chapter 5

Tooba Siddiqui is a recently qualified chartered accountant. Here, she shares her first-hand experience of the challenges those in the accountancy profession might be facing.

I have worked in a number of different firms and industries and one thing that unites them is a shared sense of stress. Different environments can impact the stress levels of employees and how organisations’ respond can make a big difference.

From conversations I’ve had with colleagues, it seems to me that this was first brought about by the pandemic, although there’s no denying that the cost of living crisis has made things worse. When businesses are worried about their income, as many have been since Covid hit, they turn to their accountant for help. It’s a huge amount of weight to carry, especially if your own firm is feeling the pressure. Burnout is a very real problem in our industry right now; I’ve seen plenty of teams shrink while workload increases.

Then, of course, there is the possibility of the cost of living crisis affecting accountants in their home lives, too.

This particular issue is something that, although it isn’t widely discussed within the industry, absolutely should be. It can difficult to admit, but accountants are just as vulnerable as everyone else to financial challenges. If you’re working in a struggling firm and dealing with frightened clients, all while worrying about debt or even your own job security, the stress is greater. To find yourself struggling when you work in finance can have a real impact on your self-worth.

It’s been a difficult few years, and there’s no sign of things letting up. It’s no wonder people in our community are struggling. But if you’re someone who is, understandably, finding the current climate challenging, there are things you can do to preserve your wellbeing.

what should accountants do?

We need to be better at communicating in the workplace if we’re struggling. You don’t have to do this alone, and you shouldn’t feel like you’re burdening someone by wanting to have a conversation. We talk so much about the companies we work for, but it’s actually about the people we work for and investing in your relationship with your line manager can go a long way. When we’re stressed, we tend to withdraw and try to shut the world out. If you can build a strong relationship with your line manager, there’s a better chance they’ll recognise when you’re doing this and be able to help you.

For employers, there’s a lot of talk in the sector about redundancies, with very little in the way of reassurance. This all adds to the growing sense of worry. Regular communication with your employees is essential to maintaining feelings of security in their jobs.

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Over a quarter of chartered accountants who were employed or students when the member research took place said they felt there were fewer job opportunities available

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Only a quarter of working accountants say their pay is reflective of the wider market.

Finally, remember that accountancy isn’t all about numbers. In reality, you spend a lot of time dealing with people. Issues and crises like the ones we’re facing today are inevitable. All we can do is come back to being human, and focus on the things that are within our control.

For those of us who are newly qualified or who are in this career for life, the journey ahead will be rewarding, but could very well be long. When times get tough, remember why you joined this sector in the first place and find the tools that will help you be resilient.

Seek out help if you feel yourself struggling and be open to the help on offer, beyond all be kind to yourself.


last chapter


chapter 4 

health and wellbeing advice from Mark Pearce

In this chapter, Mark normalises the idea of debt and explains how tackling hard conversations can help ease the pressure.

current chapter


chapter 5

first-hand advice from Tooba Siddiqui

Amid stress, burnout and now added financial pressures, Tooba shares her view of the pressures facing working accountants.

next chapter


chapter 6

the role of the business

Now more than ever, employers should be considering financial health as part of their benefits packages - read this chapter to find out how.

want to read a different chapter?


research paper 


caba have pulled together a panel of experts to share their advice on navigating through the cost of living crisis.

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cost of living crisis 


caba’s CEO, Dr Cristian Holmes, sets the scene for the report and explains why the cost of living crisis is an issue the accountancy profession needs to focus on. Tooba, a chartered accountant, also reminds us why it’s good to seek help when we need it.


chapter 1 

the research

Accountants are already making changes to reduce their expenses, but many are still worried about the winter ahead. Read more of the facts and figures in this chapter.


chapter 2 

debt advice from Paul Day

caba’s expert debt adviser Paul outlines why we shouldn’t be embarrassed when facing financial issues and shares his recommendations on tackling problem debt.


chapter 3 

mental health advice from Kirsty Lilley

Mental health trainer Kirsty explains why changes in our financial circumstances impact our mental health and outlines how we can prepare to manage this period where so much is out of our control.



by Dr Cristian Holmes

We’re facing a period of uncertainty, but caba is here for the everyday and the exceptional.