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Public Accounting Hours Per Week – Average Hours CPAs Work in Public Accounting (Very Detailed)

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if you’ve come to check out this video you’re probably thinking about going into public accounting or just want to learn more about the type of hours public accountants work there are several factors that I can share with you in my six years of experience that are going to determine how many hours a week you’ll actually have to work on average throughout the course of the year by the end of this video I think you guys are gonna have a much better understanding of the type of hours you’ll have to put in if you work as an accountant I highly recommend watching this whole video because at the end of it I’m going to show you a spreadsheet that breaks down the average hours per week for each month of the year that you can expect to work in public accounting what’s up guys it’s Mike also known as MK the CPA welcome to money and live TV the channel that you come to every single week to improve your financial position your career and your life if you guys have not already seen my video on how much money do CPAs make make sure to check it out I’ll link it up right above and also I’ll put links to that video in the description down below in that video I asked hey if you want to see more videos like this and want to learn more about public accounting I said just hit that like button and you guys did you guys really voted that you wanted to see more videos like this and so that’s one of the reasons I’m producing this video I remember starting off in public accounting or when I was first thinking about becoming an accountant first thing I thought about was hey what kind of money they make but the second thing I thought about was what kind of hours do they work and that’s what this video is gonna cover now I can only share from my personal experience when I did some research online just to see what other kind of information is out there you get answers that are kind of all over the place so I really think it comes down to a few key factors which we’re gonna talk about right now that are gonna really be the determining factors of how many hours you can expect to put in every week throughout the year as the public accountant in all my years of experience I think the most important thing that’s gonna determine how many hours a week you can expect to put in is actually where you work I know that was a very common factor and determine your salary but this is also true in determining the number of hours you work so the size of the firm is really gonna matter depending on what firm you’re looking at joining I’ve seen both ends of the spectrum there’s the very very small firm where there’s 10 or less people and you have the role of doing everything you’re answering the phones you’re preparing tax returns you’re doing audits that can be an environment where it can be very very busy because there’s very few people to do the work then I’ve seen the other end of the spectrum where we look at big four big four firms like KPMG PwC over the years of working in accounting I’ve met several people who’ve worked out four firms and to this day I still have yet to meet a person who has come from a big four environment who said they have not worked a lot of hours what I’ve heard is common is 50 hours a week 60 hours a week even up to 80 hours a week at a big firm I find that the sweet spot is if you join a firm within around fifty to a hundred people firms that seem to have fifty two hundred people there’s different people taking care of different functions of the firm so you can be a little bit more specialized but not have to do every part of the accounting process for example you might not have to do auditing and taxes maybe you can just focus on taxes and that’s what I focus at in my firm I just focus on taxes we have other teams other departments who focus on audits we have a separate department that does all the bookkeeping to firms like that kind of have a team approach but what I found and that’s what has allowed for some flexibility at my job I’m not gonna talk a lot about work-life balance because I want to save that for another video I think the number of hours and work-life balance it’s related but they’re really two different things and I’ll explain why in a future video all right so the culture of the firm obviously the size of the firm I think those are the most important things initially I think the second most important factor that’s gonna determine what kind of hours you work is the type of work that you do obviously if you work tax you’re gonna work a lot of hours during tax season if you work audit you might have different busy times other things consider is if you’re an expert in this particular niche let’s say like a states and trusts or nonprofit you know usually those are very niche oriented and there’s very few people who do the work in those areas so if you get involved in niches you might find yourself working more hours than some of the other team members for example let’s say you do estates and trusts you’ll have estates and trusts tax returns to do right you’ll have gift tax returns you’re gonna have maybe some seven oh six is to prepare and some other stuff you might have to do that work on top of doing the individual returns the business returns etc so you your schedule might be a little busier because you’re in a niche so those are some things to consider in regards to the type of work that you do you’re probably gonna be busy at different times throughout the year you’re probably wondering hey what’s the busiest week or what’s the most hours you’ve ever put in in a single week and I can I’m happy to answer that the most hours I’ve ever put in in a single week was 72 hours now I know people like I said in the big four firms they’re putting an ad I know somebody who’s put in 90 hours a week or more so there’s people that do that I do not recommend it but generally I do not work 72 hours a week that’s only happened in the 6 years I’ve been doing public accounting I’ve only worked that many hours in a week like once or twice in 6 years I try to maintain my schedule pretty well so I don’t have to put in that number of hours because that’s pretty intense now because public accounting and accounting in general is so company specific the best advice I can give you is if you’re thinking about working somewhere so let’s say there’s a firm in town where you know you’re thinking of working but you’re not gonna know you’re obviously not gonna know those hours until you’re in this environment so what I could recommend you do is if you know somebody at that company take them to lunch get to know them and just ask them some questions know if you can jobs out of them see if they’ll let you do that all right you know if you can just see what their job is like you know chances are they’re gonna be pretty open and honest with you because like I said this type of work is very company specific and based on the company you work at and the type of worker you are the two main factors that are gonna determine the hours you work per week if you know you want a flexible schedule I would really negotiate that going in find out if the company even has a flexible work hours many of them don’t I’ve worked at three public accounting firms and only one of them have had flexible work hours so don’t assume that even though we have technology that allows us to work from home and all these other things don’t assume that every firm is gonna be flexible on the hours but like I said I would take somebody off the lunch and get to know them ask them about the company or I would negotiate upfront that flexible schedule if you can if that’s really important to you and I would ask as many questions as you can about the company before you actually start okay guys I am back with you and here’s the spreadsheet I love to give you I love well first of all I love spreadsheets cuz I’m a freaking accountant but here it is guys I wanted to give you a visual representation an organized rep visual representation of the expected at hours you might work when you join a public accounting firm I especially wanted to make this because I remember you know way back when I started public accounting you know these are the type of questions that are difficult to ask and it’s kind of like kind of like bad boot that um get like that bad vibes right or bad voodoo if you ask questions like this right like if you ask about hey how much do you make or hey what kind of hours you work it’s like not professional to ask such questions but here on YouTube I can cover that I can talk about things like that now obviously this is just from my own research all of this information and from my own experience each accountant you’ve talked to is probably gonna have some overlap with what the experience I’ve had but they also might have a whole different set of hours they work especially if they work big for are at a smaller firm so it really depends on who you ask but I just want to share my experience with you guys so the way I broke this out is I’ve broken this information out by month so throughout the year you can kind of see when there’s busy times and when there’s not so busy times and like I said that really comes back to what you do with them at the firm but and then I’ve covered like what’s busy season it is and then over here I think these are the industry averages based on my knowledge of the industry and the research I’ve done and then I’ve kind of broken out my averages over here now I’ll let you guys pause the video if you really want to look at this spreadsheet closely but let me just point out a few things so you’ll notice that tax season depending on the type of clients you have now that’s the one thing I forgot to mention the type of clients you have will also determine how busy you are because some clients are more involved than others that’s part of the hours mix if you ask me but in January that’s when tax season starts right so usually it’s the third week of January is when tax season really begins the pickups or the third week of January or the end of January is when things really start to ramp up and you go from forty hours a week 250 hours a week or more that’s when that when I found that stars from my experience like I said though it just depends on your workload your client Nick’s now I am I have clients who who have a November you’re in and so come January I’m already working on their tax return so I’m already busy super busy the day after New Year’s I am full fledge into this thing and I’m working my butt off by the time I finished them that client group then I’m already into the rest of the stuff and I’m busy all the way through April 15 I think industry averages depending on the hours you negotiate upfront and what you can expect is gonna be anywhere from 40 to 70 hours a week I honestly think for most people you’re only gonna be working maybe 40 to 50 in January but towards the end of January you’re probably working about 55 to 60 hours a week same is true for February you’re probably looking at 55 to up the 70 hours a week with like 55 being the average just consider 55 to be the average work week 50 to 55 hours or maybe even 50 to 60 hours a week I would expect for most firms now big four you’re probably I’m guessing going the average would be more like 60 to 80 hours a week and a big four firm but I don’t know I’ve never worked at a big four firm now obviously so in March you have the business tax return deadline so it can be super super freaking busy around March 15 one of my year is where I work 70 hours was around the business deadline around March 15 I’ve only done that one year or once there twice in my life but near a major deadline that’s when the hours really really ramped up then in April same thing it can be really crazy busy possibly the most busiest the first or second week of April when you’re trying to get everybody’s individual return done so the obviously you can guys can look at the hour ranges here and kind of determine for yourself so my average is so in January I Pro you know starting off in January I’m probably working like 40 to 50 hours a week you know usually about 45 the first week or two it just depends really if when the information comes in but I’m I would expect about 45 to 50 hours a week in January and then towards the end of January you know I’m back to 50 to 55 now most of most the tax season I’ve worked I I work around 55 hours a week most of the time between then I range between 55 to 60 hours I do not usually go much over 60 if at all I usually be stay between 55 and 60 and that’s all the way through tax season guys you know some weeks I’ll work 61 62 but usually that’s the highest I get except for those two times in my life where I work seven over 70 hours in May so now let’s step take let’s take a step outside of tax season most people aren’t that busy first leaving taxes in there might be a lot of extension work left to do there might be audits starting up or ramping up it just depends but there is for me since I do taxes there’s actually a non-profit or an exempt organization deadline in May on May 15th so I still stay pretty busy not like tax season busy but you know even outside of tax season my hours go back down to around 40 so I probably arrange between 40 to 43 hours the rest of the year are between 40 to 45 as you can see in June you know I think the average is for most companies outside of tax season in public accounting are probably 40 to 50 or as mine range between usually forty to forty three hours a week that’s what I typically put in and that seems to work for me and I’m still able to get my work done timely and turn it around quickly like I said guys I don’t tube or you can just look at these charts and graphs I will let you guys know that um as you can see I put a range right because every company is gonna be a little bit different so it can vary but I’m most the time on though I’m on the lower end of the range I’m usually not on the high end of these ranges so if you’re looking at my averages look more towards the lower end to the middle so just bigger most of the year outside of tax season I’m working 40 to 45 hours a week now in September that’s of course the business tax return extension deadline it gets a little busy around there you might work some overtime in that area to finish all those business returns same thing is true for October and October on October 15th is the deadline for people’s personal returns that were extended but around that time obviously you can really ramp up again you know I might find myself working close to 50 hours a week or the first couple weeks of October but like I said guys most of the year outside of tax season I’m working forty to forty three hours a week and that’s what I’m happy with that’s my balance I if I work much more than that that really cuts into my personal life my health you know doing being able to do this YouTube channel so I work I worked really hard to manage my hours the best I can so I can do other things outside of work and stuff like this because I really love doing sharing information like this with you guys and being a part of that so guys feel free to Stu spawns the video check out the spreadsheet and just remember the factors I mentioned I will list the factors that we talked about earlier in the video in the comment section down below and also includes some time stamps so you can jump right to those points if you want to revisit it make sure to check out my video on accounting salaries or how much money CPAs make if you want to see more videos like this guys just make sure to let me know in the comment section down below and like I said just hit that like button because when you hit that like button it’s like Mike yes more content like this please I’m really interested in this kind of stuff and I want to learn more about it alright guys if you liked the video make sure you smash that like button if you liked it share this information with a friend especially friends who are going into a public accounting if you guys have not already subscribed highly consider subscribing because I make new videos typically every single week that are gonna help you learn personal finances investing taxes and things that are gonna help you not only in your career but every day life alright guys thank you for being such a wonderful audience I would love to hear from you in the comments section below what’s the most hours you’ve ever worked at a county firm or in a single week it doesn’t have to be even being in accounting what’s the most hours you’ve ever worked in a single week leave it in the comments section down below and like I said guys thank you so much for your love and support you guys are a great audience and thank you for taking the time to watch this video good luck to you in your search to become a public I hope you found this information helpful if for some reason I did not answer your question just feel free to drop me a question I’m very happy to respond to any questions you may have and I will see you guys in next week’s video bye guys hey

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