Forget the Money—Give Me Flex-Time.

BY LYNETTE JO ANDERSON

Another missed opportunity! In “Pay Your Staff for Performance” ( JofA, Dec.00, page 63), once again, someone missed the chance to show that incentives and rewards for performance should be based on more than money.

In the first paragraph, the “effectiveness of flexible work arrangements” as a motivator was mentioned as second only to cash bonuses, yet the article never addressed them again. I suppose the last sentence, “Cash, anyone?” summed it all up.

I’ve been in public accounting for 14 years, although the average stay for women is only about four years. The one thing I have virtually had to plead for was a flexible work arrangement.

I came to my current firm from a very small one where I had the opportunity to maintain a flexible schedule—the demands I put on myself were more than the firm required. It was an absolutely wonderful situation.

When I moved to the larger firm, I did not expect or anticipate anything but the overwhelming full-time-plus schedule that is usual in the accounting profession. Again, I was surprised to be given the option of a flexible work schedule (although it was not as flexible as at the smaller firm). However, I have to deal with being labeled “undercommitted” and believe I’ve not been offered a “move up the ladder” because of it.

When will this profession learn? I am facing my 15th tax season—I work fewer hours than most, but more than full time. The thought of putting my life and my son’s on hold for another three-and-one-half-month period literally makes me ill. I am contemplating offering to give up a bonus, a probable raise and part of my fringe benefits in exchange for working fewer hours.

Give me my life, not more money! Get it?

Lynette Jo Anderson, CPA
Asheville, North Carolina

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