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Empowering Women to Find Balance between Work and Home

While many women may not be partners in a firm, they ARE able to find a balance between home and work even while they are raising children.

Susan* has been working as a bookkeeper for 26 years at the same firm. She works in public accounting doing work for clients and administrative work for the firm. She is married with two teenaged children.

How has she been able to strike a balance between work and home? When asked, she gave the following answers:

Be Willing to Work Part-Time

Although she began her career full-time, once her oldest child was born she began to work part-time. This part-time work has looked different throughout different seasons of life. When her babies were small, she came into the office only twice a month. Now that her children are teenagers, she is able to work close to full-time hours during the school year (a big help at tax time!) with reduced hours in the summer so she can be home most of the time her kids are home.

Create a Niche for Yourself

What made her employer so willing to give her a part-time position after years of full-time work? She had made herself invaluable by creating a niche for herself in the office. Susan says, “the position I had when my kids were born involved handling very confidential information of the firm itself.  Because of this, my boss was interested in working with me to keep me doing certain duties so he wouldn’t have to worry about trusting and training someone else.  I would recommend that you create a niche in where you are an expert in a certain area (auditing, individual or corporate taxes, payroll, non-profit work, etc.).  By doing this you can establish yourself as highly valuable to your employer with the likelihood of them negotiating with you a schedule that works best for you.”

Non-Traditional Work Hours

“Traditional work hours are a thing of the past. While the 8-5 job might still be the most convenient time for many to work, others could prefer a 5 am start and end in the early afternoon in time to get the kids off the bus,” Susan said.

Work Remotely

Technology, which includes having a paperless office, provides a way to help everyone stay connected regardless of their hours. Working from home could take place on a daily basis or on an as-needed basis to accommodate children’s schedules like snow days or sick days. “The key here,” Susan says, “is to have clear communication with the office since you do not see people face to face. Answer emails and questions clearly and quickly.”

Delegate Responsibilities at Home

Margaret* began her full-time work as a CPA when her children were young teenagers. Since she knew coming home from the office at 5:30 would make dinner preparations difficult, she trained her two daughters how to make simple meals. She created a recipe book with detailed, step-by-step instructions to get the girls comfortable in the kitchen when making the family’s favorite recipes.  Delegating the chore of cooking freed her up to focus on her family when she arrived home and, as a bonus, taught her daughters a necessary life skill.

With thoughtful planning, women can create a balance between work and home so that they can be their best in both places. Women need to be honest with themselves, their families, and with their employers about their availability and the amount of work which they can do with excellence.

*not their real names, but definitely their real story!


Carla Caldwell is the owner of Caldwell Consulting & Training.  Carla works with business owners (especially non-profits) to bridge the gap between growing business and specific accounting solutions.

She also helps accounting and bookkeeping firms implement the tools that help them to be more successful- from value pricing to process development to the apps that support their systems.  Learn why companies are utilizing Caldwell Consulting & Training, to get better organized, more efficient systems and stronger results.

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