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Healthy habits: Embracing tech-powered accounting for a better work-life balance

If any month puts an accountant’s work-life balance under the microscope, it’s January. The home of tax deadlines. But why do accountants seem to suffer from a poorer work-life balance?

As January can show, deadlines lead to pressure. This pressure can compel accountants to sacrifice personal activities in order to get through their workload. What’s more, there can be high stakes managing vast amounts of financial information. So, the desire not to make mistakes can lead to hours of manual sanity checks on data and compliance.

Adopting healthy working habits, underscored by tech-powered accounting, can redefine how you use your time. Additionally, clients need to see and understand the benefits of why they should use the tech and provide the information to their accountant more regularly. As a result, instead of spending your evenings head down in numbers and chasing clients for last minute details, you can put your feet up and get to that show you’ve been desperate to see.

Real-time data at your fingertips

Despite living in a highly digital age, many accountants still get bogged down by manually inputting data from a stash of paper receipts and using spreadsheets. In fact, our research last year showed two in five accountants spend over half their day on manual tasks.

But with accounting software’s automation and AI capabilities, there is simply no need for this to be the case. Its main benefit is that it is a timesaver.

The technology can scan and upload receipts in bulk, automatically extracting this data and then categorising it accordingly. It can also auto-fetch sales data and transactions from different systems/bank accounts and houses all of this data in one platform. Crucially, this provides a key step towards the completeness of records, so that when it comes to deadlines, you can avoid spending valuable time chasing clients and allocate effort towards processing and reconciliations. Through adopting efficient technology, the whole process can become smoother and clear of last minute scrambles or the potential risk of incurring a penalty for late submission.

No more sanity checks

Part of the pressure to meet deadlines comes from not wanting to make any mistakes. In the world of finance, numbers that don’t add up can lead to some damaging consequences.

Conducting manual accuracy checks with your data and compliance is not only a time-consuming way of working, but it can leave room for human error. An automated data extraction tool, however, checks data as it uploads and processes it, which can ensure an accuracy of over 99%.

What does this mean for your work-life balance? Having confidence and trust in your figures can alleviate any mounting stress, not only giving you more free time but also, as a result, supporting your wellbeing.

Can tech change accounting culture?

Working yourself into the ground, particularly before deadlines, can lead to burnout that impacts both your working and personal life. While technology can help ease the load, this change of course needs to fall under a wider practice that supports healthy working habits and a work-life balance.

Change management is essential to establish timeframes with clients, clear communication of earlier deadlines can be the pivotal factor in whether accountants feel the stress of the last minute submission rush. By technology adoption, working time can be optimised. Rather than being consumed by admin, an accountant’s role turns into a more advisory position. Accountants can set an earlier precedent with clients to submit their financial information throughout the tax year, automatically with real time data collection, instead of just weeks or days before the approaching deadline. This not only leads to less strain on the accountant, but it enables them to flag any client liabilities faster, plan for cash flow challenges and increase tax efficiency. Through leveraging AI-powered insights, for example, you can be more creative in analysing trends and how you report them back to clients, access forecasting predictions, and spend more time investing in your personal relationships.

A varied, fun and challenging accountancy role combined with more time to spend on clients can lead to a more fulfilled and purposeful working life. This inevitably will give you more time and balance with your life away from the numbers. And the more this approach is adopted, the more company and accounting culture can change.

Creating healthy habits 

For accountants, January gloom brings deadlines. This has the potential to eradicate any sense of work-life balance, something that can be a problem throughout the year. Of course, overtime cannot always be avoided and is sometimes needed for specific tasks – you may have times where you want to work longer. The issue is when overtime is the norm and you have to miss personal activities you wanted to do.

It boils down to remodelling how an accountant’s time is spent; not just personally, but how they interact with clients and communicate the importance of technology in order to be more efficient. By integrating the latest accounting software and managing expected timeframes with clients, you no longer need to carry out hurried manual data entry and can instead focus on more productive tasks. This frees up considerable time to spend on client activity and, ultimately, creates more work-life balance.

By embracing tech-powered accounting and bookkeeping, you can create a more satisfying working role that also gives you more time to spend doing what you want to do. Who wouldn’t want that?

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