If anyone is thinking about going on flex time, I would highly recommend it. It might not work for everyone, but my experience has been a positive one. I took a 20% pay cut along with 20% reduced hours. I am able to support my family with that income and my firm respects my limited hours, but I still need to plan to make sure I can complete tasks in my reduced hours too. Anyways, if you like what you do, but don’t like the long hours and can take a pay cut, I would do it.

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This allows me to spend more time with my kids when they are young and still grow professionally through experience. Once they go to school I can go back to full time, but I will most likely keep the reduced schedule. Your kids are only young once!

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Are you the sole income earner?
My husband and I would like to have kids but I’m the only one working right now.

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@TA1 I hope you two have the home and family you desire! Very inspiring to a fellow tax pro pursuing that lifestyle.

When you are asked to work for 80 hours. 20% reduced hours doesn’t mean a lot. Most likely i would still be working >40 hours a week so 80% pay doesn’t make any sense. Maybe its working for you. But are only sticking to max 32 hours per week ?

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I agree with your point, but I’ve heard of people going on reduced schedules in order to be able to work a normal 40 hour work week. It definitely feels wrong to have to have to do that but it’s just how our profession operates, unfortunately. When I was negotiating a reduced schedule, my managing partner always emphasized how overtime was (allegedly) factored into our salary. I think the having to work 50-80 hours per week year round, combined with uncompetitive salaries for the amount of work, is a big reason people are choosing to not go into public accounting, and rightly so.

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OP, what firm are you at? I did this for a year at a regional and the arrangement was not respected at all. I would have a ton of appreciation for any firm that allows a reduced working arrangement and actually respects it. The particular firm I was at treated my arrangement as if I would complete the same amount of work as I did full time, but in the reduced amount of time. There was zero adjustment to my client/engagement load, and I ended up working the same as my full time hours, but for a significant pay cut. I brought it up several times and it was never fixed, so I left before the year was over.

I think the timing might be different too, but also the planning of my time is key since truth be told I worked more than my hours on 9/15 deadline because I underestimated the hours to complete a tax return. So now I make sure I plan ahead and have a week of cushion to help out others on the last week instead of over working on projects I agreed to finish.

How does that work? You stop taking work when you're approaching 30 hours?

I have a feeling that people will just dump everything on me like usual and I end up with normal hours with 20% smaller pay.

So off season I’m 30 hours and busy season is 40 hours and I take on work based on estimated time to complete. If I’m apple hung my hours then I’ll assign it to someone else, but truth be told I have worked more than my reduced hours but that’s only a couple of weeks since July. Still worth it.

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