Accountants have the messiest desks

Accountants have been branded the messiest workers in the UK.

A recent survey from Viking questioned 2000 employees on the state of their colleagues' desk and placed accountants first at 64%, closely followed by lawyers at 61%. Bankers and estate agents were regarded as the tidiest. 

Based on the results, what do you think? Would your desk qualify as one of the messiest in the UK?

Comments

Not mine!    3 thanks

accountright | | Permalink

I have tidy heaps relating to individual clients - and I disagree that we are the messiest workers.  I probably have more things going on at the same time so every available surface of the desk is covered, but I know were everything is.

Polly

Old Greying Accountant's picture

Following Polly ...    3 thanks

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... I just think it shows who works for their living and who is a parasite!

Needless to say, London in the Blitz had nothing on my office!

 

Lord Lucan's picture

I've got a desk,.......... I know I have.

Lord Lucan | | Permalink

 

I think it's somewhere under that pile of papers, files and assorted computers.

OK I admit to being totally disorganised. Filing is something other people do, I just can't be bothered with it.  My motto is get it on to the computer and throw the paper away.

No it's not mine ......but it's close

BKD's picture

Cluttered desk ...    3 thanks

BKD | | Permalink

... cluttered minds

Lord Lucan's picture

or

Lord Lucan | | Permalink

BKD wrote:

... cluttered minds

 

cluttered desks mean the secretary's taken the day off.

 

ShirleyM's picture

Not me!    2 thanks

ShirleyM | | Permalink

I have very little paper on my desk.

I suppose this is because I am always worried about getting client records mislaid, or mixed up, so I always start with a very clear desk, and as we are mostly paperless it is easy to keep it that way.

BKD's picture

Clear desks    2 thanks

BKD | | Permalink

ShirleyM wrote:

I always start with a very clear desk,

The best way, Shirley. A shambolic desk is evidence of a shambolic mind

Marion Hayes's picture

Out of sight out of mind!!    1 thanks

Marion Hayes | | Permalink

I don't like to put things away till they are finished.

I am like Polly in that although untidy I also know where everything is. Plus as I work on my own no-one else can mess the system up.

Shambolic - no BKD - just capable of multi tasking 

Lord Lucan's picture

Alternatively    1 thanks

Lord Lucan | | Permalink

BKD wrote:

ShirleyM wrote:

I always start with a very clear desk,

The best way, Shirley. A shambolic desk is evidence of a shambolic mind

 

 

Utter rubbish.

One could just as easily suggest that a tidy desk is evidence of obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), or maybe an inability to delegate mundane tasks to junior staff.

Marion Hayes's picture

Don't you just love variety    3 thanks

Marion Hayes | | Permalink

If we all did things or thought the same way wouldn't life be boring 

BKD's picture

Symptoms    2 thanks

BKD | | Permalink

Marion Hayes wrote:

If we all did things or thought the same way wouldn't life be boring 

Spot on, Marion - evryone's work habits are different.

I suppose that a messy desk does relieve boredom, since you can spend half your productive time playing "hunt the document" ;)

Seriously, my grandfather (a psychiatrist) used to tell me when I started down this particular career path that a disorganised desk was, as well as a reflection of a disorganised mind, a classic symptom of stress. And as one other expert in the field put it:

a cluttered desk may show procrastination, impact productivity and damage your self-image as someone who can handle responsibility

Marion Hayes's picture

Really?    1 thanks

Marion Hayes | | Permalink

Then I must be the exception that proves the rule - honest. I suppose it depends on the definition of disorganised as I can always locate the document.

I simply don't do stress, am told I am so laid back sometimes that it is annoying (by my daughters I hasten to add so I don't know if that counts.),

I know that I can always deliver,or when I can't which is often more important in our line of advice isn't it. Maybe that's my delusion though!!

ShirleyM's picture

Good point, Marion    1 thanks

ShirleyM | | Permalink

'Messiest desk' implies disorganised, and this may not be the case. Being disorganised could  affect your practice in a detrimental way, but a messy desk will not necessarily do the same.

Being different is good ... I would also hate to be identical to everyone else  ... life would be so boring if we were all the same, with the same likes and dislikes, etc.

Lord Lucan's picture

Conformists

Lord Lucan | | Permalink

ShirleyM .

Being different is good ... I would also hate to be identical to everyone else ... life would be so boring if we were all the same, with the same likes and dislikes, etc. 

 

People who always try to conform to someone's idea of "the norm" are actually demonstrating a weakness in their own personality. Weak people conform, whereas those with more confidence & intelligence do things their way.

Just because "the norm" dictates that an accountant should wear a suit , be neat & tidy, etc does not mean you have to. The same applies to everything. After all conformists said that Christopher Columbas would fall off the edge of the world. Conformists said powered flight was impossible, that space travel was impossible, that hearts couldn't be transplanted.  Conformists stop progress.

 

 

Marion Hayes's picture

definitely non-conformist    1 thanks

Marion Hayes | | Permalink

my star sign says so!!

 

Flash Gordon's picture

Tidy desk    2 thanks

Flash Gordon | | Permalink

I like a tidy desk with only the item that I'm working on. Anything else clutters my brain and makes me less productive. But then I do have OCD. Being surrounded by clutter stresses me, having things tidy relaxes me. Each to their own 

Lord Lucan's picture

Opposites

Lord Lucan | | Permalink

Flash Gordon PM |

Being surrounded by clutter stresses me, having things tidy relaxes me. Each to their own 

 

Totally opposite.  If things are too neat & tidy I'm afraid of messing it up, I find it inhibiting.

I'm not saying I like too much clutter, but I like a nice "comfortable" feel to my surroundings.  I'm the same with clothes, I choose them for comfort and practicality, not looks. I couldn't care less what a car looks like, so long as its fast & holds the road well. I'm definitely not a follower of fashion, or a conformist by any stretch of the imagination and keeping my desk tidy comes very low on my list of priorities.

Old Greying Accountant's picture

I'm with Lord Lucan ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

...  I guess BKD doesn't do the black bag jobs like on a recent thread. There are some jobs it is physically impossible to do with a tidy desk, and they are usually the most fun!

I personally believe psycho babble is just that, and think of all that chargeable time wasted putting things all neat and just so!

I just finish a job, chuck it on the floor/chair/corner of the desk and get on with the next one.

I think that gene passed to my son, when he filled his floor with toys, he would pull his duvet over the top and start again - lol.

 

 

Flash Gordon's picture

Comfort    3 thanks

Flash Gordon | | Permalink

Lord Lucan wrote:

Flash Gordon PM |

Being surrounded by clutter stresses me, having things tidy relaxes me. Each to their own 

 

Totally opposite.  If things are too neat & tidy I'm afraid of messing it up, I find it inhibiting.

I'm not saying I like too much clutter, but I like a nice "comfortable" feel to my surroundings.  I'm the same with clothes, I choose them for comfort and practicality, not looks. I couldn't care less what a car looks like, so long as its fast & holds the road well. I'm definitely not a follower of fashion, or a conformist by any stretch of the imagination and keeping my desk tidy comes very low on my list of priorities.

I think you're missing my point though, for me neat & tidy IS comfortable. It has nothing to do with conformity, nobody but the animals see the desk so I'm not exactly out to impress. It's about how I work well and not about anyone else. Nobody who actually knows me would ever say that I conformed to anything!

 

ShirleyM's picture

@Flash    2 thanks

ShirleyM | | Permalink

Personally, I don't see any link between having a tidy desk and being a conformist, or anything else that some people may regard as undesirable.

I like a tidy desk, Marion likes cluttered, but organised. It just means we have different preferences and as agreed earlier, it's the differences between us that makes life more interesting.

I still take on the black bag jobs occasionally, but my first task is to get it onto a big empty table/desk (or the floor) and get it organised  :)

Flash Gordon's picture

Organised black bags    2 thanks

Flash Gordon | | Permalink

I still take on the black bag jobs occasionally, but my first task is to get it onto a big empty table/desk (or the floor) and get it organised :)

Couldn't agree more!

Lord Lucan's picture

.

Lord Lucan | | Permalink

How do you find the time to keep your desk tidy?

I've usually got at least 6 jobs on the go any any one time and if I tried to keep my desk tidy I'd have no time to actually do anything.  At a rough guess I'd say I take an average of about 10-12 calls a day from clients, HMRC etc and usually visit at least one client a day, sometimes more (tomorrow I have 3 listed to visit with about 100 miles of driving involved).

For me, filing is something other people do, I really don't have the time or the inclination.  However, I do have a method - when I can't see the bottom of the compter screen for files & papers, I move them - off my desk and onto the top of the filing cabinet :)

As for "black bag jobs" just take it out of one bag - key it into your speadsheet, and throw it into another black bag to return to the client. If they cant be bothered to put it in a lever arch file I'm damned if I'm going to do it for them.

 

 

BKD's picture

.    2 thanks

BKD | | Permalink

Old Greying Accountant wrote:

...  I guess BKD doesn't do the black bag jobs

You're right - I don't ;)

Flash Gordon's picture

Never messy    2 thanks

Flash Gordon | | Permalink

If its never messy, you never have to tidy it. Simples.

I can have more than one job on the go but as I can only ever physically work on one at a time I merely need to put the one(s) away that I'm not doing and keep the current one out.

Old Greying Accountant's picture

Shirley and Flash    1 thanks

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

That is my point, tip it on a desk - the desk is then untidy!

As discussed on earlier threads, people shouldn't be greedy and take more than they need, so I only have one!

The floor is not an option, we said our farewells some time back - if I ever paid it a visit these days it would be a one way trip - lol

Accounting at the sharp end is frequently messy.

ShirleyM's picture

@OGA    1 thanks

ShirleyM | | Permalink

Haha ... we have been viewing the problem from different angles.

I took the OP as meaning perpetually messy, and covered in paper at all times. I agree with you 100% in saying my desk gets messy while I am doing the black bag jobs. I couldn't do the black bags with confidence if I had lots of other paper littering my desk, too.

In any case, we are virtually 100% paperless with our own records, and lots of our client records, so no need for actual paper. That is one of the biggest bonuses of being paperless, in that all our documents are available with a few clicks of the mouse (the downside is the lack of movement and hence getting fat but we bought an exerciser to solve that problem). I suppose paperless may not suit some people as you do have to be well organised to get the best from it.

Flash Gordon's picture

?    2 thanks

Flash Gordon | | Permalink

If instead of tipping it out onto the desk you take a handful out at a time and sort it into appropriate piles as you go then you have an organised job and a tidy desk. There's plenty of 'sharp end accounting' here thanks, but it doesn't have to be messy.

Old Greying Accountant's picture

Ah, but the fun jobs ...

Old Greying Acc... | | Permalink

... are the ones where you spread them everywhere trying to make sense of it all - I like the big picture, not just snapshots - lol

Here's an nice tune for all you OCD suffers out there to enjoy whilst busy with the Mr Sheen and duster!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=01fixa4lgcE&feature=related

And here's one for my messy desk compatriates!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiU4f8NtYjk&feature=BFa&list=HL1318237113&lf=mh_lolz

That said, there is one local accountant with whom I dealt with as auditor to his client whose office resembles the picture at the top of this thread, there is just a narrow path between the piles of books from the door to his desk. The only computer in the place is an old dos machine with a dot matrix printer for word processing the accounts!

 

 

 

 

John McLane's picture

Brilliant

John McLane | | Permalink

Thanks for introducing me to this band

Now I've worked out how to put the link in my post this is one of my favorites.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6H7TqZyZb8&feature=related 

 

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