On lists of top low-stress jobs, you won't usually find accountants. Jobs involving finance and taxes are typically classified as high-stress. However, some accounting jobs are more stressful than others, due to the level of responsibility, work environment, and other factors. No job is "stress-free," as each job will supply challenges and require problem solving, time management, and effective communication. At the end of the day, the stress level of a given job depends on the needs and skills of the individual worker. Environment, tasks, workload, pay, and a variety of other factors contribute to the stress level of the individual.
Accounting: Ranked as High-Stress
In a 2008 article, Careerbuilder rated Accounting as the third most stressful job, coming in beneath doctors and nurses at position 2. Retail managers were considered to have the most stressful position on this top-8 list. Careerbuilder writer Anthony Balderrama explained that responsibility for large sums of cash and personal accounts creates a high-pressure role for an accountant. Add to that the fact that rules and regulations in the field of finance change on a yearly basis; accountants must constantly study and review the law to keep up with current regulations in the field.
Types of Accounting Jobs
Accounting jobs can range from staff accounting at small businesses or firms to corporate accounting for large companies. Some accountants work for banks and act as consultants for small and large businesses. Others work as in-house financial managers for companies, businesses, and corporations. Tasks can include anything from accounts payable and receivable, balance sheets, tax filings, and all other financial aspects of the company. Forensic accountants are responsible for researching the accounts and financial activity of businesses and individuals during investigations and legal conflicts. A CPA, or Certified Public Accountant, is qualified to work in a managerial role at accounting firms or financial divisions of companies. Again, the stress level of these various accounting jobs depends on the work environment and the particular skills and desires of the individual worker.
While one worker may be calm and collected handling large accounts for a bank or firm, another individual might feel more relaxed working with a small company as a staff accountant, focusing energy into one account rather than many. It all depends on the individual, experience level, and desired work environment. While there are many resources to find out about high and low-stress jobs, stress factors depend on your individual tastes, interests, and best working conditions for success.
For further exploration of accounting positions and their various demands, a great resource is a company's website. If you are considering an accounting position at a large firm, peruse the website or even seek out accountants who work at large firms who may be willing to answer your questions. Working in a team may be a lower-stress situation for some, but may produce anxiety and pressure for those less adept at working with people and compromising. For any accounting position, a university degree is required and often a CPA certification is necessary to move up in this career field. Research at a local university or speak with an admissions adviser about the realities of accounting. While some positions will be easier than others, there is no such thing as a no-stress job, so weighing all factors will ensure a better career choice