By Kurt Avarell
No matter what your profession is, tax season will never be described as “easy.” For tax professionals, packing the bulk of the year’s work into a few short months defies all possibility of normalcy in the workplace. The combination of long days, lack of sleep, and piles of work takes a toll on even the most put-together accountant, something that rings true for any thriving professional and entrepreneur, myself included.
I connected with five influential tax professionals to get their top tips for fellow accountants to survive this tax season now that it’s officially kicked off. The best news? The tips that get accountants through the ensuing madness are good for all of us as professionals and entrepreneurs.
1. Set team expectations early and often
James Sullivan, CPA
“As I’ve worked with various teams through busy seasons, one of the most valuable things we’ve done was set clear expectations. We meet early in the season to discuss as a group how each member of the team will be allowed enough flexibility to take personal time.”
Allowing each team member flexibility to retain some personal time is crucial for surviving not only busy seasons but also a key consideration in retaining valuable employees and attracting top talent. According to a recent study by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 89% of HR professionals reported an increase in employee retention with the implementation of flexible work arrangements.
Having these conversations and holding everybody accountable to the team’s decisions will create a much more productive environment. In fact, the Corporate Executive Board found that employees who feel like they have a good work-life balance work 21% harder than those who don’t.
2. Keep your house in order
Brian Walker, CPA
“During tax season, things can get crazy and seem to spiral out of control at the office. Though, even in a seemingly chaotic time, there are things outside of the office that you can control and use to restore order.”
While it can seem harmless, clutter has a constant impact on you. According to researchers at Princeton University, visual messes can be overwhelming, making it harder to allocate attention and complete tasks efficiently. Lingering, unfinished tasks haunt you mentally like a nagging to-do list, causing more mental stress, whether it’s your office space or your personal space.
“Some things that can be controlled are laundry, stocking the shelves, and maintaining your car. Keeping up on these tasks may take some time away from work but will keep your house in order during the crazy times at the office.”
3. Charge full price
Dave Haupt, EA
“If a client asks how much I am charging over the phone, I reference all I have done for them, questions I have answered, and value I have provided. Once the value is clear, I confidently state the amount they owe and all the ways I accept payment.”
Are you good at your job? Do you work hard to keep your skills sharp? Do you empower your clients to make them successful? If you are doing all you can do to provide …read more
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