How Difficult is an Accounting-related Job? Is It Really Stressing?

Accounting and finance are indeed competitive fields with different career options and good annual packages.

Finance professionals and accountants can also set up independent firms or work as freelancers to grow their multiple income streams and increase their wealth.

That’s why more and more students are eager to join the accounting field besides computer and IT.

However, every student looking forward to completing his degree in accounting and joining the field has some legitimate concerns.

It relates to the risks related to accounting jobs, work-life balance, and stress factors that might come their way as accounting professionals.

That’s why many people ask how difficult is an accounting-related job or if it is a stressful profession to join or not.

In this article, we will answer the questions about the difficulty level of accounting-related jobs, different stress factors, and how to manage stress as an accounting professional.

Besides, we will also share different accounting roles and specializations that you might consider to pursue your professional career.

So let’s get into it.

Different Accounting Roles

When you complete your bachelor’s degree in accounting, pass your CPA exams, or complete any other certification according to international standards, you have different options to join the practical field as an accounting professional.

However, the most common accounting roles that we see around different organizations and companies are as follows:

Bookkeeper

A bookkeeper’s job is to maintain a company’s financial records and data and ensure the accuracy of books from payroll to account receivables and every economic event.

A bookkeeper is also responsible for monthly financial reporting, general ledger, payment recording, and reconciling or adjusting entries.

Budget analyst

As the name suggests, a budget analyst has duties and responsibilities related to budget making and review.

He has to prepare the budget under his supervision, review it, approve it, or make amendments based on his analysis of merit and authenticity.

Accountant

A general accountant can be related to managerial accounting, financial accounting, cost accounting or depending on his specialization.

In general, an accountant is responsible for preparing and examining financial records and ensuring the financial reports’ accuracy.

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Auditor

The auditor’s job is to review and track a company’s cash flow, check the accuracy and correctness of recorded transactions, and prepare financial statements and reports.

Internal or external auditors can depend on the company’s needs and requirements.

Certified Public Accountant

In America, the job of a CPA is similar to that of an auditor. However, he can also examine financial records, prepare tax returns, prepare budget reports for clients, or check compliance with financial principles and laws in the preparation of financial statements.

Account Payable/Receivable Specialist

An account payable specialist or account receivable specialist has to collaborate with all relevant departments, collect related data, analyze financial information, and ensure that the payables or receivables are well managed.

It is also his job to remove any payment discrepancies or resolve related issues.

Government Accountant

When an accountant or CPA is working with federal, state, or local government to manage their funds, perform financial audits of different government agencies, and do related tasks, he is called a government accountant.

Tax Accountant

Tax accounting is a branch that controls accounting methods focused on taxes instead of public financial statements. Tax accounting is based on the laws and standards as defined by the Internal Revenue Code.

How Difficult Is An Accounting-Related Job?

Now to the question if an accounting-related job is difficult or not!

There is not a hard and false answer to this question, as it can vary from person to person. However, the accounting-related job is generally challenging and very detail-oriented work that is time-taking as well.

Accuracy, correctness, and attention to detail are the preliminary requirements, regardless of which career you choose in the accounting industry.

According to a survey of AAT, 90% of accounting professionals are stressed out by work. Another research by LinkedIn revealed that the factors of stress could be reduced for the employees by providing them with opportunities to relieve it.

However, surveys reveal the most alarming statistic that only 2% of accounting-related professionals are not stressed.

It means a whopping 98% of accounting professionals are dissatisfied in one way or another. Therefore, we can say that an accounting-related job is actually very difficult.

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However, the answer won’t be complete until we can unveil the reasons that are working behind the stress and dissatisfaction of accounting-related job holders.

Different Reasons For Stress As An Accounting Professional

Here are the main reasons, risks, or downsides of an accounting career that contribute to the stress of the professionals working in the field.

Firstly we will discuss the reasons for stress as highlighted by the survey we mentioned above, claiming only 2% of accountants are not stressed out. Here are the stress factors with percentages as reported by the survey participants:

Overworking

Around 41% of accounting-related professionals believe that they are stressed and unable to have work-life balance is overworking or having a high workload.

Office Politics

Office politics is the second highest reason accounting professionals might not be stressed out at work. Around 33% of the participants reported office politics as contributing to higher stress levels. 

Feeling Undervalued

Around 29% of accounting professionals report feeling undervalued at work, which makes them stressed.

Failure To Increase Pay Or Rewards

The same percentage of 29% of participants feel that their company doesn’t increase their pay or rewards, which makes them stressed out.

Too Many Meetings To Attend

Around 28% of the participants reported that attending too many meetings is also a reason why accounting professionals

Stress Management Techniques For Accounting Professionals

How can accountants ensure they are not exhausted and taken care of despite their studious job and detailed work?

Here are the most effective stress management techniques accounting professionals should incorporate into their lifestyle to have a more satisfying life and career.

1.    Identify Stress Factors And Cut Them Out

First and foremost, you are supposed to identify all the factors that are making you exhausted. You can just think about everything creating a problem, be it workload, office politics, not getting enough time for yourself, pressure to honor commitments, or a mission to settle down.

Studies have revealed that younger accountants are more stressed and tensed than their elder counterparts.

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Therefore, you need to identify all stress factors and avoid them intentionally. For instance, you have to set the boundary that you are not going to be available 24/7, or you have to decide how many hours a week you want to work.

Apply the rule to every department of your life, and you will experience less stress.

2.    Prioritize Your Mental And Physical Health

Your mental health and physical health are associated with your stress. The cycle works as when you are stressed; your mental health is compromised, resulting in physical ailments like headaches, migraines, and even heart diseases.

Therefore, do not let your work compromise your mental health.

According to a report by Accounting Today, a whopping 46.6% of accountants said they worked long hours due to COVID-19, and around 38% of them have compromised their sleep time due to work stress.

So you know what to do: do not compromise your sleep, physical rest, nutrition, exercise, leisure time, etc. It is not wise to trade off your health for a few thousand.

3.    Networking Is Important

Human beings are social animals and easily get stressed out when not communicating with friends, families, colleagues, etc.

Therefore, it is important for you to take out time and network with your peers, spend time with family, or hang out with your friends. When you are involved in such activities every once in a while, it improves your overall health.

4.    Schedule Your Work

You should always schedule your focus hours when you are just doing work and nothing else. Doing so will give you enough time for other activities, be it a hobby, networking, or sleeping.

Final Words

We have discussed in detail the stress factors for accounting professionals and how to manage work stress and achieve a better work-life balance.

If you are confused about joining the accounting field, you should understand that getting stressed depends on how you manage things and work in your life. Always be mindful of your own health, and things will settle down easily.