No, we’re not asking you to “pull a hustle” or to “hustle someone”. Rather than a con, the word “hustle” has started to refer to how fast, how hard, and how much you can work. And let’s be honest, as someone working in Finance, we know you’ve already proven that you can hustle with the best of them.
Finance is known as an industry that demands dedication. Unfortunately, that dedication often comes in the form of working long hours. Nights are invaded with work, and weekends… what are weekends? Work leaks past the 9-5 boundaries and dominates our lives.
So, You Can Hustle, but Should You?
It’s always been a matter of pride to be able to declare oneself a hard-worker, but today, everyone wants to be known as the hardest worker. We live in a society where we’re taught that hard work gets rewarded and commands respect, and that’s a lesson often reinforced in the competitive culture of the corporate world.
The problem in Finance is that the work that creates late nights and infiltrates weekends isn’t fun work, it isn’t interesting, and it doesn’t even add value to the company. It’s work that needs to be done, but it’s time-consuming, repetitive, and dull.
It’s called “non-value add” work and it doesn’t give you rewards or respect. Even worse, these non-value add responsibilities are a part of the finance cycle, so as soon as those tasks are complete, it’s about time to start doing them all over again.
But in Finance, being overworked is part of the culture and it’s what you do as part of a team. Everyone bands together to work long hours just to complete the bare minimum—the essential tasks that don’t add value to the broader business. To stand out in a Finance Department as a leader, you have to somehow manage to find more time to work on projects that will add value to the company.
The culture of overwork is exhausting. It’s working hard endlessly and tirelessly for no reward or recognition, which is why Finance has turnover rates of up to 25% a year—one of the highest across all industries.
How Do You Get Out of the Cycle & Get Ahead?
You can hustle all you like, but this alone is not enough. If you want to be a leader in your Finance Department, you already know that you need to do more than grunt work. You need to be an exceptional accountant, doing value-add work. But to accomplish that, it’s essential to shift the cultural focus away from overwork and toward hard work, and this requires a little help.
Robotic process automation (RPA) is a relatively new technology that helps accountants by relieving some of the workload. The beauty of RPA is that it gives you the benefits of hustling 24/7 without actually clocking those hours.
RPA takes a workload that is too heavy, too complex, and too urgent and eliminates the redundant, rules-based tasks, leaving you with the tasks that do add value to your company. Your work is still complex because Finance will always be challenging, but now it can also be rewarding and help you finally be recognized for your hard work because it benefits the company.
The Fallacy of the Hustle
Hustling by itself won’t get you anywhere. New technology, such as RPA, gives us an opportunity to break out of the cycle we’ve been stuck in for so long—for too long. With the help of technology, you no longer have to work hours on end just to do the bare minimum. RPA gives you the ability to take back your nights and let weekends be weekends again.
RPA is not about being lazy. It’s about being smart and recognizing yourself as a beneficial resource with finite time. It creates a culture that says it’s ok to work smarter. You’ll still work really hard, but now you can be a valuable employee within the 9-5 boundaries because life with a little less stress is so much sweeter.
So go ahead, challenge the hustle culture by using technology. You can still be an exceptional accountant while breaking down the idea that you need to hustle 24/7 to be one.