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October 6, 2022

Accountants anxious about cost of living crisis

Accountants are feeling anxious, stressed and worried about their future due to the cost of living crisis according to a recent survey from CABA.

The survey found over a third (34% of working accountants are concerned about their future as a result of the crisis. In addition, a third reported feeling more anxious or stressed (33% and 32% respectively).

The charity which supports accountants found that three-quarters of working accountants have already made efforts to reduce their essential expenses, such as food shopping (54%), energy bills (52%), or transport costs (45%).

Two fifths (42%) of accountants in work or education say they are already struggling financially as a result of the rising cost of living. This is having a significant impact on mental health – of those who are struggling, two thirds (66%) feel anxious, over half (59%) feel stressed and a third (34%) feel depressed.

CABA mental health expert Kirsty Lilley said: “Financial wellbeing gives us access to pay for basic needs.  A home, shelter, food, warmth… These are all necessities for life, without which we feel threatened. We begin to sense that we can’t provide for ourselves and our family, which affects our feelings of self-worth. 

“What we’re seeing now with this cost of living crisis is an extraordinary event that affects us all. We have no control over the day-to-day increase in costs we’re experiencing, and there’s absolutely no certainty as to when the price hikes might end. It’s a very stressful situation to be in, and we are all being impacted in some way.  

“It is easy, but dangerous, to assume that just because someone is earning a decent salary, they automatically acquire the status of being in a safe financial situation. My advice for anyone who feels worried or stressed due to the increase in cost of living, is that this is very understandable but to seek advice or help from a source you trust if your feelings start to get out of control.”

Less than one in ten (8%) working accountants said they would turn to their employer if they were concerned about their financial circumstances. Meanwhile, almost half (45%) of accountants would turn to their partner, and almost two in five (37%) would turn to a support organisation like caba for help. 

CABA CEO added: “Financial difficulties can impact anyone at any time, and we’re seeing this more than ever at the moment. The best way to begin to tackle financial issues and the stress related to this is to be open and talk to someone. We know from our research, accountants are unlikely to turn to their employer but our advisors at caba can offer free, confidential financial help and advice, as well as support to help you work towards a more secure, long-term financial future through tackling any debt you may have. Our support officers also offer emotional health advice and access to support services where money worries are taking a toll on your mental health.”

Ken Coppock, newly elected president of CABA said: “Today’s Chartered Accountants face an almost impossible task, managing their own finances in these extraordinary circumstances, coupled with supporting customers preparing for a difficult winter. I urge any member of the ICAEW community struggling with their finances or their mental health to reach out to caba for help.”

To help supports accountants further during this time, CABA has produced a Q&A session with a panel of specialists to offer guidance to anyone looking for help with their mental health, personal finance worries, debt management, and career concerns.

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