The SEC Professionals Group Benchmark Report 2021 uncovers a link between working remotely and high job satisfaction

In its second year, the SEC Professionals Group Benchmark Report 2021 surveyed members to gather hard data about how they manage external reporting and their career development. 

One of the most important findings in this report is how working remotely changed members’ relationship with work. When it came to execution, they didn’t miss a beat. SEC reporting teams were prepared with the tools and processes to effectively adapt to remote working conditions under COVID-19. We also were surprised—and delighted—that those respondents reported strong levels of job satisfaction and a long-term commitment to the accounting and finance profession. 

Data is empowering, and the 2021 benchmark report gathers unique data about best practices in SEC reporting that is not available from other sources. SEC Pro Group members are using the report for strategic planning and to align their processes, technology tools, and staff.  

To strengthen the survey, and to make it easier for more SEC Pro Group members to participate, we’re accelerating the schedule for the 2022 SEC Professionals Group Benchmark Report. The 2022 data survey will be open for your input from November 1 – December 17th. One thing hasn’t changed: there will be incentives to take the survey! Those who complete the survey will be entered to win a robot vacuum. Start the survey here.

We made some tweaks to the 2022 survey questions that dig deeper into the specifics about your SEC reporting process, how you use non-GAAP reporting, and the vendors you use to produce SEC filings. To capture deeper insights behind the survey data, we’ve fine-tuned questions about your hiring criteria, your company’s office-reopening schedule, and its long-term remote work policy.

With your participation, we’re confident these changes will produce a timely and actionable report that will be available to you much earlier in the year than in the past.  We encourage you to take the survey. It’s your chance to voice your experiences and insights, and to influence the practice of financial reporting and SEC filing. 

In the meantime, the  SEC Pro Group Benchmark Report 2021 points to three clear takeaways about career development and career satisfaction:

  • Working remotely contributes to job satisfaction.
    SEC filers are resilient and adaptable, characteristics that were highlighted during the pandemic. Remote work created moderate personal hurdles, such as feeling disconnected from co-workers. Yet, financial filers report strong levels of job satisfaction and a long-term commitment to the accounting and finance profession. Maintaining their remote work status is an option that SEC filers are intent on protecting: to consider a new job, 55% say it's very important or extremely important to be able to work remotely. Financial reporting had the processes, technology, and relationships already in place before the pandemic. Remote work might have been the missing link to staying satisfied in a stressful job. We will watch to see how this trend develops and if returning to the office undermines high levels of job satisfaction.

  • Women begin to earn less than men early in their careers.
    Pay equity is an important issue to SEC Pro Group members and to the profession.  In the United States, almost 62 percent of accountants and auditors are women. The survey data shed light on the salaries of accountants, analysts, and managers, and found that the gap in salary equity begins early in a woman’s career. This is certainly disheartening, but data is the first step to progress. The SEC Pro Group will continue to research industry pay scales in the 2022 benchmark survey. 

  • Number one hiring trend: soft skills are in demand. 
    Companies are more likely to hire than to reduce staff, but half report that it’s tough to find qualified candidates. The news here is that soft skills are in demand. In fact, they are ranked as more important than technical skills, years of experience, and the ability to use technology tools. It certainly makes sense that soft skills are an important hiring criteria. Working remotely and communicating through digital technology means that self-awareness and effective communication ability are more important than ever.

These are just a few examples of the deep insights drawn from the benchmark report, and we encourage you to read the entire report. This is the type of thought leadership that helps SEC Pro Group members increase their value and influence across their companies.

And if you like what you read, please take the time to participate in the 2022 survey. It will be available November 1 – December 17. Complete the survey today for your chance to win a robot vacuum. You can’t win if you don’t complete the survey!

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