There’s no question accounting is a stressful field to work in at times. Accountants are known for working long hours, with lots of deadlines, and even more pressure.
During tax season alone, most accountants work 60 plus hours per week. While many students are working full-time jobs while studying for and taking the CPA. Accountants are stressed out.
The CPA exam and cutthroat competition are huge stressors for aspiring accountants. Causing mental health issues to be at play.
The accounting field may have it worse than others for three main reasons:
1. Accounting is male dominant: As of 2015 almost 2/3 of all suicides were men.
2. Females feel alone: they are less likely to reach out for help and more likely to feel like they don’t fit in.
3. Isolation: Covid has forced many accountants to work from home, causing isolation and potentially harming mental health.
The accounting profession has remained silent on mental health for the most part. Even accounting students remain quiet.
A study done at Truman State University focused on mental health as it relates to accounting majors. 50% of the study were girls, and the other 50% were boys. Turns out 54% of the group developed mental health issues while at school. They didn’t feel comfortable seeking help mostly for fear of being judged.
The accounting industry still holds many mental health stigmas to this day.
However, it’s not all bad news. Mental health awareness is increasing drastically within many communities and many industries. People are starting to take it more seriously.
can’t cure mental health, but they can help it. Here’s how:
1. Telehealth Services: this is where employees can schedule an online appointment and discuss their thoughts and feelings with a professional through video chat while respecting privacy.
2. Break Spaces: companies could have separate spaces within their building where employees can relax and recharge. When an employee is in this “space” they are not to be interrupted. This allows them to take breaks and prfioritize “me time”.
3. Mental Health Apps: There are tons of work/HR related apps out there designed to look out for employee’s best interest… especially when it comes to mental health. For example –Talk Space is an app where you can connect with therapists directly.
4. Monthly Mental Health checkups: Firms should make it mandatory to have weekly, monthly, quarterly or annual mental health checkups with employees. No work should be discussed in these talks.
5. On-staff expert: We may reach a time where all companies require an on-staff mental health expert. Someone who specifically cares for employee mental health issues and concerns.
These are just some of the many ways the accounting industry can prioritize mental health and try to improve it. October is mental health awareness month. Please reach out to 5 of your best friends/loved ones and just check up on them today. See how they are doing. You never know when someone is going through something and talking with them could make all the difference.
I hope this article helps. Feel free to share!
By Robert Disch