Sharada Bhansali - 2012 Most Powerful Women in Accounting

Sharada Bhansali

Co-founder and Executive VP: AccountantsWorld
Hauppauge, NY
www.AccountantsWorld.com

Educational Background: MA Engineering, University of Buffalo; MA Mathematics, University of Buffalo

Hobbies: yoga, cooking

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Click here to see the other honorees
of the 2012 "Most Powerful Women
in Accounting" awards.

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Q&A

Studies show that more women than ever are graduating with accounting degrees, but few are pursuing, or staying in, public practice careers. What do you think may be causing them to think public accounting careers are not as attractive as other careers?

I believe the main reason is the long working hours, particularly during the tax season. That makes it difficult for women who want to raise a family and keep a work/life balance. Also, slow professional growth for women in accounting might be another deterring factor.

What advice would you give to these college students about the opportunities for women in the accounting profession?

Accounting professionals must continually adapt new technology. Being techno-savvy and keeping ahead in technology will help to advance their careers.

If you were asked as a consultant to give advice to firms, would you have any recommendations on things they could do to better retain and advance more qualified female staff?

Use technology to provide women professionals more flexibility in their work schedule. Cloud technology enables accountants to work more efficiently from home using a flexible schedule than working in the office under a regimented schedule.

Create an environment that enables employees to keep the right work/life balance. That keeps team members excited and makes them more productive. At AccountantsWorld our professionals work no more than 45 hours a week, and yet they produce far more than industry average.

What solutions have you found successful in managing work-life integration. the balancing of your career with your personal, family and social life?

The most important thing is to recognize that work, personal and social components are all important for leading a happy life. Once you realize this fact you find ways to balance all aspects of your life. Today’s technology makes finding this balance easier than ever. How mobile are you regarding your work? How have mobile devices and apps impacted your productivity and work-life balance? (Spending less time in the office?)

My work is different than most professionals in accounting. My role is to lead a team for developing technology. That makes most people believe I would be using mobile technology extensively, but I don’t. Keeping a work/life balance is important to me. When I am at work, I focus 100% on work. When I am at home, I try to devote 100% of time to family with the exception of checking emails.

What single piece of technology could you absolutely not live without, and why?

Today we live in a world where technology governs our lives. I can’t live without TV, phone, car, PC, the Internet. Can anyone?

What is your favorite professional mobile app, and why?

Obviously the mobile apps my team has developed for accounting, payroll and practice management are my most favorite apps.

What do you like to do when you actually have free time without any obligations to work or family?

Cooking, reading, yoga and most importantly relaxing while watching TV.

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