Stress in accounting profession is real. The amount of mental pressure accompanied by the exhaustive physical work has been weighing down on many Accountants. The past 10 months or so haven’t been easy for anyone, especially for Accountants as they have been tasked with varied responsibilities ranging from advisory to forensic accounting. The heartbreaks have been real so far and the level of emotional stress for Accountants are dealing with is pretty high. They have been witnessing their client’s business sufferings firsthand, while many are even on the verge of collapse which is why we are here with a few mental health advice for Accountants.
Moreover, each one of the UK Government’s COVID aid scheme announced over the past 8-10 months to help businesses, has made Accountants the saviors. However, saviors always have to sacrifice
The UK Government’s announcement of various aid schemes as a proactive response to the ongoing pandemic has further been adding onto the already existing stress levels for Accountants. According to a report from The Chartered Accountants’ Benevolent Association last year, “98% of accountants stressed – even before the coronavirus outbreak.”
Here are a few tips for Accountants to help them deal with these tough times and come out on top.
Mental health advice for Accountants:
Rest don’t stress:
Working from home and adjusting to the new normal hasn’t been easy for anyone. However, in between the rapidly changing government schemes and building business continuity plans, Accountants have been caught up in the middle. The past few months have been pretty restless for them as they are ethically bound by their duties to the clients. All work and no play is making Jack(Accountant) an overstressed guy. This has to be done with. Accountants need to understand that their mental health is of primary concern. Instead of continuously working for long hours with a few hours of sleep, they need to follow a routine that includes 8-9 hours of proper sleep, physical exercises, mental exercises like meditation, and a proper diet plan. Take a day off and don’t overburden yourself with client expectations.
While video conferencing has become the new black of communication, unclear communication between teams and clients can be a result of increased levels of stress. Many times rework has to be done just because of communication gaps. This results in a failure to deliver on-time which is again a valid reason for chronic stress. It’s time that Accountants and Accounting firms set clear rules and goals regarding communication since remote work culture is here to stay.
Not everyone enjoys working in solitude. Some need physical interaction too in order to deal with their work frustration. The regular commute to the office has been replaced by a study table by the side of the bed, and the whole day just passes away with literally no social interactions. Humans have lived and thrived as social animals for ages. But these tough times have forced us to be locked in our homes. However, practicing social distancing doesn’t mean you distance yourself from society. Take out some time from your busy schedule and spend some quality time with your friends and family. Getting social can be a great way to relieve stress.
Choose technology that suits your needs the best:
It sounds pretty vague when I mention choosing the right technology under a section that relates to managing stress. But the correlation here is pretty simple. There’s no doubt that technology has been playing a great role in the ever-changing Accounting profession. The issue, however, is the way Accountants leverage this technology. Accountants should keep in mind that they are number-savvy guys and not tech-savvy guys. Choosing the wrong technology, be it an Accounting software that fails to suit your needs or be it a video conferencing platform that is costing you too much, technology can have a bad side too.
While technology will continue to influence the Accounting profession, researching a technology for its use cases before incorporating it is always a wise option.
Firm leadership should prioritise mental health:
In a survey conducted by Hays and ACCA, released during the Mental Health Awareness week, over professionals 2,000 working in accounting and finance were surveyed. Around 54% of these professionals stated that their employer has not provided any wellbeing support during the lockdown. This is a serious issue.
Times are tough and employers are looking for ways to minimise their losses at this point of time. But with such leadership, the hierarchy won’t be able to survive for long enough since the very base which constitutes of employees(Accountants) is being sacrificed at the expense of client satisfaction and meeting deadlines.
The dynamic Accounting industry has put a toll on the mental health of the accountants as they stand in the frontline of the defense in the fight against the COVID-19. But in the long run, mentally healthy will survive while the unhealthy one will be left struggling. Therefore, it is very important for Accountants to prioritise their mental health above everything else.