Meeting deadlines, increased demands from clients and the firm, internal and hierarchical tensions… According to a recent study, there are many causes of stress in the accounting world.
According to a study by the British Chartered Accountants Benevolent Association (CABA), published in May 2019, 37% of accountants feel that their work is their main source of stress.
More than three-quarters of respondents say that over the last year their work has had a negative impact on them, and especially on their social life. More than one-half of those surveyed have had a close relationship damaged because of the place their job takes in their life.
Other damages range from weight gain due to an unhealthy daily pace to the inability to have a hobby and depression.
More than one-third (38%) of accountants check their emails outside business hours every day. Of these, one-third check them even when they are sick or on leave.
Due to the excessive workload, younger chartered accountants are more likely to stay at the office longer or bring work home. They are also more likely to feel stressed every day.
Among the greatest sources of frustration identified in this study are: feeling overworked (felt by 41% of respondents), office politics (33%), feeling undervalued (29%), having to attend too many meetings (28%) or money problems (21%).
In Canada, the profession is trying to prevent the mental health risks of chartered accountants. Since 2013, companies have been able to rely on the National Standard on Psychological Health and Safety in the Workplace, which provides measurements, tools and resources.
Although the situation is unfortunate, the main focus is on the negative consequences for businesses: increased absenteeism, difficulties in employee retention, lower productivity, the risk of errors, and deterioration of the company’s image.
These are all risks that managers and leaders want to avoid by improving employee well-being, arranging meetings based on work and efficiency, encouraging remote working and relying on transparent communication.