5 Ways to Enable Flexible Work Arrangements in the Accounting World

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Flexible Work Arrangements

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Flexible work arrangements, more commonly known as Flexi-Work, have become a cornerstone of modern workplace dynamics, offering professionals greater autonomy and work-life balance. When it comes to numbers, a whopping 95% of employees express a preference for a remote work setup, be it a hybrid model or a fully remote arrangement [1].

In the world of accounting, where traditionally rigid structures have prevailed, the adoption of flexible work arrangements is gaining momentum. This trend reflects the evolving needs and expectations of both accountancy firms and individual accountants.

Flexible Work Arrangements in Accounting

Flexible work arrangements in the accounting world include various strategies aimed at providing employees with more control over when, where, and how they work. These arrangements, ranging from remote work options to part-time schedules, empower accountants to tailor their work environment to their individual needs. According to a Gallup survey, eight out of ten individuals are currently engaged in hybrid or remote work setups [2].

For accounting firms, embracing flexibility fosters a culture of trust and empowerment within their organizations, which in turn enhances employee morale and loyalty. By aligning work schedules with personal obligations, accountants can experience reduced stress levels and improved mental well-being, ultimately leading to heightened productivity and job satisfaction.

5 Flexible Work Arrangements for Accounting Firms

Now that we’ve covered what flexible working means to the accounting industry, let us look at 5 ways accounting firms can get the best out of their employees by offering them flexible working arrangements.

1. Remote Work Options

Remote work has emerged as a viable option for accountants, enabling them to perform their duties from anywhere with an internet connection. A study conducted by FlexJobs revealed that 51% of working professionals are inclined towards opting for a fully remote job, while 46% express a preference for a hybrid work arrangement [3].

From the perspective of accounting professionals, remote work offers a significant advantage in achieving work-life balance. It eliminates the need for daily commutes, saving valuable time and reducing stress associated with traffic and transportation. 

Remote work allows accountants to create a workspace tailored to their preferences, whether it’s a home office or a cozy corner in a coffee shop. By providing the flexibility to choose where they work, accountants can better integrate work into their lives, leading to improved productivity and satisfaction.

Action Points

  • Implement cloud-based accounting software to facilitate remote access to work-related data.
  • Establish clear communication protocols to ensure seamless collaboration among team members.

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2. Flexible Scheduling

Flexible scheduling empowers accountants to customize their work hours according to their individual preferences and commitments. From an accountant’s perspective, flexible scheduling is essential for achieving optimal work-life balance. It allows professionals to accommodate personal obligations such as childcare, appointments, or hobbies without sacrificing productivity. 

Results from Deloitte’s marketplace survey on workplace flexibility highlight that 94 percent of respondents acknowledge the advantages of work flexibility, with the primary benefits being reduced stress and improved mental health, as well as a more seamless integration of work and personal life [4].

With flexible scheduling, accountants can align their work hours with their peak performance periods, ensuring they are at their most efficient when tackling complex tasks. This approach fosters a sense of autonomy and control over one’s time, leading to greater job satisfaction and well-being.

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Action Points

  • Adopt time-tracking tools to monitor productivity and ensure accountability.
  • Encourage open dialogue between managers and employees to negotiate flexible schedules that meet both organizational and individual needs.

3. Job Sharing

Job sharing involves two or more employees sharing the responsibilities of a single full-time position. From an accountant’s perspective, job sharing offers numerous benefits in achieving work-life balance. It allows professionals to divide the workload and collaborate closely with colleagues, fostering a sense of teamwork and support.

Job sharing provides flexibility in managing work hours, enabling accountants to balance their professional commitments with personal responsibilities such as caregiving or pursuing further education. This arrangement promotes knowledge sharing and continuity in operations, enhancing productivity and job satisfaction for all parties involved.

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Action Points

  • Develop comprehensive job-sharing agreements outlining roles, responsibilities, and communication protocols.
  • Foster a culture of collaboration and mutual support to facilitate seamless transitions between job-sharing partners.

4. Compressed Workweeks

Compressed workweeks condense the standard five-day workweek into fewer days, providing accountants with additional consecutive days off. For accounting professionals, compressed workweeks offer a unique opportunity to enhance work-life balance. To that end, the FlexJobs’ 2023 Work Insights Survey found that 96% of workers consider a remote or hybrid work setup would be most beneficial for their mental well-being [5].

By compressing workweeks, accountants can enjoy longer weekends or mid-week breaks, allowing them to recharge and pursue personal interests. This arrangement reduces burnout and fatigue, leading to increased job satisfaction and overall well-being. Compressed workweeks also promote efficiency and productivity, as accountants are motivated to complete tasks within a shorter timeframe, maximizing their time off.

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Action Points

  • Evaluate workload distribution to ensure equitable implementation of compressed workweeks.
  • Provide training on time management techniques to help employees maximize productivity within condensed schedules.

5. Part-time Arrangements

Part-time arrangements enable accountants to work fewer hours than traditional full-time employees, accommodating diverse lifestyles and commitments. From the perspective of accounting professionals, part-time arrangements offer a balanced approach to managing work and personal life. 

Part-time roles allow professionals to pursue personal interests or fulfill caregiving responsibilities while remaining engaged in their careers. This flexibility promotes job satisfaction and retention, as accountants can achieve a better balance between their professional and personal lives. Part-time arrangements also provide opportunities for skill development and career advancement, contributing to long-term career satisfaction and fulfillment.

Action Points

  • Establish clear performance expectations and metrics for part-time employees to ensure accountability.
  • Provide opportunities for part-time staff to participate in professional development activities and career advancement opportunities.

Conclusion

The growing trend of flexible work arrangements in the accounting profession reflects a fundamental shift towards prioritizing work-life balance and employee well-being. From remote work options to part-time arrangements, these strategies empower accountants to achieve greater harmony between their personal and professional lives. 

By embracing flexibility, both accountancy firms and individual accountants can reap the benefits of increased productivity, job satisfaction, and retention. As the accounting landscape continues to evolve, adopting flexible work arrangements will be essential for fostering a more empathetic and resilient workforce.

Bibliography

  1. https://www.flexjobs.com/blog/post/exploring-the-impact-of-remote-work-on-mental-health-and-the-workplace
  2. https://www.gallup.com/workplace/511994/future-office-arrived-hybrid.aspx
  3. https://www.flexjobs.com/blog/post/remote-work-statistics/
  4. https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/about-deloitte/articles/workplace-flexibility-survey.html 
  5. https://www.flexjobs.com/blog/post/exploring-the-impact-of-remote-work-on-mental-health-and-the-workplace

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Chris O'Shea

Chris joined Samera in 2019 from the British Society of Gastroenterology as our Social Media Manager and is now our Head of Digital Marketing. With his wealth of knowledge in SEO, PPC, user experience and lead generation, he is an expert at helping private dental practices increase their brand awareness and grow their patient list.

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