One of the major concerns we hear in our training courses is that compared to many other professions, the accounting profession is particularly demanding. First, it requires several years of training, then you are required to put in long hours, especially if you are part of a firm which offers the opportunity to eventually become partner, and finally, if you are a tax accountant, say goodbye to any extra time between January 1, and April 15. But some recent news out of the field might indicate that changes are on their way.
Let’s approach each of the concerns in order. A recent article in Accounting Today speaks of an interesting trend taking place at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, Penn. There, it is becoming increasingly common to double major in both dance and accounting. The article says there seems to be multiple thought processes taking place among these students. First, they find that having a creative outlet can improve their ability to solve complicated problems, such as those they encounter in their accounting classes. Second, even though many of them expect to dance professionally following college, many of them admit that they probably won’t be able to retire off of the money they earn as performers. Therefore, being able to fall back on accounting as a possible career following their dancing years is an attractive solution. Alternatively, many of them plan on opening dancing schools and plan on leveraging their business knowledge from their accounting classes to maximize their profits.
Another article from the Virginia-based Daily Press describes some of the initiatives local and national accounting firms are undertaking to attract and retain millennial talent. These programs include offering bonuses to attract senior associates, and part-time partner track programs, to allow for a more balanced split between work and life needs.
Finally, even partners have a crazed time of year if they are focused on preparing tax returns for individuals and corporations. Another Accounting Today article discusses the tactics tax accountants use to relax during tax season. The accountants they interviewed didn’t have a lot of great insight, but all of them encouraged tax accountants to take a break whenever they could. This could be anything from getting your nails done, to doing a few jumping jacks. As we saw in our first story, getting up and moving around can be a great way to come to a solution for the tough problems tax accountants face multiple times daily during tax season.