Accountants Struggle with Wellbeing

4th Dec 2020
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As lockdown continues, the sheer amount of workload coming through the virtual front doors places more pressure on accountants’ shoulders. There’s been an urgent need to attend to clients whose businesses are going under: Answering their questions and guiding them through the COVID-19 crisis is a daunting task. Not to mention the increased volume of work involved in keeping up with ever changing developments, tracking pandemic costs and planning strategies for the future of both your own business and that of your clients.

The culture of working around the clock while at home seems to have no end. According to AccountingWeb’s wellbeing survey shows 47% of accountants rated their mental health bad at the start of the pandemic. This elevated number urgently alerts us to pay some close attention to our wellbeing, now more than ever, so we can continue surviving and maybe even thrive in the long haul.

Here are some tips to help keep your wellbeing intact:

 Create strict boundaries to prevent burnout

Working long hours to catch up on audit preparation work or scrambling to answer emails and phone calls only adds to stress. And although support to create remote-working boundaries should come from senior management, this may not always be the case, and what if you are senior management, can you give yourself permission to set boundaries when you’re responsible for others? At an individual-level, the power to switch off after regular work hours is in our hands, no matter what level we are; and in fact, it's the only responsible, sensible and caring thing to do.

Keeping up with the fast-paced and high-stress environment in the accounting world is not sustainable, and in the long run, leads to burnout. Apply strict boundaries on certain matters that are not life-threateningly urgent. After all, those tasks can normally wait to be done the next day and a work-life balance remains important, for your clients as well as you, even though our home is also now our work. 

Check-in with yourself and practice self-care

It’s easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of an increased workload. While we can’t predict all the effects the pandemic will have on businesses – one thing we can control is checking-in with ourselves. Identify behavioral cues that determine when you’re at your wits’ end. Take a step-back and reflect on your situation to notice, identify and acknowledge your emotions. This allows you to proactively assess the next steps to employ when planning and overcoming a challenge. Moreover, dedicating time to practice self-care by engaging in passion projects or hobbies that relax you can help you let go of your worries and keep you mentally healthy. 

Use more efficient tools to manage workload

80% of accountants believe that utilising more efficient technological tools can better manage the workload prompted by the pandemic. Any tool that can efficiently handle the workload – no matter how big or small – can be a life-saver, and if they're integrated into and partnered with multiple packages it demonstrates their flexibility and applicability. They guide you in balancing tasks more seamlessly than manually putting in the late hours to churn through work.

Take project management applications for example, platforms like Slack, Trello, and GSuite are useful tools for collaboration and tracking project status. Or perhaps introducing a more efficient way for clients and customers to conduct payments can ease the hassle of chasing. A payment transaction app like Ordo can better streamline cash flow for clients, while saving on processing fees and time. Trying to keep businesses afloat during this time means looking for alternative solutions that make every penny count.

Conclusion

In response to the demands brought by the pandemic, any way, no matter how small, that can help you cope with the workload, while taking care of your wellbeing is worth investing in. Whether it’s through self-care practices or using efficient technological tools to help ease your burden, staying mentally prosperous during this time is a priority, to help yourself, your family, your colleagues and your clients. And because the end of the crisis remains uncertain, managing your well-being now can help prepare you for the next few months.

Find out more about how Ordo can help you manage your wellbeing together with your clients’.