So what exactly does a Chartered Accountant do? I mean, they sit at a desk, tap tap tapping away at the computer, make some calls and always seem busy. But what does a typical day look like for an accountant?
Recently I was interviewed for a blog series and this was the exact question I was asked – describe your typical day.
Gosh where on earth do I even start!
“You see every single day for me is something different. It can be fast and furious, it can be slow and controlled, it can be “drop everything there is an emergency”, or it can be lets crack open the champers as lodgements for the month are done.”
Even working on the same clients each month poses different issues, different questions and different services.
So this accountant’s “day on a plate” looks something like this:
- I never start work until my kids are at school. I don’t have my emails on my phone (deliberately) and I don’t turn the laptop on until my kids have safely stepped inside the school grounds. Sure, I check my work apps on my phone like a addict .078 seconds after they have gone inside, but technically I have waited for school drop off to be complete before my work day starts.
- I check my online diary. If things are not in my online diary they just don’t exist in my world. My online diary contains client appointments, school duties, personal appointments, meetings, networking, co working, hubby’s commitments – and everything in between. It is my entire life. Some clients book up to 3 months in advance – so it is how I control my time. I don’t know how I ever lived without it.
- I check in with my staff. Every single day. We use Slack for internal communication, as internal emails between myself and 3 other staff just makes my brain want to explode. Slack streamlines our communications and people are only involved in discussions if they need to be. I check if there are issues with client jobs, if staff have questions, if I need to provide training videos or if I need to action things so my staff can keep kicking goals.
- I get my hands dirty. Yep – that’s right – I am very hands on in my business. My team might argue that I am at times too hands on and I need to delegate more – I am trying! I could be doing anything from a one on one Xero or MYOB training session, a Financial Coaching session online, I could be running payroll, checking a budget, running pricing scenarios, checking pay rates, doing different cash flow scenarios, running reports, registering a client for GST, checking a Business Activity Statement, mentoring RMIT accounting students, hooking up e-commerce platforms to accounting software – and anything in between. And that could all be in one single day!
- I switch my computer off. What – so how does that earn me money? It doesn’t…but what it does do is it lets me reset. Much to many people’s disbelief, I don’t sit around twiddling my thumbs every day waiting for work. My diary books out 2-3 weeks in advance so I need some time out every day to manage everything. I simply can’t function working 24/7 and this is why I have built an amazing team. We all work on our allocated clients and also on our mutual goal of providing financial education and accounting support with a little bit of fun thrown in.
- I go to bed.…anywhere between 9pm and midnight! Now I know this might sound like a long day, but remember my day is broken up into different chunks. I also run many virtual financial coaching and accounting software training sessions at night, as many of our clients have a 9-5 job whilst they build their side hustle. So after hours is perfect for them to get the help they need.
“We naturally handle a lot of emergencies as well where even the best laid out plans turn to shit. But I wouldn’t have it any other way. We thrive on the excitement.”
So my typical “day on a plate” pretty much looks different depending on which angle you are looking at it from. Our accounting & bookkeeping services are so varied it depends on what is required for each individual client.