Hours, Hours, and Less Hours

Hours, Hours, and Less Hours

Excitement is building as we are getting ready to celebrate the last holidays of the year. The majority of us will be lucky enough to have two short work weeks without dipping into our personal PTO bank. When we return to our offices in January, we will return to our normal 40 hour workweek. Unless you’re an accountant, that is.

If you’re an accountant, January is the start of a whole different season reserved especially for you. The close of the holiday season means saying goodbye to holiday cheer, gift exchanges, and homemade cookies. Yes, January ushers in tax season – marked by colder temperatures (if you’re here in the Northeast), longer days, and lots of work. At the majority of accounting firms, it is not uncommon for an accountant’s work schedule to go from 45-50 hours per week up to 65-70 hours (or more) per week from January through April 15th. If you’re an accountant at a Big Four Firm – you know this to be true. The expectation that you are required to work longer hours is generally accepted as a part of the industry culture. In addition, accountants need to complete billable hours – time that can be billed to a client. Because it’s impossible to bill every minute of an accountant’s day to billable time, an accountant might need to work an hour and a half in order to be able to charge one hour of billable time. What does this all add up to? Three and a half months of long days and nights spent at most firms. Most – but not all.

Here’s where RBT CPA’s is different. As the largest CPA firm in New York’s Hudson Valley, we reject the status quo and still produce stellar work for our clients. We start our busy season in the middle of January, and from the middle of January to the middle of February we cap our total hours worked at just 50. Then from mid-February to April 15th the maximum number of hours a person is allowed to work gets capped at just 55 per week. At some other firms, 55 hours is the norm when it comes to a workweek. At RBT, a 55 hour work week is the exception for a short period of time.

Consider how valuable this work balance is when you factor in your annual salary working an average of 65 – 70 hour workweek versus a 40 – 55 hour workweek. When you do the math and break your salary down to an hourly wage, there is a sizeable earning difference between the two. At RBT, we believe a healthy, happy employee is one who has a life outside of work. We feel being able to spend invaluable time with your friends even during the busy season is key to maintaining your physical and emotional health.

Sounds too good to be true, but… it is! Contact Jclancy@rbtcpas.com to talk about opportunities to join the team.