Am I There, Yet? Taking Time off Work From Your Firm

Accountants aren’t famous for taking vacations. They’re known for working hard and seldom taking breaks. But long hours and late nights aren’t sustainable forever. If taking time off work isn’t on your radar, you may need to consider it eventually. Read on to learn how to take time off work as an accountant.

Why taking time off work is a good idea

Working day in and day out may feel like the right thing to do. You have a good work ethic and like the feeling of a hard day’s work. While there’s nothing wrong with hard work, you may suffer from burnout if you work too hard for too long.

Burnout is when you have too much work-related stress, which can make you feel tired or disconnected from your job. And if you have partners or work with a team, workplace burnout can be contagious.

Taking time off work can help avoid work-related burnout. It can also help in other ways too, like:

  • Helping you be a more dependable and productive accountant for your clients
  • Promoting a healthy work environment across your firm

Taking time off work in 5 easy steps

If you do take a vacation, pausing your work responsibilities isn’t always easy. The work vacation is alive and well. Almost 70% of workers still worked during their vacations. While it may feel like the right thing to do, it defeats the purpose of taking time off in the first place—to recharge your batteries and come back to work better than before. 

If you’re worried about how to take time off or don’t know where to start, here are a few simple steps you can take to get out of the office without any worries. 

1. Time your time off

Everyone knows that the first quarter of the year is busy season for accountants. You may feel busy year-round, even in the dead of summer. But just because there’s work to do doesn’t mean you should keep postponing your time off.

Obviously, the year’s first quarter isn’t the best time to take time off. But you have the entire rest of the year to choose from when taking time off work.

Here are some things to ask yourself when thinking about the best time to get away from work:

  • What are my firm’s paid time off or vacation policies?
  • When does business slow down?
  • What are my clients’ needs?
  • Can I financially afford to take the time away from work?

If you can time your vacation according to your firm or client’s needs, it may be easier to sit back and enjoy the time off. 

2. Plan your workload

When taking time off from work, you need to help your firm, team, and clients by planning ahead—and that doesn’t mean finding the best flight or hotel. You need to plan your workload so that it’s either finished when you leave or others can manage it when you’re away. And if you plan to spend an extended time away from work, make sure you can depend on recurring revenue, like payroll services, while you’re enjoying your time off.

Can you depend on recurring revenue?

Offering payroll services is a great way for accountants to increase profits. Download our free guide to learn how to get started!

Before you start packing your bags, you need to ask yourself a few questions, like:

  • How will time off affect my daily and weekly responsibilities?
  • Who can pick up my duties when I’m away from the office?
  • What tasks and projects should I finish before I leave?
  • How much recurring revenue can I depend on while I’m away?

Ask around and ensure everyone is on the same page, including team members and clients. If you have peers, make sure they know how to handle your duties and where to find necessary information, records, or tools.

Also, make sure your clients know what to expect when you’re soaking in the sun on the beach. If they can contact you in an emergency, let them know.

3. Plan your time off

Now comes the fun part: planning your time away from the office. Make sure you plan far enough in advance to get the rest of your team up to speed. This will also prevent your clients from being surprised that you’re away from the office. 

How far in advance should you plan your time off? Two weeks’ notice can give you a good buffer. But depending on your workload or the season, you may want to provide even more notice. The longer the vacation, the longer your notice should be so everyone can plan accordingly. 

4. Inform your firm and clients

Once you plan your time off, let everyone know about your plans. 

If you’re part of an accounting firm, make sure everyone knows what to expect once you leave. You’ve organized your workload with your trip in mind. Now’s the time to check in and make sure that everyone has what they need to handle your work while you’re out of the office. 

Let your clients know who they can contact while you’re on vacation. Make sure to provide them with emails and phone numbers, just in case. Let them know they’re in good hands if they seem worried about your absence. 

If it’s just you, let your clients know if they can contact you in case of an emergency. 

5. Unplug and relax

Finally. What you’ve been waiting for for so long: time off from work. At first, you may find it difficult to unplug from the job. Sure, you’ve taken your body out of the office, but your mind is still there. 

Just in case you’re still thinking about work, here are a few things you can do to help before you leave:

  • Lay down some communication rules just in case someone needs to get a hold of you 
  • Create an automatic reply for emails that lets the sender know you’re on vacation and when they can expect you back in the office
  • Turn off the notifications on your phone (silence is truly golden while on vacation)

Whether you’re traveling around Europe or enjoying a staycation, make sure you truly unplug and unwind. You’ve earned it. 

Looking to streamline your clients’ books and payroll? Want to set up recurring revenue you can enjoy all vacation long? Join Patriot’s Partner Program for award-winning payroll software for accountants, special pricing, free USA-based support, and more. 

This is not intended as legal advice; for more information, please click here.