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Work-life balance still a challenge for finance professionals

Accounting and other financial services professionals continue to struggle to prioritise personal goals, spend enough time with family and manage stress and fatigue effectively, new research has found.

Macquarie’s 2015/16 Accounting and Financial Services Benchmarking Report recently surveyed 355 small to mid-tier accounting and financial services firms nationally, looking at what principals and partners are striving for on a personal level.

Head of wealth sales at Macquarie, David Clatworthy, said that while work-life balance still eludes a majority of principals and partners across the industry, those leading the highest-performing firms more actively used the resources at their disposal to help them manage competing priorities.

“Owners of larger firms reported having more challenges in freeing up their time, with 48 per cent saying they don’t have enough time to do what they want to do for the business,” Mr Clatworthy said.

“This was also a concern for 44 per cent of smaller firms, suggesting greater business efficiencies and internal cohesion are needed to help win back more personal time.”

Mr Clatworthy said indecision was a major obstacle in the pursuit of work-life balance for smaller firms, and may be a reflection of the increasing complexities that come with a growing business.

“Ultimately, the principals and partners of the highest-performing firms are less likely to see work-life balance and fatigue as solely personal challenges, and are more willing to leverage their firm’s resources in order to find more time for the things that matter – time with family, for themselves and on their business,” he said.