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Mental Health and Wellness for Accountants

As an accountant, how do you take care of your mental and physical health? The accounting profession is a notoriously difficult and stressful environment to work in. Health and wellness in accounting is sometimes overlooked, although effective mental health awareness can provide benefits for individual accountants and increase the productivity of accounting firms.

In this article, we will look at:

What is mental health and wellness?

Mental health and wellness affect the way that a person feels and thinks. This refers to an individual’s social, psychological, and emotional health and ultimately affects how they act and subsequently relate to others.

Poor mental health and wellness can be caused by trauma and abuse as well as isolation and stress.  Many factors can cause, worsen, or prolong mental illness and a feeling of desperation for individuals in the workplace.

What is the impact of mental health in the accounting industry?

In the accounting profession, many accountants work very long hours in a high-pressure environment. High expectations and tight deadlines can make it difficult for accountants to achieve a work-life balance. As a result, the mental health of accountants can suffer.

In such situations, an accountant may feel ‘burnt out’ or overloaded with stress and anxiety. They may need to take time away from work to recuperate and recover their mental health, wellbeing, and general health.

As well as being detrimental to the health of the individual, long-term health issues can impact productivity and place a strain on resources within accounting firms. Additional costs are spent on employing temporary staff whilst the cohesion and culture of the firm are negatively affected.

What do accountants want from a work-life balance?

Wellbeing and mental health for professionals is now a priority for accounting firms and an expectation of accountants. Some accountants now want to be able to work remotely at least part of the time, if not all of the time. 

Cloud-based technology such as QuickBooks Online Accountant, a robust accounting software for accountants, has made it possible for accounting firms to offer a hybrid work model, allowing accountants to work remotely from any internet-connected device. A hybrid style of remote working helps promote a work-life balance and supports employees’ mental wellbeing.

In addition to remote work capabilities, professionals may want flexible ‘mental health days’ where they can enjoy an activity or a relaxing day away from work. Corporate mental health programs are also an expectation of accountants, providing mental health services for accountants such as counseling. Wellness programs for accountants are also popular and can help to sustain a work-life balance, providing rewards and discounts for professional employees.

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How can accounting firms help with mental health and wellness?

Accounting firms can implement a range of strategies to help improve the mental health and wellness of their employees.

Watch our video on practical tips on wellness for you, your practice, and your clients.

Here are some strategies that accounting firms can implement:

Employee assistance programs

Employee assistance programs (EAP) for accounting firms is a key strategy that can help support professionals with their mental health and wellness. The employer pays for the employee assistance program to be installed in the workplace and the employees can access services such as confidential counseling and advice for free. The key benefits of an EAP include providing accountants with mental health tips and stress management techniques.

Stress management sessions

Stress management tips for accountants can be provided in wellness sessions created by the accounting firm. Such mental health services for accountants are vital to ensure professionals can manage the stress derived from their daily workload and high-pressured careers. Specialists may be hired to explore stress management tips for accounting firms, providing training sessions in stress management for accountants.

Wellness programs

Wellness programs for accounting firms include offering rewards and discounts for employees, partly to encourage a great work ethic but also to improve the wellbeing of accountants. 

A professional could receive a discounted spa day, or treat themselves to a hamper of luxury food items, for example. Such benefits improve wellbeing of accounting firms and help to improve the mental health of accountants.

Remote and hybrid working

Investing in cloud-based accounting software such as QuickBooks Online Accountant allows accounting firms to offer remote or hybrid working. Removing the long commute to and from work can immediately help improve the mental health of professionals, even for part of the working week.

Professionals are more likely to feel at ease in their home office and may work to a higher standard with increased productivity, energy, and enthusiasm for your firm as a result of improved mental health.

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How can improving employee wellbeing benefit an accounting firm?

Promoting wellbeing for accounting firms can help to produce a more cohesive and productive environment, ultimately increasing cash flow and revenue. Mental health in accounting should not be underestimated. Fewer sick days are taken whilst professionals work to a higher standard when handling stress more effectively. Stress management for accounting firms is quickly becoming part of the necessary training for new and current accountant professionals.

Developing great habits and improved wellbeing for accounting firms can increase business success and create a healthy, happy workplace culture. Sign up for QuickBooks Online Accountant for free today to ensure you have access to a hybrid or remote working model. 

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