New year, new you: Resolutions for accountants

5 min read
new year resolutions for accountants

Do you love the energy a brand-new year brings? Do you choose a word of the year or make a long list of resolutions you're determined to keep? If so, you're not alone. A survey by YouGov found that 34 percent of U.S. adults make resolutions or set goals for the new year1

While many of those goals likely include the old standbys like improving your physical health or saving money, why not make this the year you focus on long-term professional goals? 

New year's resolutions for accountants 

Now, before you roll your eyes and mumble something about the accounting busy season, hear me out. Goal setting can actually be an indispensable business resource. According to a study from researchers at Hofstra University, workers who set goals experience more "flow" at work and subsequently experience less daily stress, higher engagement, and improved performance2

So, grab a cup of coffee, and let's dive into some resolutions for accountants that might just make 2024 your best year yet! 

1. Join the club (or professional association) 

Keeping pace with the rate of change in the accounting profession is challenging, especially if you don't look outside your accounting firm for new ideas and best practices. Joining a peer community can bring fresh perspectives, push you beyond your current limits, and help you build an invaluable network for client referrals and future career opportunities. 

Not sure which professional organizations to join? Here are a few to consider: 

  • Your state's society of CPAs 
  • Affinity groups like the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) or the Association of Latino Professionals for America (ALPFA) 
  • Professional associations like the Institute of Management Accountants (IMA) or the American Accounting Association (AAA) 

These organizations offer a treasure trove of resources, from networking events to professional development. 

2. Find your niche: Become a guru 

General accounting knowledge is like a Swiss Army knife—useful in many situations but not always the best tool for every job. But have you considered becoming the go-to expert in a specific area? 

Carving out a niche can turn you into an invaluable resource in your firm and a respected subject matter expert in your community. Some potential niches include non-profit accounting, forensic accounting, international tax, sales and use tax, strategic planning, and data analytics. 

That's not a comprehensive list—consider a particular industry or service you're passionate about and where you see an opportunity. 

3. Tech it up a notch 

Technology is transforming the accounting profession, automating manual data entry and helping accountants move past traditional transactional and compliance work to become trusted advisors and consultants to their clients. 

This year, why not resolve to learn one new piece of accounting software or boost your tech skills? Whether it's mastering Microsoft Excel, learning how to communicate your findings with data visualizations, using business intelligence software, or studying advanced modeling techniques, enhancing your tech skills is always a good investment. 

4. The balancing act: Achieve work/life harmony 

While seeking a healthy work/life balance is admirable, a more realistic goal might be work/life harmony. But what's the difference? 

Work/life balance implies a 50/50 split between your work and personal lives. It's rarely achievable, and pursuing it can induce work-related stress and a sense of constant failure. A more sustainable goal might be to work toward work/life harmony, which recognizes that our work and personal lives intertwine and influence one another, and we should seek ways to integrate them rather than separate them. 

Work/life harmony is essential for your health, relationships, and career satisfaction. So, how can you work toward it? 

Your ideal composition is as unique as your fingerprint, but some ideas include: 

  • Taking a break during your workday for a short walk, workout, or meditation 
  • Using your vacation days, preferably in longer stretches rather than a day or two here or there, so you have time to really disconnect and recharge 
  • Setting boundaries around work hours but recognizing there is no "perfect schedule." Some days, you might focus more on work, while other days, you have more time and energy to invest in personal pursuits 

Make It Count! 

So there you have it—a few New Year's resolutions for accountants that are more achievable than getting eight hours of sleep every night and avoiding caffeine during busy season. Whether you aim to network more, specialize, grow confidence in your tech stack, or make your home, family, or hobbies more of a priority, there's no better time to start than now. Let's make 2024 the year we take a more strategic approach to enriching our careers and lives. 

And Becker can help you meet your goals! We offer over 1700 CPE courses to help you achieve your goals, including CPE libraries for bank and real estate accounting and Excel certification programs. 

Start your year with a Free CPE Course 

If staying on top of the skills and issues critical to your career is part of your list of goals, kickstart your year by taking advantage of a free CPE course. We have helpful content to help you accomplish your resolutions without spending a dime! 


  1. Jamie Ballard, “What are American’s New Year’s Resolutions for 2024?” YouGov, published December 21, 2023, accessed January 17, 2024. 
  2. Jared Weintraub, David Cassel, Thomas DePatie, “Nudging Flor through ‘SMART’ goal setting to decrease stress, increase engagement, and increase performance at work,” Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, published February 2021, accessed January 17, 2024.

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