Pexels Karolina Grabowska 7681075
  • Publish Date: Posted over 1 year ago

Quiet quitting hits accountancy

The buzz around “quiet quitting” has not been quiet–but what exactly is this new phenomenon? Wikipedia puts it like this: “Quiet quitting is an application of work-to-rule, in which employees work within defined work hours and engage in work-related activities solely within those hours.” In other words, it’s just working your contracted hours. Many leaders in the accounting profession have observed that they’d be delighted if people worked even their contracted hours. A recent survey has also suggested that no matter if a person works from home or office space, either way, they spend much of their working time engaging in unnecessary activities. Accountancy patterns of quiet quitting There’s no doubt that everyone has witnessed when colleagues in an office seem more concerned with gossiping than their actual work. In the case of accountancy, chitchat seems to take over audit compliance and tax with long coffee breaks stretching into lunch. It seems that the biggest distraction of all in the accountancy workplace is social media but even with that to one side, quiet quitting has been a practice that isn’t new to accountancy. The distractions at play fall into various categories. First of all, support staff who experience work that is too boring for their own good, can’t work outside of what they are salaried for. Newer junior members of staff who fall into the TikTok addicts category may struggle to work in an office life know they’ve signed a contract stating 9-5 working hours and do not want to go beyond this. Finally, employees trained within the tax department assume it is just standard to work only fixed hours. Public sector work typically accounts for a lower pay when compared to accountancy firms which plays its part in the quiet quitting trend. However, flexible hours vs fixed hours also is a factor to consider. Some employees claim to start earlier than normal (7am, for example) and leave earlier to pick children up from school but are indeed leaving not too long after lunch. This raises another concern among the accountancy profession. As soon as an employee reaches senior level (even at a lower end), they will no doubt receive a salary raise. However, they also lose out on overtime pay. A clear demonstration of why quiet quitting has become a problem in the workplace. Providing the work is completed Though many may not agree with this, the role of the accountant has always been one of ‘providing the work is completed’. Whilst some offices instill a culture of working excessive hours, this doesn’t mean that any more work is being completed. In fact, most of the time, employees are idly chatting and paying attention to social media. Some views around accountancy work, promote the idea that employees who work shorter hours are indeed more effective, efficient, and as a result will make less mistakes in their jobs. So, why are there still some firms that push forward the idea of being available to clients 24/7? It is bad for our wellbeing and certainly doesn’t mean that more work is being completed. How will this affect the profession? The final question to pose then is whether quiet quitting is going to become a bigger problem in the accountancy profession? At the moment, it is proving near impossible to recruit staff and generally if a candidate looks promising they usually do not want to work ‘flexible’ hours. This creates a type of culture for other accountants and accountancy staff to follow. With more employees working from home than ever, there likely won’t be any ramifications for simply ‘getting the job done’ and not going above and beyond. Open plan offices are becoming less populated as a result of more staff working from home. This leads to slackers disappearing off without being noticed. All in all, it is important to recognise that the media’s portrayal of ‘the great resignation’ is real. More and more staff are taking breaks, putting in for early retirement, and choosing to do the bare minimum. This isn’t exclusive to the accountancy profession either.

Share this Article
Back to Blogs

The buzz around “quiet quitting” has not been quiet–but what exactly is this new phenomenon? Wikipedia puts it like this:

“Quiet quitting is an application of work-to-rule, in which employees work within defined work hours and engage in work-related activities solely within those hours.”

In other words, it’s just working your contracted hours. Many leaders in the accounting profession have observed that they’d be delighted if people worked even their contracted hours.

A recent survey has also suggested that no matter if a person works from home or office space, either way, they spend much of their working time engaging in unnecessary activities.

Accountancy patterns of quiet quitting

There’s no doubt that everyone has witnessed when colleagues in an office seem more concerned with gossiping than their actual work. In the case of accountancy, chitchat seems to take over audit compliance and tax with long coffee breaks stretching into lunch.

It seems that the biggest distraction of all in the accountancy workplace is social media but even with that to one side, quiet quitting has been a practice that isn’t new to accountancy.

The distractions at play fall into various categories. First of all, support staff who experience work that is too boring for their own good, can’t work outside of what they are salaried for.

Newer junior members of staff who fall into the TikTok addicts category may struggle to work in an office life know they’ve signed a contract stating 9-5 working hours and do not want to go beyond this.

Finally, employees trained within the tax department assume it is just standard to work only fixed hours. Public sector work typically accounts for a lower pay when compared to accountancy firms which plays its part in the quiet quitting trend.

However, flexible hours vs fixed hours also is a factor to consider. Some employees claim to start earlier than normal (7am, for example) and leave earlier to pick children up from school but are indeed leaving not too long after lunch.

This raises another concern among the accountancy profession. As soon as an employee reaches senior level (even at a lower end), they will no doubt receive a salary raise. However, they also lose out on overtime pay. A clear demonstration of why quiet quitting has become a problem in the workplace.

Providing the work is completed

Though many may not agree with this, the role of the accountant has always been one of ‘providing the work is completed’.

Whilst some offices instill a culture of working excessive hours, this doesn’t mean that any more work is being completed. In fact, most of the time, employees are idly chatting and paying attention to social media.

Some views around accountancy work, promote the idea that employees who work shorter hours are indeed more effective, efficient, and as a result will make less mistakes in their jobs.

So, why are there still some firms that push forward the idea of being available to clients 24/7? It is bad for our wellbeing and certainly doesn’t mean that more work is being completed.

How will this affect the profession?

The final question to pose then is whether quiet quitting is going to become a bigger problem in the accountancy profession? At the moment, it is proving near impossible to recruit staff and generally if a candidate looks promising they usually do not want to work ‘flexible’ hours.

This creates a type of culture for other accountants and accountancy staff to follow. With more employees working from home than ever, there likely won’t be any ramifications for simply ‘getting the job done’ and not going above and beyond.

Open plan offices are becoming less populated as a result of more staff working from home. This leads to slackers disappearing off without being noticed.

All in all, it is important to recognise that the media’s portrayal of ‘the great resignation’ is real. More and more staff are taking breaks, putting in for early retirement, and choosing to do the bare minimum. This isn’t exclusive to the accountancy profession either.

Latest Blogs

View All Blogs
Diverse Group Of People Collaborating In The Office
Demystifying Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

​Diversity, equity and inclusion (EDI) in the workplace is not just a moral obligation – it makes good business sense. As a leading recruiter with over 25 years of experience, I often advise compan...

Istockphoto 1339729895 612x612
How to make remote working work for everyone

​It’s been more than four years since the first ‘work from home’ calls came, and the face of work changed completely. There’s been a lot to adjust to, and some companies haven’t yet settled on a wo...

Yaa 2024 Blog Post How To Enter
Yorkshire Accountancy Awards: Sitting down with the nominees for FD of the Year!

​​The Yorkshire Accountancy Awards are fast approaching, and with a fortnight to go, our Director Lucy Regan sat down with Neil Beardsmore, FD of Ice Travel Group, nominated for Finance Director o...

Yaa 2024 Blog Post How To Enter
Yorkshire Accountancy Awards: Meet the Nominees for Finance Director of the Year!

​As we get closer to the Yorkshire Accountancy Awards 2024, our Director Kayley Haythornthwaite caught up with Zuzanna Kazimierczak, Financial Controller at Chadwick Lawrence LLP, who’s nominated ...

Istockphoto 949182974 612x612
Time for a change: How I transitioned from accountancy to recruitment

​We talked to our newest consultant, Martin Elam, about how he ended up working in a recruitment firm after nearly two decades in the Finance industry. Martin joined our Leeds team in October and ...

1705305604648
'Blue Monday'? Not today. We're moving away from made up days towards wellbeing at work for all.

​The worst Monday ever?The third Monday of January is well known these days as the most depressing day of the year. As if January wasn’t already bad enough: it’s cold, Christmas is over, we’re all ...

Blogs (14)
Year-End Reviews and Goal Setting: Maximising Employee Performance

​Christmas and year-end reviews: two things with entirely different moods. How do you deliver that tough feedback in the season of goodwill to all? And does it ever actually do any good?The answe...

Crisis Uk
A Look Back at Our Year Supporting Crisis UK

​In 2023, Crisis UK were our charity of choice. We’ve had a great year, fundraising for the UK’s national charity for people experiencing homelessness. Since 1967, Crisis have worked directly wit...

Blogs (10)
The Value of Temp Staff During the Holiday Rush

​As we head closer to the Christmas period, more staff typically take leave, and work can start to pile up. There’s always a rush to get things wrapped up by the end of the year, and whilst advance...

Blogs (7)
The Impact of Seasonal Hiring on Company Finances

​As the festive season approaches, office-based businesses often find themselves gearing up for a flurry of activity. One of the most useful approaches that can help alleviate some of the strain is...

Blogs (5)
A Journey of Love and Loss: My Dad's Battle with Brain Cancer and the Importance of Brain Tumour Research

​I could write for hours about my dad, you sadly don’t recognise the brilliance of someone until they’re no longer there. As I write this, I can't help but feel a surge of emotions – a mixture of...

23
The Inside Scoop: What Recruiting Part-Qualified Accountants Has Taught Me

​As someone involved in recruiting and talent acquisition for accountancy training programs, I've had my fair share of interactions with part-qualified accountants. From recent graduates just sta...

23
We're All Just One Accountant Away

​Did you know there are around 93,000 part-qualified accountants currently going through training in England? That's roughly a third of the total number of over 290,000 accountants in the country...