This time of year, some professionals jet off to warmer climates to escape the wintry weather, while others (ahem...tax accountants) sip coffee to combat the countless hours of work before Tax Day.
The inevitable “Tax” or “Busy” Season is nothing new for the U.S. In fact, since the federal income tax was introduced in 1913, individuals have been expected to file taxes on Tax Day (that date became April 15 in 1955).
Even with the practice being around for more than a century, best practices and ways to help accountants be successful during this time continue to get refined. That’s why it’s important to offer ways for professionals to not burn out during Tax Season and exhibit efficiency for their clients.
We want you to conquer this Busy Season with ease. Learn the 5 Ways for Accountants to Master Tax Season below!
1. Get into the Right Mindset
At the end of Tax Season, most professionals can look back with a feeling of relief and reward. But why not start with those feelings from the very beginning? It’s all about having the right mindset, and maintaining drive and a positive attitude – even throughout the busiest days. Everyone has their own way of keeping a healthy mindset, like exercising, listening to music, or even setting up their workday somewhere quaint like a coffee shop. No matter your preference, find your space and maintain the vibe that works for you. You’ll be on your way to mastering that positive mindset in no time.
2. Personalize Your Schedule
Ever hear of that classic Busy Season story, where a regular 9 to 5 day turns into more like a 7 to Midnight? Ah! The horrors of 17+ hour work days can scare anybody off. Even though long hours are a given when it comes to this time of year for accountants, you can put some parameters or boundaries around your schedule that might help. For instance: Do you need a 10-minute walk every hour of number crunching? Can you make a “no work after 9 p.m.” rule? Would you prefer to power through late nights during the week and avoid the office on Sundays? Timing is everything, and once you decide what times of the day you thrive and when you need a break, you can begin to set a routine that works best for you.
3. Be Relentless
Let’s be honest – sometimes when the going gets tough, we just need to vent. If you have other team members doing similar tax work, it’s easy to share complaints with them. However, bringing others down can lower your productivity. It’s better to motivate yourself and your colleagues – relentlessly! Recognize any successes you see and try to challenge each other. Through motivating, you and any team members you work with can grow and conquer this Tax Season together!
4. Don’t Shy Away from Questions
When it comes time to focus, there may be documents, tasks or situations that you’re unfamiliar with. It’s common for individuals to forego asking questions and just power through the work. However, making a mistake can end up costing you a lot more in time than you think! Instead of having to work backwards and fix your mistakes, ask your questions that you have – when you have them. Whether you need a second set of eyes on your work, or you’re confused on a major part of the process and need to consult with your client, don’t shy away from asking questions that you need answered. Getting the answers you need will ultimately help you work more efficiently and happily.
5. Throw in Some Fun
Whether your day consists of meeting with clients or reviewing documents, there’s no doubt that the work can build up. So throw some fun into it. Dress more casually if you’re going to be working all night. Order in dinner or snacks on really long nights so you can take a break to refuel. Any perk big or small during the Busy Season can make a positive impact on you and your client’s success.
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Do you have any useful tips and tricks to conquering Tax Season? Comment below!