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November 29, 2022

Here’s Further Proof That Accounting Firms Need a Charge Code for “Wasting Time on Internet”

Okay, maybe some of you don't count the r/accounting subreddit as "proof" but that doesn't mean these things aren't happening!

From the "How much of your day is spent just browsing the internet?" thread, the OP claims that it's just 10%. That's bush league compared to some of the comments that include:

I work 8-5 M-F. I spend at least 6 of my 9 hours screwing around on the internet.


My old boss would have said 90%. I reckon it's probably closer to 20-30%. I like to work in short, intense bursts and then take a break.

Which means it's in the ballpark of 55%-60%.

Of course, there's a few earnest folks:

Do you mean at the workplace? I browse for maybe 20min a day at most in public accounting. I'm expected to bill 40 a week and complete work in a reasonable amount of time so I'm certainly not going to bill clients for messing around online.

I'll take a few minutes when I get to the office while I'm drinking coffee, checking email, etc, then another few after lunch, and that's it. Anyone considering public should be aware you work nonstop and it's not a job pushing paper around while pretending to work. 

Right, because NO ONE bills clients for messing around online.

Despite our obsession with productivity, some idle hours at work aren't going to hurt you and, in fact, studies have shown that it actually make you more efficient. Just think about it; if you're one of those unfortunate souls that has to bill their time, it would be quite impressive for you to show off that timesheet that has 2-3 hours going to "Reading Going Concern" but also completing a mountain of work as was expected by your immediate superior. 

As has been noted many, many times around here, results are what matter; it rarely makes a difference how the work gets done, just that it does get done and gets done right.

However, don't go thinking that if you've mastered the art of balancing YouTube with building elaborate spreadsheets that you can bolt out the door at 5:30 just because your work is done. The tradition of face time in accounting is stupid, yes, but that doesn't mean it will be cast aside as an archaic practice that is detrimental to productivity, morale, a sign of weak leadership and an indication that the culture at your firm is fucked. Hahahahaha, no, no. You will be forced to remain in front of your computers until the "all clear" is given for the day.

And some of, or maybe a lot of, that time will be spent on the Internet. Perhaps if the "Taking quizzes on BuzzFeed" billing code was made available, the TPTB at accounting firms would recognize what a waste working hours 9.5 through 15 are. 

Until that time, surf away, my friends.   


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