Wellness in Accounting: CPA Stress Management Strategies

Wellness in Accounting: CPA Stress Management Strategies

When asked to name stressful professions, people often mention airline pilots, emergency medical professionals, and teachers. But did you know that high levels of anxiety and depression are significant problems within the accounting sector?

A July 2022 article in Accountancy Age cites a survey that found a whopping 99% of accountants suffer from career burnout, with nearly a quarter reporting high levels of the condition. And it’s causing a surge in on-the-job errors.

Prioritizing mental health for accountants and Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) is imperative to helping them navigate their profession’s high-pressure demands. By acknowledging mental health’s significance and implementing CPA stress management strategies, companies can foster resilience, sustain job satisfaction, and ensure long-term success for those in the field.

Stressors CPAs Experience on the Job

Mental health experts define anxiety as a feeling of fear, dread, and uneasiness. Depression is a common brain disorder that negatively affects how people feel, think, and act. The relationship between anxiety and depression is well-documented, and understanding how they affect a person’s work can open the door to offering much-needed support.

Along with the fear of new technologies, several stress-inducing factors can lead to anxiety and depression in CPAs, including:
  1. Strict deadlines, long hours, and high client demand, especially during tax season or when working on financial audits.
  2. Numerous complex regulations and ever-changing tax laws and accounting standards.
  3. Ethical dilemmas that arise from balancing client, employer, and regulatory agency demands.
Recognizing the signs of anxiety and depression makes it easier to manage stress through self-care, stress-reduction strategies, and a healthy work-life balance.

CPA Stress Management Strategies

Another obstacle to CPAs getting the help they need is a belief that, because their job requires independently solving challenging problems, they must also singularly overcome personal challenges, including mental health issues.

Employers can help CPAs seek the help they need by implementing effective stress management strategies in the workplace, such as:
  • Getting educated about mental health and the warning signs of depression and anxiety.
  • Openly talking about mental health so employees feel comfortable enough to speak up about their problems.
  • Prioritizing mental health as a company value.
  • Investing in new or existing mental health-related apps.
  • Providing access to one-on-one counseling.
  • Offering flexible work arrangements that support a more balanced life.
Simple and practical suggestions for helping employees manage stress include encouraging them to manage their time more effectively, taking regular breaks throughout the day, and developing coping mechanisms that help them react differently to on-the-job stressors.

Lastly, if an employee is experiencing mental health concerns, you can guide them to one or more helpful resources:
  1. Nevada residents can call 775-241-2112 or text 775-296-8336 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
  2. In a crisis, call 988 or text “CARE” to 839863.
  3. Call the National Alliance on Mental Illness helpline at 1-800-950-6264 from 10am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.
  4. Call SAMHSA (Substance and Mental Health Services) at 1-800-622-4357 to locate treatment in your area.
  5. Visit the link hopemeansnevada.org/get-help/.
Want to learn more about prioritizing wellness for CPAs at your business or firm? Contact Taurean Consulting Group online today.