Accounting Doesn't Have to be Depressing

March 8, 2011
“Stress. Stress. Stress.” That's how a recent article by describes the lives of financial advisors and financial professionals in a story about “10 Careers with High Rates of Depression.” As highly specialized, technical financial professionals with a mission critical, error-prone primary task, most financial reporting professionals would look at the term “stressful job” as a gross understatement. And, with the increase in SEC reporting mandates and ever-tighter deadlines, it's become more challenging for financial reporting teams to find time to focus on the day-to-day responsibilities of their job. It's no wonder 70 percent of financial professionals will be job hunting this year with nearly half of them expecting to leave their current employer, according to a February 11, 2011 article by Accountancy Age. But, I'm not convinced they are simply moving off to greener pastures. If an overwhelming majority of financial professionals are looking for a change, will they be walking into a similar situation in a different role and/or just moving to a different employer? So what's the root of the issue? I'm sure some of these folks are interested in a management or culture change, a better salary, or upgrade in title or status, but what if the financial reporting process and technology at their new employer remain the same? Despite technological advances in nearly every area of our lives, the process of drafting and filing documents with the SEC has stubbornly resisted modernization...until now. In addition, the current report drafting process can be tedious with financial reporting teams relying on antiquated applications to prepare complex and sophisticated reports. Simply put, the expectations have never been higher and the pressure never greater for external reporting teams. Albert Einstein once said, “Insanity (is) doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” If the financial reporting process and its related technology haven't changed much in the past 25 years, can you blame financial professionals, in particular SEC reporting professionals, for being depressed and stressed? What's the solution to this financial professional depression? While prescription medicine could help financial professionals feel better, financial reporting teams could really benefit from Wdesk—the first and only end-to-end solution for external financial reporting. Our fully-integrated, cloud-based solution can reduce the time, risk, and costs associated with the entire external reporting process.

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  • Download this case study to learn how FBL Financial Group, Inc. improved morale and a better work/life balance for employees.
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Mike Sellberg

About the author

Mike Sellberg is Executive Vice President and Chief Product Officer at Workiva. He is the former EVP and CTO at iMed Studios and the former Divisional General Manager at Engineering Animation, Inc.