The accounting industry has long been associated with burnout in the workplace, and while it’s by no means the only industry whose employees suffer from this, it’s worth exploring in a little more detail, particularly if you’re looking for ways to help your own accounting employees cope better with their workloads.

What are the main causes of burnout?

There are several potential causes of workplace burnout for accountants, including, but not limited to, the following:

Too much work

Excessive workloads can cripple accounting employees, and over time, cripple the entire company, too. Some companies choose to use tax outsourcing services, which can be incredibly helpful at reducing the burden, particularly at busy times of the year, such as tax season.  

Poor balance between work and life

Blurring the boundaries between work and personal life, can amplify symptoms of burnout, and leave accounting professionals feeling as if they simply can’t cope. Bigger workloads and longer working hours have contributed towards imbalances in employees lives, making them feel overworked and exhausted, all the time.


Without appropriate leadership skills and manager support, employees can become stressed and frustrated, and eventually suffer from burnout. The creation of workplace or company policies that aren’t aligned with the well-being of the employees, breeds distrust and encourages mental breakdowns.

Unclear expectations

Any ambiguity surrounding an employees role and responsibilities can quickly cause anxiety and confusion, and be a major contributor to burnout.

Let’s look at the impact burnout can have on accounting professionals, and firms as a whole:

Going far beyond individual accountants, burnout’s consequences often have serious implications for entire companies, and can lead to the following:

  • A decrease in productivity

Harming creativity and cognitive function, burnout can quickly lead to an overall decrease in performance and productivity in the workplace.

  • An increase in attrition

For any accounting professional experiencing burnout, the chances are that they might start searching for alternative employment, which can cost a company dearly in recruitment and training costs.

  • A lowering of morale

Contributing towards a negative environment within which to work, burnout is often responsible for low morale, unmotivated employees, and disengagement; all of which heighten the cycle of burnout.

  • A negative reputation

Clients and prospective employees alike, will soon notice when a firm develops a reputation for having high rates of burnout, which could easily create any number of problems for a firm.

What can accounting firms do to address burnout?

By being proactive with the following things, accounting firms can help protect their teams from burnout, and maintain their good reputation:

Promote a balance between work and life

Employees should be encouraged to place more emphasis on self-care, and in the setting of boundaries that enable them to leave their work behind them at the end of each day. Out-of-office team building activities may also help, along with offering them resources, programs and workshops, to help them manage their stress levels.

Set clear expectations

Work processes that are clear and unambiguous, along with SOPs that are streamlined, can help employees feel more comfortable within their role, and less stressed and anxious.

Nurture a positive work culture

By acknowledging work done well, you can give their morale a boost while encouraging them to strive for even more within their role. A supportive work culture should include open communication, regular collaboration, and employee recognition for their contributions.

Give them the necessary tools and learning to fulfil their role

Accounting applications such as Drake Software, and cloud workspaces, can enable real-time collaboration, which should result in decisions being made quicker and enhanced productivity, both of which can significantly reduce burnout.

Excessive workloads are a major contributor to burnout within the accounting industry, but by taking advantage of tax preparation outsourcing services, and giving teams the tools to carry out their work effectively, you can help make workplace burnout, someone else’s problem!