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Time management crucial as overtime spikes

With overtime working increasing by 31 per cent in organisations over the past 12 months, time management has become more crucial than ever, with one accounting consultant offering some easy tips for budding accountants.

Learning Reporter 21 August 2019
— 1 minute read

Of 3,400 organisations surveyed by recruitment specialist Hays, 31 per cent indicated that overtime work had increased for them.

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Of the 1,600 professionals surveyed, 43 per cent said they work up to 2.5 hours of overtime on average each week. A further 29 per cent work between 2.5 and five hours per week, while 18 per cent work six to 10 hours. The final 10 per cent work more than 11 hours of overtime on average every week.

Speaking with New Accountant, accounting coach Amanda Gascoigne said there are some simple adjustments that accountants can make to ensure optimal time management during the day.

The first involves a self-audit of your time schedule to identify areas that can be improved on.

“I know a lot of people don’t use timesheets, but I still think it can be hugely effective to capture what you are doing,” Ms Gascoigne said.

“It is a self-audit to see where you are spending your time, where you are losing time, so that can help you engineer an ideal week.”

The next step involves reviewing workflows and processes to see if there is a more efficient way of going about doing your work.

“An issue for young accountants is doing unnecessary tasks like doing things that have always been done simply because that’s how it has always been done,” she added.

“Always be on the lookout for ways to improve your processes and the way you do thing. Always question and be curious to ask, why are we doing it this way?”

Finally, Ms Gascoigne believes accountants should incorporate the four Ds — namely, delete, delegate, defer, and do — into their work day to better improve their time management.

“The four Ds are whether you can delete something, if it is necessary; what you can delegate to other staff members; deferring so things that you don’t need to do now because weve all got these bright shiny objects that are competing for our attention; and then do things. If it is a task that doesnt need to be deleted, delegated or deferred and can be done in less than a few minutes, do it straight away rather than letting it build up and then come back to your main five or six things that you need to do that day,” she said.

Time management crucial as overtime spikes
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