Do Accountants Work Long Hours? Find Out How To Manage Your Time


Last Updated on March 22, 2024 by Qusai Ahmad

a real accountant working for long hours


Did you know that during tax season, some accountants work up to 80 hours a week? That’s double the typical 40-hour workweek! Yet, despite these long hours, many accountants report a higher work-life satisfaction than other professions.

What Accountants Do: Accountants are financial experts who handle tasks ranging from tax filing to financial auditing, with specialties in various fields like tax, auditing, corporate finance, and more.

While it’s common to think of accountants as tied to their desks for long hours, the reality is that their work hours can vary widely based on several factors.

In Short: Yes, accountants can work long hours, but it’s not a universal truth.

Factors Affecting Work Hours for Accountants

  • Busy Seasons:
    • Tax Season: For tax accountants, the period from January to April is a marathon of long days, often requiring 60-80 hours per week. This intense period can lead to increased stress and burnout among professionals.
    • Audit Season: Auditors may face similar extended hours, especially at the end of the fiscal year.
  • B. Industry:
    • Public Accounting: The client-driven nature of public accounting often leads to longer hours to meet tight deadlines.
    • Private Accounting: Typically offers more consistent hours due to its internal focus and less external pressure.
    • Government Accounting: Known for having more structured hours, government accounting can offer a more predictable schedule.
  • C. Company Size:
    • Small Firms: Accountants may have a broader range of responsibilities, potentially leading to longer hours.
    • Large Firms: Often provide a better work-life balance with more resources and staff.
  • D. Experience Level:
    • Staff Accountants: Newer staff often work longer hours to gain experience and meet the demands of busy projects.
    • Senior Accountants: More experienced accountants can have more manageable hours through delegation and project management.
    • Managers and Partners: They may work long hours but typically have more control over their schedules.
  • E. Deadlines and Project Requirements: Tight deadlines and complex projects can necessitate extended work hours.

Tips for Managing Long Hours as an Accountant

  • A. Time Management Strategies: Prioritize tasks, create schedules, and utilize productivity tools like project management software and tax automation tools to manage workload efficiently.
  • B. Setting Boundaries: It’s crucial to establish clear boundaries between work and personal life to prevent burnout.
  • C. Work-Life Balance: Maintain balance by taking regular breaks, engaging in hobbies, and disconnecting after work hours.
  • D. Technology: Use accounting software and automation tools to streamline tasks and reduce the need for overtime.


Restate Thesis: Accountant work hours are not set in stone and can vary based on multiple factors.

Call to Action: Consider a career in accounting for its diverse opportunities and the potential for a balanced lifestyle, depending on your path. If work-life balance is a top priority, areas like private accounting or government accounting might be a good fit.

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