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Maintaining your sanity in the audit busy season

HERE in the Philippines, the audit busy season can be a whirlwind of tight deadlines, long hours and extremely demanding situations. As we auditors gear up for this challenging period, it is essential to prioritize our mental health and adopt strategies that will help maintain sanity amid the chaos. With over two decades of being in the audit profession, here are some practical tips for my fellow auditors to navigate the busy season with resilience and well-being.

1. Establish realistic expectations. One of the first steps to keeping your sanity during the audit busy season is setting realistic expectations. Acknowledge that this period will be demanding, but also recognize your limits. Establish achievable goals, and don't be too hard on yourself if unexpected challenges arise.

2. Prioritize self-care. During this period, it is easy to neglect self-care during the hectic audit season, but this is when it becomes most crucial. Ensure you get enough sleep, maintain a balanced diet, and engage in activities that bring you joy and relaxation. Taking care of your physical well-being directly impacts your mental health.

3. Break tasks into manageable chunks. The workload during the audit busy season can seem overwhelming. Break down tasks into smaller, more manageable chunks. Tackling one task at a time and celebrating small victories can make the workload feel more achievable.

4. Effective time management. Efficient time management is key to reducing stress.

Prioritize tasks based on deadlines and importance. Utilize time management tools or techniques, such as the Pomodoro Technique, to maintain focus during work intervals and ensure regular breaks to recharge.

5. Delegate responsibilities. Recognize that you don't have to carry the entire workload alone. Delegate responsibilities within your team effectively. Sharing the workload not only lightens the burden but also fosters a sense of collaboration among team members.

6. Open communication. Keep communication channels open with your team and superiors. If you are feeling overwhelmed, do not hesitate to express your concerns. Transparency about your workload and stress levels allows for better support and understanding within the team.

7. Celebrate milestones. Acknowledge and celebrate milestones, both personal and professional. Completing a challenging task or reaching a project deadline deserves recognition. Celebrating achievements, no matter how small, contributes to a positive mindset.

8. Take breaks and move. Breaks are not a luxury; they are a necessity. Step away from your desk, take a short walk, or engage in a quick stretch to rejuvenate your mind and body. Physical activity is known to reduce stress and improve overall well-being.

9. Mindfulness and relaxation techniques. Incorporate mindfulness and relaxation techniques into your routine. Techniques like deep breathing, meditation or yoga can help manage stress levels and promote mental clarity. Dedicate a few minutes each day to these practices.

10. Establish boundaries. Set clear boundaries between work and personal life. Avoid bringing work-related stress into your home environment. Designate specific times for work and relaxation to maintain a healthy balance.

11. Seek support. Do not hesitate to seek support from colleagues, friends, or family. Sharing your experiences and concerns with others who understand the challenges of the audit busy season can be therapeutic and provide valuable insights.

12. Learn from each season. Reflect on each audit busy season as a learning experience. Identify what worked well and what could be improved. Use these insights to refine your approach in the following busy seasons, creating a continuous cycle of growth and improvement.

In conclusion, surviving the audit busy season while maintaining your sanity requires a proactive approach to self-care, effective communication, and strategic time management. By incorporating these practices into your routine, you can navigate the challenges of the busy season with resilience, delivering high-quality results without compromising your well-being. Remember, your mental health is as crucial as the success of the audits you conduct!


Jonathan John L. Maglaqui, CPA, is a partner and head of Quality of Yu Villar Tadeja and Co.–Mazars in the Philippines. He is currently a board of director of ACPAPP and a former chairman of the ACPAPP Website Development Committee. The views and opinions in this article are those of the author and do not represent those of these institutions.

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