As employee burnout continues to be a priority for organizations looking to keep their employees happy and engaged, recent survey data from FloQast shows a direct correlation between accountant burnout levels and their relationship to work-related technologies.
In July, the company found that 99% of accountants experienced some level of burnout, and its latest report shows that properly integrated technology solutions help improve employee satisfaction. With an almost identical response rate of positive and negative relationships with technology among accountants, the level of burnout experienced by the two groups is drastically different.
According to FloQast, survey respondents’ accountant-technology relationships fall into three parts:
- Opponent: Where technology is seen as a barrier rather than a resource
- Routine: Where the technology works but the added value is minimal
- synergistic: Where technology is a true partner in the accountant’s work
An almost equal number of accountants told surveyors that they had synergistic (36%) or contrary (35%) relationships with their technology. Another 29% said they have routine relationships with technology at work. The data collected also showed that the better an accountant’s relationship and understanding of technology, the less likely an accountant is to experience burnout.
“The accounting industry is evolving beyond highly manual, legacy processes,” said Mike Whitmire, CEO of FloQast CFO. “Automation software solutions not only take care of repetitive or tedious tasks, significantly reducing the time accountants have to spend on these processes, but they also minimize potential human error.”
“The skills and processes that come with legacy business methods are still the standard for most accounting teams,” Whitmire said. “This means automation technology needs to think like accountants think in order to create real value for both the accountant and the business as a whole.”
Determination of burnout level
As technology expands in accounting, organizations that integrate these processes into their workflows benefit both in terms of productivity and employee morale. The survey results found that 58% of accountants who reported a high level of integration of accounting software technology into their processes also reported a synergistic relationship with their technology.
This percentage was more than double the percentage for those with an intermediate level of integration, while it was nearly five times higher than the 15% for those with a low level of integration. Forty-two percent of accountants in the high integration scores had a routine technology relationship, suggesting that an integrated system plays a useful but insufficient role in ensuring a synergistic relationship and any attendant improvements in accountant burnout, according to the survey.
Accountants with a synergistic relationship with technology had burnout scores that were 15 points lower than those with a controversial relationship and 11 points lower than those with a routine technology relationship.
The data further shows 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 that of accountants with a hostile relationship with technology.
Proper use of technology, along with a positive relationship with it, can result in accountants taking less work home. Survey results show that accountants with a synergistic relationship with technology are more likely to avoid negative impacts on their personal lives than those with more negative relationships or opinions with technology.
The results showed that looking back over the previous 12 months, accountants who maintained a synergistic relationship had fewer negative experiences with month-end closing. Respondents indicated that their personal lives were less negatively impacted in 1.5 months than those with a hostile relationship with technology and 1.2 fewer months than those with a routine relationship. The difference lies in a saving of almost 90 or 60 days per year.
“Technology that aligns with the goals, skills and needs of the accountant creates a stronger relationship between the employee and the technology,” Whitmire said. “As our survey shows, this stronger relationship results in accountants experiencing higher levels of job satisfaction and also gaining more time to get tasks done.”
“While technology is critical in accounting, finding the right technology has a big impact on employee experience and satisfaction,” he continued. “Which in turn affects the company as a whole.”
Conducted in partnership with the University of Georgia’s Consumer Analytics Program, the survey included the perspectives of 217 accounting and finance professionals.