Mental Health – The untold story of Accountants’ suffering and how to heal

15th Sep 2020
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No matter where you work, there is a good chance that your colleague, friend, client, or even you, may be experiencing a tremendous amount of stress. Stress can come from anywhere, be it from a superior, a client, a work deadline or unrelated work matters.

Statistics have long proven that accountancy is a demanding profession. Long working hours, tight project deadlines, and sitting behind a desk all day long are not good for your physical and mental health. In research done by the Chartered Accountants Benevolent Association (CABA), accountants grapple with the following sources of stress on a daily basis:

1.            being overworked (41%)

2.            office politics (33%)

3.            being undervalued/undermined (29%)

4.            insufficient remuneration (29%)

5.            too many meetings (28%)

While a certain degree of stress may be helpful, accountants are facing excessive amounts of stress levels to the point that they are constantly checking their work emails outside of their work time. In the latest study done by the CABA on this issue in 2018, it was clear that increased pressures at home and work are taking a toll on accountants. 32% of accountants feel stressed in their daily activities, and a further 17% have been forced by their circumstances to take time off due to stress. In the same poll, 42% of respondents considered resigning due to workplace stress, while 40% had looked for a new job elsewhere.

If life for accountants hasn’t been stressful enough, COVID-19 has made it worse as accountants now have to work remotely from home and adjust to changes in the workplace. The line between work and home has been blurred, and accountants put in more hours into their work since work is now only a laptop away. To compound matters, accountants must deal with heart-breaking cases of clients whose businesses are suffering badly due to the pandemic. Dealing with such tales of turmoil and anguish will be a strain on your mental health. In a poll conducted by Hays for over 16,000 professionals including 2,000 in accounting and finance, 34% rated their wellbeing as favourable compared to 64% pre-COVID. Over a quarter (26%) of accounting and finance professionals indicated that a lack of social interactions had been the greatest challenge to their well-being, followed by isolation and loneliness (13%).

At this juncture, two facts are obvious: One, the remote working has increased your stress level as an accountant, and two, COVID 19 is not going to go away anytime soon. So how can you adjust your mindset to reduce your stress levels?

Step 1: Acceptance

Telling yourself that this will be the norm moving forward for the next few years and accepting that this will be the permanent state of things will remove any state of dissatisfaction or unrest you may have. Channel your negative vibes away and allow them to dissolve into peaceful acceptance.

Step 2: Change

Make small changes in your life to settle into the new norm. Perhaps you could make some adjustments in your schedule to have more time for yourself, improve your work desk and make it more comfortable, demarcate where and what time work is, from the rest of your life…..your mind, clients and loved ones will thank you for it.  

Step 3: Plan

Plan how you want to make the change and execute your plan flawlessly. A wise man once said, if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Factor in small achievable milestones to bring about the change you want and work towards them. Put in reasonable timelines to ensure you don’t procrastinate!

The journey to good mental health starts with yourself, and only you can make a difference. Perhaps it’s time to say yes to relying on technology to make your work easier. Ordo is the leading financial app to help accountants organise their finances and keep track of payments. A reliable and efficient application…thankfully, where managing and tracking your finances are concerned at least, you can sit back and relax - keep track of payments and ensure your accounts are all in order with just a click of a button.

Embrace change, relax into accepting the new norm, and check out Ordo today!

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