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Small firm accountants have happiest working life

7th Feb 2014
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Accountants working in smaller firms are happier in their day-to-day working life, according to a new report by CABA.

The charity, which provides support to ICAEW members and their families, launched their second ever Wellbeing Survey this week, based on insights from almost 1,000 accountants in practice, the public sector and business.

The report found that although the career arena remains challenging for accountants, it's considered a better sector to be in the last year.

The majority of accountants (63%) are happy in their career, but the most content are those in smaller organisations, the survey said.

Around 60% of those in smaller practices or organisations feel they’ll be in the same place next year, and the majority feel they have a manageable workload and feel a strong sense of job security.

But those in larger organisations such as public sector bodies are more likely to face redundancies and long hours, of which 33% said this was a concern. In addition, they felt as though they were just a commodity and a few said they also faced issues such as bullying in their workplace.

Financial security appears to be on the up among practitioners too, as 24% (compared to 18% the previous year) now said they are extremely secure in their finances, while most (40%) said they are secure.

More accountants now feel they’re living within their means and more are also making adequate provisions for their pensions than last year. But despite this optimism about career and finances, the survey has shown a spike in the number of accountants taking time off work due to stress (15% up from 8% in 2012).

Stress is seen as “part of the job” according to CABA, and a third of those surveyed feel stressed in their daily lives.

And while more than 90% of accountants said they have either family or friends to turn to for support in times of need, many added that they are too embarrassed to ask for help.

Physical health also appears to be an issue in terms of weight, lack of exercise and certain illnesses, the report said - also perhaps due to long hours and stress levels.

But one positive area that just under half of accountants surveyed are finding time for is volunteering in their local community as treasurers (38%), trustees (20%) or other sporting, church or charity organisations.

Do the results of this survey resonate with you, or do you have alternative views?

Replies (2)

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By njpandya
07th Feb 2014 19:38

Small family

I agree to this as the say goes "small family is happy family". Working in a small practice brings far more clarity of jobs on hand which automatically give quality of work to clients and clients have more power to make informed decisions. Unlike big 4 I personally strongly believes that most of the things they do they are subcontracted to smaller firms and those people rack up huge fees from clients. And also I hate that the BIG 4 tag has been given some more than required attention. Please do not mistake me this is due to jealousy but people these day have the tendency to take things on face value. 

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By malcolm141
11th Feb 2014 11:10

Quality of clients = quality of life

It is simple but very powerful formula, I hope it helps others.


Sackmans | Accountants North London

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