Friday 19th December 2020

So as the festive season approaches and the New Year waits in the wings my mood slowly begins the decline into a festive styled depression and anxiety state.

As to why this is I am not sure but for as long as I can remember it does have a recurring impact at this time of year, each year.

Being an accountant completing and finalising a year end for a client or employer is usually a big deal. There are lots of tasks to do, lots of reconciliations to be done, which includes all of the balance sheet control accounts and the dreaded ‘Suspense Account’.

The pressure of the result being ‘better than last year’ and the cries of ‘ no, no that must be wrong’ from the Management Team and Directors ring in my ears and of whether I am actually right or not. In reality, of course we are right, that’s why we’re the accountant and they’re not. It’s just not the news that they want to hear, so obviously the accountant must be wrong! At the end of the day the numbers are the numbers and they have had all year to make a difference to their business.

Organising a year end shouldn’t be any different than it being the 12th month end of the year you have done, but somehow a can of worms always seems to be opened just when you think you have cracked it.

You may be wondering what a financial year end has to do with Christmas and New Year for me, well, more than you first may think.

In the run up to Christmas and early December I start the decent to the New Year and obviously the Self-Assessment Tax Return deadline of 31st January.

For accountants I would say this is the most stressful time of the year and for me it causes my depression, anxiety and mental state to worsen. But why?

I have this crazy idea in my mind that I have to get all of my work and tasks and desk clean before Christmas and start the brand new year with no outstanding items. I rush to get all the clients paperwork in, chase them, (in the hope of actually being paid before Christmas too) and falsely believe I will achieve the impossible. Whilst doing all this rushing around that achieves actually nothing and produces nothing and therefore proactively I actually get nothing, Zero, Zilch – done.

This all adds to the anxiety and depressive mental state.

I think and deal with Christmas and New Year as a type of ‘Financial Year End’ and nothing should be left unreconciled, undone, forgotten or carried over into ‘next year’. It needs to be ‘perfect’. Of course there is no perfect and excellence not perfection should be pursued.

This is just madness, the world is not going to end I tell myself, my clients, work, desk and chair will still be there on January 1st and it will continue as I left it before the Christmas break.

But yet the accountant within tries to win the struggle of the mental fight to induce the stress and anxiety.

This year I have more resilience as I have reflected, read more, and learnt my triggers, and they are triggers and not ‘faults’.

We will see how effective and successful I will be, but I learnt something else this week. The best time to start is something is ‘Now’! There’s no magic reset button or clean slate on 1st January so why delay and more than likely not follow through and make the change today.

Thank you for reading.

I have done it! What a feeling, I have achieved something today, this week, this year. I have blogged today.

Have a good day!

The Depressed Accountant

TDA Day-to-Day