Account For Yourself

April 27, 2020

CPAs: You Are Allowed to Take A Breath & A Step Back To Keep From Burning Out

Now, more than ever, CPAs are being leaned on to handle not just accounting tasks, but to provide some semblance of emotional support for clients. Struggling businesses, confused families and frightened retirees are looking to you as a beacon of comfort throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. 

All of these newfound responsibilities can be overwhelming. You’re allowed to be flustered. You’re allowed to be frustrated. And you’re allowed to take a second for yourself and sharpen the mental saw. We’ve compiled a few creative ways to help you shake off the weight of the current situation and get you back in the fighting spirit! 

Rediscover an old escape to prevent accounting career burnout

Rediscover An Old Escape 

Given the important role that CPAs face in complex times, it’s understandable that many will feel overwhelmed, stressed and simply burned out. With great responsibility, comes great preparation. But no amount of training or CPA exam resources could have prepared you for the mental toll this pandemic has put on even the most talented accountants in the field. 

Shutting down external enjoyment and working yourself through the struggle can be damaging to your long-term career aspirations, to put it lightly. This method may also yield sub-par work with more errors than you’re used to seeing. 

Think about other times when you’ve endured heavy doses of stress in your life/career. What did you do to escape the madness in those moments? Dust off the N64, relive an old literary favorite, enjoy a classic cocktail from your college years. Put yourself back in the driver seat of motivated days past by reviving seasoned pastimes. 

Breathe – Literally, Just Breathe 

Your clients’ financial health is vital right now, but your own health is mission-critical. How can a CPA be expected to help his or her clients when they’re not providing themselves with healthy resources,  routines and unplanned breaks? While some high volume markets will typically require what may seem like endless meetings and potential hurdles, various time management and self-reflection techniques will allow CPAs to provide the best possible advice and counsel. 

The University of Michigan’s medical department established a comprehensive set of breathing exercises that are not only designed to ward off stress, but could have a positive impact on overall lung function. We understand that “trying to relax” is a bit of a paradox, but if you’re able to step away, go the next step further and take the stillness of the world in. 

What You Do For Yourself, You Do For Your Clients & Company 

CPAs who allow themselves to take a step back, breathe and analyze their situation(s) are more likely to reduce workload stress and keep their mind sharp for clients. The challenges businesses can be faced with are tough, complicated situations that CPAs are often depended on to minimize client anxiety; this is difficult to do without proper project evaluation and an alert focus. 

Accounting mentor

Get In Touch With Your First Accounting Mentor 

Who was it that inspired you to take on the challenge of being a certified public accountant? Who showed you the ropes and helped you get your feet wet before diving head first into the deep end? If you’re currently “linked-up” with this person via LinkedIn or if you have their number/email, shoot them a message. Check in, see how they’re holding up and ask about how they have handled uncertain times in the past. Uncover that initial motivation – the catalyst that got you moving in the first place! What was the Great Recession like? How did they power through?  You’re going through it and could provide invaluable inspiration, yourself, one day! 

Remember Your Mentor’s Place In Time 

The unfortunate truth is that some of our industry heroes have passed on throughout time. However, many of these CPA mentors left behind memoirs, letters, books and messages to help pass the baton to the next generation of CPAs. When you’re feeling burnt out from number crunching, pay homage to your fallen mentors and major influencers by reading the words they wrote down. Putting yourself in their shoes and hearing their voice in your head again may kickstart your internal energy once again. 

Struggling with passing the CPA Exam

You’re Indispensable, Appreciated & Deserving Of A Break 

Whether it’s essential businesses who have seen a large uptick in cash flow, temporarily closed businesses who have had to completely shut down their services or a Millennial who believes he or she may be able to take advantage of the current situation, just about everyone is looking to their CPA for critical accounting guidance during these trying times. But accountants aren’t calculators; they are humans. And you’re only one person.  You can’t do the work of many.

Under pandemic circumstances, daily life has become a bit mundane. It seems like the only spark of spontaneity, the only friction we get, comes from fires at work. Embrace yourself, your own storied history and those who helped you get to where you are during this time. 

How MDS CPA Review Is Doing What It Can Right Now  

An extreme workload is one major source of stress for many established accountants, but we can’t forget about our future CPAs. Luckily, this is an area in which we can directly step in and help! Throughout this time, MDS CPA Review is offering its full, four-part CPA exam study course for a bottomed-out discount to help ease the financial burden of many aspiring talents.