Time to give thanks: What finance professionals are grateful for in 2021.
Happy Thanksgiving! The beauty of the holiday is that it brings people together, and community is often the thing we are most thankful for (even though it may, on occasion, mean complicated dinners).
Appreciating those we are thankful for includes the people who support us at work. Studies show that gratitude leads to improved productivity, but it’s also simply good karma to recognize the positivity in our professional lives. When we do so, our attitude shifts. We start to look for even more good things, in essence, physically changing the brain.
As the community manager for Airbase’s Off the Ledger Slack group — a community we truly appreciate — I reached out to ask members what they are thankful for in their professional lives. Off the Ledger is a Slack community of finance and accounting professionals with over 2,900 members, supporting thousands of conversations about everything from software recommendations to accounting treatments, to hiring, and everything in between. We vet every applicant to make sure that the community’s members are practicing finance or accounting pros, and we also protect the environment as a sales-free zone.
The responses show that finance pros:
- Know how to support each other.
- Are committed to continuous learning, and improvement.
- Appreciate tools that help them do their jobs more efficiently.
Gratitude for professional advice and other lessons.
Learning from feedback is a frequent theme of the Path to Becoming a CFO speakers’ series. Kelly Battles, CFO at Quora, summed it up well: “It’s important, especially early on, to ask for feedback, be open to it, and then learn who gives you good feedback. Build a relationship with them.” That’s the philosophy of several respondents, who told us they’re thankful for feedback and advice they’ve received. A few examples of appreciated advice or feedback:
- I am learning how to let unimportant things go. I used to work, work, work until every little thing was complete, but my boss has been encouraging me to prioritize what is important, and do the other things later.
- I’m grateful for vendor feedback, which has been enormously valuable.
- Encouragement from my network to branch out and try a new opportunity where I’m bringing valuable expertise from my prior experiences, but still learning and growing a lot professionally!
- To hold out for a job that gives you a good gut feeling!
- Always keep moving, never stay content.
- You don’t have to know everything.
We were happy to see some responses mention Off the Ledger, including:
- Learning about the Off the Ledger community has been really helpful on many occasions.
- The #vendor-and-software channel has been really helpful in selecting an AR automation tool this year.
- The community support I got here (in Off the Ledger) made a huge difference.
Our responses also showed that it takes the proverbial village to perform well professionally. In a year marked by change and adjustments, many Off the Ledger members singled out the support they received from colleagues as something they’re thankful for:
- Great working relationships are key — especially over the last year plus.
- Appreciate my teammates’ openness and sharing over my past two months of onboarding!
- This year, it’s been emotional support. I have a great team who has supported me through some difficult times!
- Direct messages from my network checking in on how I’m doing.
- I am thankful for my team doing their best to keep people in good spirits.
- Thankful for a new job with wonderful people who appreciate great tools.
- I am thankful for our amazing bookkeeper.
Patience, affirmation, and coaching were also mentioned as much-appreciated forms of support over the last year.
Tech stack appreciation.
Of course, we also had to ask about the tools Off the Ledger members appreciated this year. I suppose it shouldn’t have come as a surprise that this community appreciates Excel! Some others that were mentioned include:
- Sage Intacct
Other respondents named general features that have made their lives easier. We were of course pleased to see that we made a few people’s lists. Some standouts:
- Having all of my AP consolidated.
- Having an organized database to pull info from.
- Being able to create a single-purpose credit card.
- I am thankful for Airbase — it’s made my team a lot more efficient and the business likes to use it, which is great.
Happy finance workers are thankful ones.
Off the Ledger members know that keeping finance teams happy is vital to a company’s success. Based on our responses, many little things in the workplace can make a significant difference to overall gratitude and happiness. Some other points our respondents are grateful for include:
- Monthly company-wide days of rest. So appreciated and necessary for recharging in a high-growth start up environment.
- Love the speaker that’s kept in the desk rows behind me, and the dance parties that go along with it!
- The #1 thing I’m grateful for is my boss. I’ve been in the workforce for 10 years now, and I’ve never had a job more than a year until this one. I’ve been here for 4 years, and I never plan on leaving.
- Free lunch every day.
- I’m super grateful for remote work. I can work from anywhere, even my bed!
- Thankful for a company that is embracing the fully remote workplace while still keeping the company connected and engaged.
- Having unlimited PTO is the best thing a company can have in a remote world.
We at Airbase are truly grateful for our growing community: customers, webinar attendees, blog readers, partners, and all who reach out to us.
Thanks to all who participated in our survey and helped raise money for Meals on Wheels.
Enjoy this season of gratitude with your loved ones and friends. I love knowing that there are speakers in offices that get people up and dancing! And if you’re not already a member, apply to join Off the Ledger.
Airbase offers a one platform solution to manage all non-payroll spend. It provides oversight and control over spending with real-time reporting and automatic syncing directly to your general ledger. Control all payments – physical cards, virtual cards, ACH, and checks – from one place. Close faster. Empower employees. Control spend.
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