Most Common Work Frustrations Among Accountants

Posted on Wednesday, October 12, 2022 by Lydia SinclairNo comments

Every career has its frustrations, whether you are not being appreciated for your hard work or management is failing to train you for job progression. Accountancy is no different, with more than half of employees admitting feeling stressed and burnt out. 

Here are the most common work frustrations for accountants, so you can avoid the same problems and enjoy a fulfilling career.



Employers often think they can carry on piling lots on to already full workloads, mainly because that has become accepted in many accountancy firms these days. However, it is merely leading to unhappy workers, with CABA reporting 55 per cent of accountants are burnt out. Interestingly, nearly nine out of ten (87 per cent) admit their workload is too heavy. 

Similarly, 72 per cent complain about long hours, and 87 per cent spend at least some of their time at home worrying about work.


Lack of development opportunities

Many people accept they have to work hard to progress in their career. However, 42 per cent of unhappy accountants stated there is a lack of opportunities for development within this industry, according to a survey by CV-Library. 

The sector typically provides a rigid structure of progression, as graduates have to choose between working in an accountancy firm or as the only accountant in another industry from the get-go. Those who choose the former typically have to specialise early on, meaning they miss out on the chance to develop a broad range of skills. They can also get lost within a crowd, creating a frustrating work experience. 

On the other hand, working in-house comes with challenges, as the workload can quickly pile up.


Last-minute tax returns

Tax season is always a stressful one for accountants, but never more so than when clients fail to hand in their accounts with plenty of time to spare. This only creates a lot of pressure for accountants, who have to sort out their books and file their return before they receive a penalty. 

Related to this, Accountancy Web recognises that the frustrating HMRC telephone system and misbehaving computers that stop working at the worst possible moment are just two of the most frustrating things about the sector.


No room for error

As accountancy is all about getting the numbers right, there is literally no room for error. A few digits misplaced could make all the difference when it comes to a client’s tax bill, employees’ wages, or a company’s annual profits. 

This stress can weigh heavily on accountants, with two-thirds claiming the complex nature of their work is the main reason behind their anxiety. 

“Perfectionism isn’t bad, but can be troublesome when it turns into unhealthy striving,” the CABA reported stated.

“It starts to invade every area – even those where ‘good enough’ is acceptable. It becomes a way of being and often correlates very highly with burnout,” it added.

To overcome this, the mental health charity advised determining when being less than perfect is acceptable, so accountants don’t carry this pressure into every aspect of their jobs. 

If you are burnt out and need a new job, get in touch with accountancy recruitment agencies in Brighton today for a new start. 

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