Bank Holidays

Philip Fisher
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In today’s connected world, do bank holidays still exist for accountants?

Not so long ago, we worked or we rested. Monday to Friday, from 9 to 5 (and well beyond) accountants would sit in offices or visit clients, earning good money.

However, Saturdays and Sundays were usually sacrosanct, although workaholics would have a nasty habit of bringing files home over the weekend. Similarly, bank holidays extended to cover most office workers in addition to those fortunate enough to clerk in banks.

Any accountant with sense would ensure that clients had their office phone number (but probably not a direct line to anyone but their secretary), the fax number and nothing more.

The communication revolution has brought many benefits, such as movies and games on demand, the opportunity to watch sports from around the world 24/7 and get the supermarket to deliver the groceries at a convenient time, without the need to leave your couch.

On the downside, mobile telephones (whether smart or otherwise) combined with emails and now all kinds of social media tools have turned the accountant’s head into an office, with physical boundaries no longer required.

I fear that the direct consequence will be felt over the August bank holiday weekend. Many of us who in the past would have spent time with the family, unconcerned about issues relating to our clients or businesses will now be constantly hassled by colleagues, clients and quite possibly those trying to sell us things over the next few days.

Sadly, it now seems unlikely that the tide could be turned even if anyone was brave enough to rebel against this trend.

However, here is a challenge. It would cheer me up immensely if any reader was able to state truthfully that they really will be downing tools on Friday (or before) and not picking them up again until Tuesday (or after).

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23rd Aug 2017 10:44

Bank holidays are a total irrelevance in modern life. If you are trying to keep bank holiday Monday as "special" then you are going to have as much success of those trying to keep Sundays "special." For many years the only thing that a bank holiday has meant to me, and I suspect many others, is too much traffic to bother venturing out.

Many of us are quite good at ignoring mobile phones and emails when it suits- many of course are not. Their problem not mine.

And I wonder if people who want to keep bank holidays or weekends special actually go out and use shops and other outlets staffed by people who clearly can't keep those days special.

The view from the grumpy side of life. :-)

Thanks (4)
25th Aug 2017 14:25

I am finishing at 5pm today. (Ok probably closer to 6pm!)

Wont be turning on a computer or a work phone before 8.30am on Tuesday.

If you don't have proper down time over the weekend you cant work properly in the week.

my clients know full well they wont get a response, so wont bother asking.

Thanks (1)
29th Aug 2017 09:41

Took Friday off to make it a 4 day weekend.

2 great full on days out and about with family followed by 2 great full on days at BBQ's (x2) with friends and family.

Mind you after 10 hour's drinking on Sunday took car yesterday so fresh today.

For 4 days, didn't give work a second thought knowing it would all still be here today and guess what - it is.

Thanks (0)
29th Aug 2017 12:29

If you're self employed and the weather's good, best to take advantage and take the time off.

Thanks (0)
29th Aug 2017 13:12

Time management. Do you want a day off or not? You choose! I don't hand out my mobile number to my clients. They don't need it. I can speak to them on the landline if I am at my desk, otherwise I am either at another client or in my private time. If something is "urgent" they can e-mail and I answer when I want.

Thanks (1)
29th Aug 2017 16:04

If your an accountant and you cannot spare the time to take a bank holiday off you are doing something wrong.

We are not on call nor are we the emergency services.

I check emails periodically when away, will put in a holding email to deal with when I return to the office.

Thanks (1)