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U.S. workers aren't the only ones interested in work/life balance

May 12th 2011
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Sage has released the findings of a recent survey of nearly 200 of its French-speaking Canadian Sage Accountants Network members. Conducted in February and March 2011, the survey covers a variety of topics of interest to accounting professionals, ranging from top concerns to social media usage to the resources they tap into to stay on top of trends in the profession.

Among the 182 respondents, the biggest challenge facing their firms was time management at 32 per cent followed by keeping up with technology at 27 per cent. While these were common challenges for both French-speaking and English-speaking respondents, the prior also indicated that getting new clients (26%) is a significant challenge while the biggest challenge for the latter is achieving work-life balance (37%).

In terms of social media, the survey indicates a slower adoption rate among French-speaking respondents than their English-speaking counterparts in Canada and the U.S. Sixty-seven per cent of French-speaking respondents indicated that they aren’t using any social media tools in a professional capacity compared to 55 per cent in English-speaking Canada and 43 per cent in the U.S. In fact, only 14 per cent of respondents’ firms have a Web site compared to 26 per cent of English-speaking respondents. For those using social media, the survey reveals that the key tools that are being used are Facebook (17%) andLinkedIn (13%).

Although there are numerous Canadian accounting professional association publications, when asked which accounting publications respondents read, 65 per cent stated that they do not read anything compared to 56 per cent of English-speaking respondents. In the U.S. only 19 per cent of respondents indicated that they do not read any accounting publications.

“We have touch points with our members several times during the year through workshops, listening tours and at our annual Simply Partnership conference, and the majority have expressed how ardently devoted they are to furthering their professional knowledge, so this is a particularly surprising finding,” said Jennifer Warawa, senior director, partner programs at Sage. “We know many of our partners proactively seek out opportunities to build professional knowledge, such as seminars and conferences, and as such, our survey suggests that they do not find publications to be a compelling way to augment their professional growth strategy.”

Other highlights of the survey include:

  • In terms of online accounting resources, 87 per cent of respondent stated that they do not read any, while 89 per cent of their English-speaking counterparts indicated the same.
  • Only 16 per cent of respondents stated that their firm did specialize with clients in a particular industry compared to 31 per cent of English-speaking respondents.
  • Fifty-eight per cent provide services/consulting, 52 per cent focus on retail and 36 per cent specialize in construction.