Running an accounting firm can be rewarding. But acting as your own boss can also be stressful.
Too much continuous stress can hurt your focus, limiting your ability to provide quality services. Plus, it can cause serious health issues, like poor mental health and physical illness such as high blood pressure.
Stress is widespread in the accounting profession. 2021 research from the CABA showed that 2 in 5 accountants felt too emotionally drained to keep up with their work.
As a self-employed accountant, your wellbeing is up to you. Doing so helps you maintain your firm’s performance and growth.
This guide offers tips on achieving wellbeing at work as an accountant. We’ll cover how to:
- Establish work-life balance
- Improve your environment
- Build a support system
- Develop positive client relationships
- Check-in with yourself
- BONUS! Find out below
Establish work-life balance
The key to maintaining your wellbeing at work is establishing healthy boundaries. Running your own accounting business can make it more challenging to create work-life balance.
But it is possible. We’ve got a few tricks to help you make it happen.
Set working hours
To start, be sure to set clear working hours for your services. Creating these boundaries is especially important if you run your accountancy practice from home.
For example, you might work Monday to Friday from eight to five. Put these hours on your website and marketing materials to make it clear to clients.
Outside these hours, try not to:
- Answer work calls
- Check emails
- Meet with clients
For best results, put away your work computer and turn off notifications on work apps.
Don’t take work with you.
Apart from having clear boundaries, take breaks when you feel worn out. Giving yourself time will help you fully focus while you work.
You can also take up self-care habits to fill your breaks with activities that promote good mental health.
For example, you could:
- Work out.
- Go for walks.
- Do yoga.
Improve your work environment
Setting boundaries and taking breaks will help you focus during your working hours. But you may also want to improve your working environment to maintain wellbeing.
Clean your workspace
A cluttered workspace can feel overwhelming. Disorganisation makes it difficult to get your work done and focus on your tasks. So, consider setting an hour or two aside each week to declutter your space.
Here are some tools you might use to improve your organisation:
- Sticky notes – to create lists and colour-code tasks
- Drawer organisers– for office supplies
- Desktop shelves – to organise paperwork, you need handy
- Filing cabinets – for organising paperwork, so it’s easy to find
With your space in order and everything at hand, you can efficiently get your work done.
Organise your time
Organising your time will make it easier to get through your day. A busy schedule can be intimidating and hurt your wellbeing. An organised calendar can fix that.
If you don’t already, consider using a business management tool. Google Workspace or Microsoft Office let you manage your professional calendar, contacts, and documents all at once. Plus, setting reminders will keep you on track.
If you have a hard time breaking up bigger client projects, a project management tool like Trello can be a game-changer. These tools help self-employed accountants improve productivity.
See also: Four ways to prepare for a successful tax year
Build a support system
Another way to improve wellbeing is by building a solid support system. It’s important to have people to lean on when you feel run down. This way, you can talk through problems and get back to your work with a clear head.
Networking helps you meet and build relationships with other accountants. You can talk to peers to reduce stress because they understand your challenges.
You can approach other accountants for advice and ideas to improve your services. You can also ask them what they do to improve their wellbeing.
It’s easier than ever to find other accountants thanks to social media. LinkedIn is free and with thousands of accountants using the platform, your support network is waiting for you to reach out.
Alternatively, you can attend professional networking events if you prefer getting to know people face-to-face.
Not sure where to start with social networking? Check out our piece on how to network on LinkedIn as a small business.
Develop positive client relationships
Positive client relationships are also crucial to pursue wellbeing at work. It’ll be easier to work with your clients if you build trust with them. As a result, your day will be less stressful and more enjoyable.
To promote positive client relationships, you might want to:
- Choose clients wisely– instead of taking on anyone, consider which clients are most ideal for your business. Choose clients that match your skills and share your values. If you can afford to, consider dropping mean clients that aren’t worth the stress.
- Improve your customer service – be transparent about your expectations, turn up on time to client meetings, and be prompt when responding to communications.
- Get to know your clients – take the time to learn your client’s needs and who they are. Developing a friendly and respectful relationship will make communication easier.
Check-in with yourself
Practising self care and wellbeing as an accountant is an ongoing process. As you introduce helpful practices, also be sure to check in with yourself regularly.
Set reminders to take a moment to see how you feel. When you’re moody or burnt out, give yourself a break and implement your new habits.
Be patient with yourself. There’ll be days when you may not feel at your best. But focusing on your wellbeing will help you reduce these slow days and know when to intervene.
Maintain your wellbeing
Implementing wellbeing practices will help you focus on providing quality services for your clients. With these tips, you won’t have to struggle to get through the day.
So, to wrap it up, remember to:
- Set healthy boundaries.
- Create a happy work environment.
- Look for support.
- Consider your clients.
When you put your work wellbeing first, it’ll be much easier to manage your practice.
BONUS: clever financial management app
Another way to achieve wellbeing at work is by simplifying your accounting services. Save your practice time on manual admin and help your clients keep organised records with Countingup’s free accounting software.
It’s built specifically to help you manage your self-employed and sole trader clients.
The app automates time-consuming bookkeeping admin for your clients so they can focus on running their business—and send you accurate, structured data to work from. Find out more here.