Are you one of the UK’s ‘laziest’ accountants?

Matthew Wilcox our consultant managing the role

Laziness is a punishable offence in some countries, with China announcing the punishment of 249 government officials for this biblical vice. On the other hand some countries seem to be a lot more relaxed when it comes to working hard consistently, supported by claims from a government minister that Italian factory workers are accustomed to taking three month holidays.

However, it actually transpires that the UK’s own productivity isn’t particularly impressive, with UK PLC falling well behind key competitors. But what about the UK’s accounting professionals? Using data from our 2015 market insight we decided to look at the hours put in by accounting professionals across the country, in order to sort the grafters from the slackers. 

The results were quite a surprise. While accountants in London put the most hours in, the margin by which they do is smaller than expected. According to our research the average accounting & finance professional in the capital works for 43.9 hours a week – little more than the 40 hour 9-5 benchmark and just 0.4 hours longer than the second hardest-working UK accountants in the North-West (who average 43.5 hours). Indeed, even accountants who identified themselves as working the least – those in the West Midlands – still average an impressive 41.9 hours a week. 

So while London may be seen as the land of long hours, it appears that this might be the result of late-nights associated with large financial institutions skewing peoples’ perceptions of the capital’s working culture. Britain’s low productivity certainly can’t be blamed on accountants, who manage to contribute enormously to the economy while still working sane hours. Accountancy professionals, we salute you!

11/04/16
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