Too many accountants feel overwhelmed

It’s all too easy to feel overwhelmed as an accountant, irrespective of whether you’re the managing partner or a trainee who has recently embarked on your career.

A mix of high stakes and immovable deadlines make for incredibly tight bottlenecks and the extraordinary pressures they bring with them.

And that’s compounded by chronic recruiting challenges across the profession.

I read recently about a caba study which found 56 per cent of accountants were suffering from stress and burnout, compared with 41 per cent in the general workforce.

Nearly one in three accountants said they would be worried about telling HR or their manager if they needed help for their mental health.

Of course, the temptation is to launch ever deeper into the workload.

But this is likely to be in vain. The work will still pile in. You still need to eat, sleep and have fun.

You can’t do everything.

If you try, you’ll be heading for burnout.

But what can you do?

This is where leaders need to resist the temptation to dive into the day-to-day workload of the practice.

Rather than working in the practice, they need to work on the practice.

What does that mean?

It means getting some distance from the workload and, to use the cliché, look at the bigger picture.

How can you make your processes more efficient?

Where are the bottlenecks in your practice’s workflow?

What would lessen the pressure on your team?

How could tech help you?

Do you need to be more strategic?

These are sort of questions to ask if you want to break free from an overwhelming workload for your own wellbeing and the wellbeing of your team.

Don’t get sucked into working in your practice, work on it. You’ll set yourself up for a less stressful future.

Another important step to take is to tackle the stigma around mental health, by placing an active emphasis on employee wellbeing and normalising discussion around the topic.

Here’s my contribution to doing just that. I have a semicolon tattoo not only as a reminder of the importance of all of us looking after our mental health but also to show there is hope; there’s something beyond the semicolon.

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Posted in Blogs, Thought Leadership.