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The UK’s hardest working accountants

19/02/16

Productivity is one of the big British business issues of today, with policymakers quick to complain about our low output per hour worked compared to competitors around the world. How to maximise productivity is a source of debate, especially given economists aren’t exactly sure why it’s relatively low. Reasons cited include a bonus culture which encourages short-termism, to a seemingly nationwide approach to management resembling The Office’s David Brent (seriously…).

In contrast to our recent blog looking at the UK’s laziest accountants, we decided to analyse the results of our Salary & Market Trend Report to determine which sector boasts the accounting professionals working the longest hours. According to our findings, the most diligent accountants are employed in management consultancy, where they typically average 46 hours of work a week. Consulting is infamous for requiring staff to put in long hours – and accounting professionals employed in the sector have not avoided the trend.

At the other end of the scale, accountants working in public practice apparently put in the fewest hours per week, which may come as a surprise.  However, they still work an impressive 42 a week – just four hours less than averaged by those in consulting.

As Britain’s productivity problem shows, the number of hours employees work has little bearing on output. Accountants, who work far longer hours than the average person, would be wise to remember this next time their friends in banking are ‘humblebragging’ about their supposed sixty hour weeks.

 

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