Work-Life Balance Adds Up at Accounting Firms

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Despite trends toward an increase in work-life balance, accountants can find harmony elusive during the tax-season crunch.

But achieving balance can be tough.

Don Augenstein of Augenstein, Mapes & Co. CPAs, says there is always work to do in the accounting field, making a work-life balance hard to come by, especially post-pandemic.

To Augenstein, a good work-life balance means having time to “do stuff with [my] family and do [work] outside of the house.”

His work schedule does not allow him to be very flexible, he says, and he believes his Canfield firm has not caught up from the pause the pandemic created. While more work means more business, it also means less flexibility and free time to enjoy life.

Organization is a key to a work-life balance, says Tracie Stephens, principal at Schroedel, Scullin & Bestic, Canfield. “You put everything in a bucket, your work, home life and the activities you do. The goal is to keep things from sloshing out,” she says.

Stephens says being on a team of public accountants allows flexibility and a supportive environment where work can be evenly split.

“It’s that support from each other that makes work-life balance a thing that is achievable. We all try to work smarter, not harder,” she says.

Carmela Minnie, senior tax manager at Cohen & Co., Youngstown, says her accounting firm does a wonderful job offering employees flexibility. The accounting field can lend itself to options for remote, paperless work.

Minnie, employed 11 years at Cohen, says there always has been the option to work remotely, although those options became even more flexible since the pandemic.

“I’m very lucky that Cohen understands that employees really need to find that balance in order to be their most effective at work,” she says. “[Cohen] is very committed to providing employees with work arrangements that are responsive to their needs and also support their employees’ professional goals.”