Three Ways to Think About Work Life Balance

Three Ways to Think About Work Life Balance

 Does reduced stress, better physical and mental well-being, increased job satisfaction, and improved productivity sound intriguing to you as an accounting professional?

These are just a few of the benefits of work-life balance — something that a majority of accounting and financial professionals want but defining it for yourself can greatly depend on factors unique to your individual preferences and circumstances.

Understanding Work-Life Balance

The importance of work-life balance in 2023 is more significant now than ever. The dynamic and changing nature of the modern working era has brought about many priority shifts in today’s accounting and finance workforce.

Accounting professionals play a vital role in organizations, managing financial records, ensuring compliance, and providing valuable insights for decision-making. However, the nature of their work often involves long hours, tight deadlines, and high levels of responsibility.

Despite more than 300,000 accountants and auditors having left their jobs due to CPA requirements and workplace shifts due to baby boomer retirement, the accounting and finance profession still proves to be a stable and recession-proof industry. Yes, it’s true that the profession is demanding, especially during busy season and month-end or year-end!  But, you CAN still find a good environment and achieve work-life balance.

Here are a few key areas to think about when asked the interview question “What does work-life balance mean to you”:


Establishing clear boundaries for yourself (and for your employer) is crucial. Employees should communicate their availability and accessibility to clients, colleagues, and supervisors to ensure uninterrupted personal time and minimize work-related interactions during non-work hours.

In recent years, the ability to work from home has entered the conversation and muddied the waters of accessibility. When home becomes the workplace, it’s important to think about where the cutoff between your work and your personal life is.

A remote accountant may have to be more self-disciplined than someone who regularly goes into an office. Having cut-off times for work and personal time is integral. It’s easy to feel the imbalance from home and careful consideration should be made of where your ideal situation sits.

Accessibility Self-Reflection Questions

  • What hybrid schedule is best for me – mentally, physically?
  • Does a commute to an office help me separate work life and home life?
  • When I work from home, do I notice clients, colleagues, and supervisors reaching out to me outside of business hours?

Trust & Delegation

A trusting work environment fosters collaboration and effective communication among team members.

In an environment where you can trust colleagues to handle delegated tasks, it encourages open dialogue, knowledge sharing, and seamless coordination. This collaborative environment enhances teamwork, improves problem-solving capabilities, and reduces stress levels for everyone involved.

By delegating tasks to capable colleagues, you can have peace of mind, knowing that your responsibilities are being handled. This enables you to detach from work during personal time and achieve a better balance between your professional and personal life.

Trust and Delegation Self-Reflection Questions

  • Am I empowering my coworkers or employees to handle tasks without me?
  • Have I noticed that I have an issue letting go of control?
  • Would others characterize me as a ‘workaholic’?
  • Do I trust the people I work with to get things done when I’m not there?
  • How could delegating be improved at my workplace (i.e. clearer communication on expectations, better training, etc.)?
  • Have you made sure that everyone on your team who depends on the work you do can function normally without you there?


At the end of the day, the discussion around work-life balance is typically a personal one, chiefly involving the question of what you’re looking for. Anna Orr, Executive Recruiter at Accountants One says, “Work-life balance is driven by you. Be strategic about planning it [PTO], disciplined about taking it, and contemplating the win-win for everybody.”

Always think about the win-win. Whatever the case may be regarding PTO (paid time off), or more balanced work weeks, you should try to establish a win-win scenario for you and your employer.

Here is one example of a win-win scenario: You identify and implement a new accounting technology such as an automation solution or accounting software that speeds up a process whereby your employer benefits by efficient and accurate accounting processes and you get an extra five hours back of your week.

Remember, the guarantee of what you’re looking for might not be on the table immediately, but in most cases, the more trust and credibility you show your employer, the more likely you will get the work-life balance you are looking for.

Win-Win Self-Reflection Questions

  • How am I currently bringing value to the organization?
  • What processes can I improve for my organization that will help me and the organization itself?
  • Am I putting in the necessary preparation to have the time off I need?

Establishing a win-win scenario requires collaboration and commitment from both you and your employer. By recognizing and actively promoting work-life balance, employers and employees can forge a path toward a more fulfilling and harmonious future.


Take the time to think strategically about your time and efforts. You want to be effective wherever and however you’re working. The key to finding a work-life balance that you want doesn’t lie exclusively in finding a job that has it built in. Most of the time it lies in the collaboration with your employer, your team, and ultimately yourself.

How is a Good Recruiter Like a Good Fishing Guide?

How is a Good Recruiter Like a Good Fishing Guide?

No, it’s not a riddle or the setup of some corny joke.

Imagine this:

You are in a small boat with a fishing guide for a trip that you’ve been preparing for months. You’ve been practicing baiting, casting, and reeling in other types of fish, but you are finally ready to catch your ‘trophy fish’. Your guide has spent time setting up where you will be going and has brought all the proper equipment including rod, bait, hook, net, GPS antenna, and more to attract your trophy fish!

Your guide navigates you to the best fishing spot he knows using his tools and many years of experience. He sets your expectations that within a few hours, you will have the exact trophy fish that you’ve been dreaming of. BAM! Like clockwork, you’ve caught your fish! It’s a good day.

Have you ever thought that a good recruiter is like a good fishing guide? It’s true.

A good fishing guide (and a good recruiter) should have these qualities:

  • A good fishing guide has extensive knowledge of the fishing area, including the types of fish that are present, the best fishing spots, and the best techniques and tools to use to catch your trophy fish.
  • The same is true for a good recruiter. A good recruiter is knowledgeable about the market, client companies hiring, and talent available. They will often have a target niche specific to the placement level or role that they work on the most. Along with expertise, a good recruiter often has specific techniques and tools used to help a client or a candidate in their search. A good recruiter has deep relationships with hiring managers across the market they serve.
  • A good fishing guide understands that fishing can be a slow and frustrating process and is patient and encouraging with their clients.
  • Whether you are hiring or looking for that next great position in accounting or finance, your search can be a slow process. A good recruiter is going to be patient and let candidates and clients take the lead with their search moving as fast or slow as they want while still offering encouragement and guidance in the current marketplace.
Communication skills:
  • A good fishing guide can communicate effectively with their clients, providing clear instructions and guidance on techniques and safety procedures.
  • A good recruiter is someone who can also effectively communicate with their clients and candidates to give updates on a job search and status of a position. Often a recruiter is a liaison between the client and the candidate helping to set up interviews and negotiate offers. Clear and frequent communication is important for everyone involved in the hiring process to ensure the satisfaction of both the hiring manager and the employee.
Customer service:
  • A good fishing guide provides excellent customer service, ensuring that their clients have an enjoyable and memorable fishing experience.
  • Above all, a good recruiter should ensure you have a positive experience and receive excellent customer service with their team.

How do these qualities apply to Accountants One?

We are a values-driven organization.  We care deeply about our culture and care about surrounding ourselves with people that embrace the same values. By constantly focusing on these values, we have created an organization with a unique and genuine culture.

Our organization is a vehicle for helping our clients, our candidates, and our team reach their professional and personal goals. This standard is reflected in the Accountants One logo.

The Accountants One logo resembles a fish because of these principles. The Accountants One service hierarchy is our clients, our candidates, and then ourselves. The ability to serve others by bringing value is a gift. At Accountants One, we are proud of the difference we are making in people’s lives. We have so much gratitude for the community we serve.

Job Seeker Resource Center

The First 90 Days in Your New Accounting Role

The First 90 Days in Your New Accounting Role

Congratulations on your new accounting job! The first 90 days in a new role are critical and can determine your outcome of success. Whether you just received a promotion or are starting a new job, your friends at Accountants One want to make sure you are set up to thrive.

Here are some tips to help you succeed in your new role:

30 Days in Your New Accounting Role

The first 30 days in a new accounting role are crucial for establishing yourself and making a positive impression. Use this time to get your feet wet and put your best foot forward. Unless you’ve been hired on as a ‘hit the ground running’ contractor, a traditional direct hire / permanent position will use the first month as an introduction. You’ll get introduced to systems, processes, and people.

Here are a few best practices for the first 30 days in a new role:

1. Setting expectations: During the first 30 days, you will be setting expectations for your role and what you can contribute to the company. This is a critical time to communicate your goals, strengths, and areas of expertise.

2. Building relationships: Build relationships with your team, other departments, and external stakeholders. Creating a positive impression and building trust during this time will help you establish strong ties in your new workplace. Building positive rapport will not only set you up for long-term success but will help to boost your personal brand. Remember the quote “Branding is what other people say about you when you are not in the room” by Jeff Bezos at Amazon. How can you position yourself positively in other people’s minds?

3. Learning the company culture: Every company has its unique culture, and the first 30 days are a great time to learn about it. This includes the company’s values, communication style, and decision-making processes. Understanding the company culture will help you navigate your role more effectively.

Read and immerse yourself in training materials – Taking full advantage of the training program at your new employer is so important in setting yourself up for success. Watch training videos, read the training manual, and most importantly ask questions. Ask as many questions as your heart allows to other teams, your manager, your HR department, etc.

4. Learning the accounting processes: As an accountant, it’s essential to have a clear understanding of the accounting processes and systems in place. During the first 30 days, you will have the opportunity to learn how the company’s accounting processes work and how your role fits into the bigger picture. While a role in Public Accounting may be a little more straightforward, a role in Industry accounting, may not be so learn, learn, learn!

Learn the software – You were likely hired on because of a combination of your soft skills and technical skills. You may be totally familiar with the software and technical skills needed of you to perform your job successfully or you may need training here. Take the first 30 days to ensure that you are up to speed on the software requirements and use cases.

Other Helpful Hints for the First 30 Days

Research industry topics – Find a trade publication related to your industry and read through it to keep yourself apprised of all that is going on in the industry and expand your knowledge base. Some great trade publications for Public Accounting include the Journal of Accountancy and Accounting Today.

Shadow a peer – So you’ve been doing training, learning software, performing research, and figuring out meeting styles, the next best thing to do is to shadow a peer to get a real-world example of how they work with the team, other departments, and clients.

Stay organized – Use tools such as calendars, to-do lists, and project management software to help you stay on top of your tasks and deadlines.

60 Days in Your New Accounting Role

The first 60 days in your new accounting role provide an opportunity to establish yourself as a valuable member of the team. This is the time when you’ve got the basics of the role down and are ready to expand your knowledge and grow.

Feel free to explore new avenues of your role and figure out how you can adapt your workspace to suit your specific needs.

Here are some helpful hints for the first 60 days in your role:

1. Demonstrating your value: Now that you’ve learned about communication styles, company policy, processes, and culture, the next 30 days is an ideal time to show your true value. By taking the initiative, being proactive, and contributing to the team, you can demonstrate your skills and capabilities. Don’t wait for tasks to be assigned to you. Instead, look for opportunities to take on additional responsibilities and make suggestions for improvements to processes.

2. Asking your teammates for helpful advice: Your best resource is your team. Now that you’ve developed a rapport with your team and created trust, go to your team with questions that you may have about managing through situations or a particular person on the team. There may be a similar situation that a team member has already experienced. They may be able to give you feedback about how they handled a situation at work and how it turned out for them.

3. Understanding what makes your company different: Learn more about what sets you apart from your competition. Is it CSR? Is it a special proprietary process? Is it excellent customer service? Is it your success rate in the industry? Regardless of if you are in a client-facing role or not, it is important to understand the unique branding proposition of your company. Again, clarification and understanding go back to being proactive. You will stick out as a candidate for an internal promotion once the opportunity arises.

90 Days in Your New Accounting Role

In the first 90 days of your role, you should be fully integrated into the team and have a clear schedule for your work week. Use this time to plan for your future and continue to learn as much as you can about the industry, you’re working in. Focus on your opportunities to learn and grow.

Here are some tips and tricks for the first 90 days in your role:

1. Seeking feedback: Ask for feedback from your supervisor and colleagues to understand how you can improve and continue to develop your skills. This will help you figure out what areas you should hone in your focus on. When meeting with your manager, it is important to focus on skills-based coaching. It is important to remember to be open to constructive criticism. This will help improve your performance.

2. Staying up-to-date: Keep up-to-date with accounting standards, regulations, and industry trends. Attend training courses, read relevant publications and blogs to enhance your knowledge and skills. Take advantage of any training opportunities or professional development programs available to you either inside or outside of work.

3. Joining a networking group: We’ve all heard the saying before ‘it’s not what you know, but who you know.’ Networking is powerful and there are many local networking groups in Atlanta that you can take full advantage of. Joining the GSCPA, 40 Under 40, AICPA, AFWA, and SHRM is a great way to meet individuals who may be able to help you expand your network and advance your opportunities.

4. Forecasting your future: Taking time for self-reflection and personal inventory is crucial to close out the first 90 days in your new role. Take time to journal or think through a series of questions:

  1. What do I like most about my role?
  2. What are my strengths?
  3. What are my weaknesses?
  4. What are resources/tools I can use for improvement?
  5. Is this a company I want to grow my career with?

These types of questions will help you determine your satisfaction with the role and will set you up for long-term career goals.

Remember that success takes time and effort. With dedication, hard work, and a positive attitude, you can thrive in your new accounting job. We hope the first 90 days in your new accounting role go well. Good luck!

Job Seeker Resource Center

How To Evaluate a Job Offer

How To Evaluate a Job Offer

When you’re in the often unenviable role of “job seeker”, you’re so eager to prove you’re everything a potential employer could want, it’s easy to neglect what YOU want.

Of course, before we can seek what we truly want in a job, we first must define it for ourselves.  So, how can you best evaluate a job offer to ensure it will lead to long-term career satisfaction?

While it may be tempting to jump at an offer that feels like it meets your financial needs, there’s a lot more to a rewarding role than the size of a paycheck.  In fact, today candidates are asking for a lot more from the companies interested in them.

Let’s look at how to best approach a new opportunity to ensure that you’ll land somewhere that fulfills what matters to you most:

1) Do Your Research

First, research the prospective company with the same deep dive they’re likely taking in learning about you.  Explore their website and their social media pages so you can understand their vision, their mission, and their culture.  Do their values align with yours?  In what ways do they speak of valuing their employees?  If you could describe the company’s “personality” in one sentence, what would that be? 

You’ll also want to consider how well-established the business is, and what kind of influence you will have on the company itself.  It’s worth exploring questions about your specific role:  Will you be doing a variety of tasks or taking more of a deep dive into a particular skill set?  Is it a culture that encourages learning and development of your skills?

These are questions that may not be answered by a simple Google search, so the next step in ensuring your job satisfaction involves action that is a bit more tactical.

2) Perform a Company Reference Call

Just as a business will reach out to your references to get a sense of who you are and how well you fulfill their needs, you can do the same with the company.  Performing a company reference call is an effective step in understanding what an organization is really like.

Visit LinkedIn and seek out former employees who might be willing to briefly share their insights with you about their time there.  Ask questions, such as:

  • What is the potential for upward growth?
  • Is the organization flat or hierarchal?
  • How many layers are there between you and your ideal role?
  • What is the turnover like?
  • Do people like working there?
  • What is the culture like: do employees hang out with each other, or do they just do their jobs and go home?
  • How do they celebrate holidays/special occasions in the workplace?

Questions such as these tell a lot about the work environment which you’re considering entering and can help you make a more well-informed decision about where you’re planning to spend 40+ hours each week for the foreseeable future.

3) Ask Your Recruiter

Next, you can talk to your recruiter, asking them to share what they know about the company’s culture and what the day-to-day work environment is like.  Recruiters often have a rich awareness of the businesses they are supporting and want nothing more than to create an ideal match.  So, a conversation with your recruiter may just give you the insights you need to make a final decision.  Again, ask questions that get to the heart of what matters most to you, such as:

  • What have employees said about working there?
  • What kind of employee tends to be most successful?
  • What do I need to look out for?
  • What is the dynamic between management and employees?
  • How would you describe the company culture?
  • How would you describe management’s leadership style?

Of course, you may have other questions as well, including what the company values, what perks they offer their employees, and what feedback the recruiters have heard from others who they’ve helped onboard at the organization.

4) Ask Your Interviewer Qualifying Questions

Finally, when it’s time for the big interview, think of it as a two-way street.  Your interviewer will be asking you a healthy list of questions about yourself, and you should be prepared to do the same with them.  In fact, they’d be disappointed if you didn’t come in with some qualifying questions.  After all, they want someone who is curious, ambitious, and eager to find a good fit for themselves.  Here are some potential questions for your interviewer or the hiring manager:

  • What would an average work week look like?
  • What about a busy one?
  • What kind of people are successful here?
  • What do you personally like about working here?
  • What’s something you hope will change about the business in the near future?
  • What advice would you give someone who is interested in working here?

Final Words

As you can see, there are a lot of steps involved to truly evaluate a job offer on a cultural and technical level.  One more step – perhaps, in fact, the first one to take – is to talk to Accountants One about your aspirations.

We’re a business made up of talented recruiters who truly care about your career journey.  We’re good listeners who are invested in helping you discover what matters most to you and then matching you with a role that helps bring those goals to fruition.  Think of us as trusted career partners who value people and their passions.  In fact, that’s OUR passion:  connecting you with a role that will allow you to thrive.  We’re here to help you find AND qualify for job opportunities so you can curate the career you desire.

#1 Trusted Resource for Accounting & Finance Talent

Contract Employment: What’s the difference between W-2 and 1099

Contract Employment: What’s the difference between W-2 and 1099

What is the difference between W-2 and 1099 contracting?

Great question! While most of our contractors are under the W-2 umbrella, some contractors do opt to work as 1099 workers instead. Here is a quick breakdown of the two options if you are considering contracting through Accountants One.

W-2 Employee

W-2 is the tax form used to report an employee’s annual income. As a W-2 employee, you have payroll taxes automatically deducted from your paycheck and your employer pays the government directly. W-2 employees are eligible for healthcare benefits and even 401k programs after an initial new hire wait period.

Benefits of Being a W-2 Employee

  • Healthcare benefits, once eligible
  • Company 401k program, once eligible
  • No additional tax-related paperwork

1099 Independent Contractor

1099 is the tax form issued to an independent contractor to show how much you were paid for the year. 1099 contractors are responsible for calculating their own payroll taxes and submitting the sum to the government on a quarterly basis. Most 1099 contractors need to pay for their own healthcare benefits and retirement planning.  If you don’t have time to do your own taxes, we recommend consulting with a CPA who can help you stay on track financially.

Benefits of Being a 1099 Independent Contractor

  • Ability to deduct expenses on tax returns
  • Able to manage and control tax deductions
  • Higher earning potential

Are you ready to learn more about open contract positions?

Whether you want to be a 1099 contractor or a W2 contractor, Accountants One has resources to help!

At Accountants One, we understand the value of contracting, both for our clients and our candidates.  Whether your passion is working as a true contractor or more of a temp-for-hire, we’re here to help. We put the same care and passion into placing contract workers as we do direct hire roles.

We’ll support your journey with a track record that offers you peace of mind. Our placement contract success rate has never dropped below 80% and is consistently at least 20% higher than the industry average.

So, if contracting is something you’ve been considering, or you’ve already committed to the notion, let’s chat!  We’d love to hear learn more about your aspirations. Reach out to an Accountants One Recruiter directly or check out our open positions.

“I’ve worked with Accountants One as a W-2 employee, and I’ve worked with them as a 1099 employee. In both cases, I found them helpful and knowledgeable. Definitely recommend!”

Accountants One W-2 and 1099 Contractor

Are you ready to learn more about open contract positions?

Whether you want to be a 1099 contractor or a W2 contractor, Accountants One has resources to help!

At Accountants One, we understand the value of contracting, both for our clients and our candidates.  Whether your passion is working as a true contractor or more of a temp-for-hire, we’re here to help. We put the same care and passion into placing contract workers as we do direct hire roles.

We’ll support your journey with a track record that offers you peace of mind. Our placement contract success rate has never dropped below 80% and is consistently at least 20% higher than the industry average.

So, if contracting is something you’ve been considering, or you’ve already committed to the notion, let’s chat!  We’d love to hear learn more about your aspirations. Reach out to an Accountants One Recruiter directly or check out our open positions.

The Case For Contracting: Flexibility? Autonomy? What’s Not To Love?

At Accountants One, we understand the value of contracting, both for our clients and our candidates.  Whether your passion is working as a true contractor or more of a temp-for-hire, we’re here to help.

The Case For Contracting: Flexibility? Autonomy? What’s Not To Love?

The Case For Contracting: Flexibility? Autonomy? What’s Not To Love?

March 7, 2022

Many of us grew up watching parents whose ambition was to set their career course with a single company.  Get the job, the benefits, and eventually, the gold watch for retiring after decades of service to one organization.

But in the 21st century, where the gig economy has overtaken the gold watch mentality, many job candidates have a different view of what a thriving career looks like.  They value opportunities to set their own schedule, be their own boss, and chart their own course. 

Contracting work provides a viable and varied path for those whose entrepreneurial spirit calls them to balance income with independence.

If the notion of making yourself available as a contractor has you curious, here are some things to consider in weighing whether it is the right path for you: 

Flexible Schedule

Long before Dolly Parton sang about the rigors of working 9-to-5, it was considered the default expectation of most office workers.  Today, however, many companies recognize the value in giving workers flex-time schedules, and contractors are often greeted with the maxim of, “as long as you get the work done on schedule, you can set your own hours to get it done.”

This means you can spend quality time with family, take a half-day hike, or sleep in a bit and still hit your deadlines without anyone grousing about your ‘out of office’ status for a couple of hours mid-afternoon.  This means healthy work/life boundaries.  This means greater productivity while you are on the clock.   If these things matter to you, consider contracting a winning proposition.

Working Remotely

Remote work was already rising in popularity pre-2020, but the past two years of pandemic life have helped companies discover the vast possibilities and benefits of having a work-from-home option.  Contractors are already at the forefront of this movement, as many contracting roles are not designed to involve a lot of onsite engagement.  This means hours saved each week battling traffic (and dollars saved on gas!).  It means working from the comfort of your own home.  Heck, it means working barefoot if you want!  So, if you’ve got the discipline to get your work done in the comfy surroundings of home, this is another check in the win column for contracting.

Broaden Your Horizons

Of course, contracting isn’t just about freedom and flexibility.  It’s also an opportunity to broaden your horizons by engaging with a variety of companies on an array of projects.  You’ll gain fresh insights, make new connections, and get to sample industries and environments that might help you determine your next career move.   You’ll actually strengthen your resume and enhance your skills while exploring the possibilities available to you.

For some job candidates, contracting is a temporary step toward a greater plan; it’s the Whitman’s Sampler Box of work scenarios, as you complete one assignment and decide whether you want to move on to the next, or dig in where you are. 

Staying In The Mix

If you’re between full-time opportunities, contracting is a great way to keep cash flowing in and good karma flowing all around.  Employers are often impressed by the enterprising spirit of a candidate who has proactively sought contracting work to stay fresh and busy between full-time engagements.  Of course, often the best job resource is the very company you’re contracting with, who may be so impressed with your work that they offer you the opportunity to apply for a more permanent role with them, should it be available.

Needless to say, for your own benefit, the assurance of a paycheck coming in is a weight off your own shoulders.  So, if you feel you can actively seek your next full-time role while balancing a contracting opportunity, you might find the effort more than worth it.

Speaking of Paychecks…

While there’s no hard, fast rule here, contractors at many companies often make a good deal more than the organization’s full-time employees.  That’s because they can modulate your scope of work, so they know what they are getting for what they are paying out.  But it’s also because they aren’t paying for your healthcare benefits, sick leave, or vacation time.  If that sounds appealing to you, contracting work may just “pay off” for you.

The Boss of Me

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, there’s a mindset that comes with contracting work.  You are, ultimately, your own boss.   Yes, once you go under contract for a project or a timeframe with a company, you need to abide by your agreement, but unlike most full-time employment situations, you can say “no” to projects that don’t fit your needs.  That ‘need’ maybe around your schedule or your desired career path, but either way, you can simply say, “no thank you, but please keep me in mind next time.”    Most people who contract feel a greater sense of agency, autonomy, and independence.  That often translates into being more invested in getting the job done right for the client.  You’re happier because of your work conditions, and you’re compelled to ensure the client is equally happy with your performance.  There’s that karma again. 

Wanna Contract?  We’ve Got Your Back

At Accountants One, we understand the value of contracting, both for our clients and our candidates.  Whether your passion is working as a true contractor or more of a temp-for-hire, we’re here to help. We put the same care and passion in placing contract workers as we do full-time roles. 

We’ll support your journey with a track record that offers you peace of mind. Our placement contract success rate has never dropped below 80% and is consistently at least 20% higher than the industry average.

So, if contracting is something you’ve been considering, or you’ve already committed to the notion, let’s talk.  We’d love to hear learn more about your aspirations.

#1 Trusted Resource for Accounting & Finance Talent