Technology

38% of Accountants With Harmonious Use of Technology Have Low Burnout

99% of accountants previously reported experiencing burnout. Is tech burnout’s remedy?
38% of Accountants With Harmonious Use of Technology Have Low Burnout
Photo: Jirapong Manustrong

As employee burnout continues to be prioritized by companies who are looking to keep their employees satisfied and engaged, recent survey data from FloQast shows a direct relationship between the level of burnout for accountants and their relationship with work-related technology.

In July, the company found that 99% of accountants experienced some level of burnout, and its newest report shows that properly integrated technology solutions help improve employee satisfaction. With an almost identical rate of response rate of positive and negative relationships with technology from accountants, the amount of burnout the two groups experience are drastically different. 

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According to FloQast, survey respondents’ accountant-technology relationships are split into three parts:

  • Adversarial: Where the tech is seen as more of a hindrance than a resource
  • Routine: Where the tech works but the value added is minimal
  • Synergistic: Where the tech is a true partner in the accountant’s work

An almost equal number of accountants told surveyors they have synergistic (36%) or adversarial relationships (35%) with their technology. Another 29% reported having routine relationships with technology in their work. Data collected also revealed that the better an accountant’s relationship and understanding of the technology, the less likely they were to experience burnout. 

“The accounting industry continues to progress beyond highly manual, obsolete processes,” Mike Whitmire, CEO of FloQast told CFO. “Automation software solutions not only assume repetitive or tedious tasks, greatly reducing the number of time accountants need to spend on these processes, but also minimize potential human error.”

“The skills and processes that go along with outdated ways of doing business are still the standard for most accounting teams,” said Whitmire. “Meaning the automation technology needs to think the way accountants do to add true value to both the accountant and business as a whole.” 

Determining the Level of Burnout

As the technology in accounting expands, organizations that implement these processes into their workflows are reaping benefits in both productivity and employee morale. Survey results found that 58% of accountants who reported a high level of accounting software technology integration into their processes also reported a synergistic relationship with their technology.

  Mike Whitmire

This percentage was more than double the percent for those with a medium integration score, while being nearly five times more than the 15% for those with a low integration score. Forty-two percent of accountants in the high integration score range had a routine technology relationship which, according to the survey, suggests that having an integrated system plays a meaningful but insufficient role in ensuring a synergistic relationship and any associated improvements with accountant burnout.

Accounting professionals with a synergistic relationship with technology had burnout scores that were 15 points lower than those who had an adversarial relationship, and 11 points lower than those with a routine technology relationship.

The data goes on to show that 38% of accounting professionals with a synergistic technology relationship have a low level of burnout. This is more than double the percentage of those with a routine relationship, and another five times as much as those accountants with an adversarial relationship with technology.

Work-Life Balance

Proper use of technology, along with a positive relationship with it, may result in accountants taking less of their work home with them. Survey results found that accountants with a synergistic relationship to technology avoid negative impacts on their personal lives more so than those with more negative relationships or opinions on technology. 

Findings revealed that, in looking back at the previous 12 months, accountants who enjoyed a synergistic relationship had fewer negative month-end close experiences. Respondents said their personal life was negatively impacted in 1.5 fewer months than those with an adversarial relationship with tech, and 1.2 fewer months than those who have a routine relationship. The difference is a saving of nearly 90 and 60 days annually, respectively.

“Having technology that is built with the goals, skills, and needs of the accountants in mind creates a stronger relationship between the employee and the technology,” Whitmire said. “As our survey points out, that stronger relationship leads to accountants experiencing higher levels of satisfaction with their jobs and also gaining more time to complete tasks.”

“While technology is crucial in accounting, finding the right technology has large effects on employee experience and satisfaction,” he continued. “Which, in turn, affects the company as a whole.”

Conducted in partnership with the University of Georgia Consumer Analytics Program, the survey included the perspectives of 217 accounting and finance professionals.