggests that most accountants will choose making their clients happy over their practice or their happiness.

When you look at the next level down – “very important”, the statistics almost flip. At this level, over 60% of the surveyed marked down Work Satisfaction as a very important priority, and nearly 50% put profitability. With Quality of Life also selected by 45% of accountants, this suggests a fairly even split between accountants who are working for money, and accountants who are working for satisfaction – or perhaps a significant overlap of accountants who find working for money satisfying!

As we said, only you can decide how your own work/life balance. However, it’s interesting to see that despite money and satisfaction being high priorities for many accountants, most are willing to sacrifice them for clients. What are your priorities?

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