Tax Season Does Not Need to be So StressfulTax Professionals Resource
February 28, 2014 — 1,879 views
There is no time like the tax season for a Certified Professional Accountant (CPA) to understand what stress is all about. With an eye on the April15 deadline, CPAs seem to be going all out getting work done, leaving for work early and staying back longer. The tax season need not get that stressful for you, if only you consider the following tips.
Talk to clients and your staff: If you and your clients and co-workers work as a team, it is easy for you to get through the tax season, without any physical or mental fatigue. As a CPA, you should tell your clients what documentation or information you need clearly and make them aware of the deadline.
Assess your staff: Getting a reality check on the strengths and skills of your staff will go a long way in getting more clients or knowing what kind of training the employees need. Training and feedback which start by the end of December or January will help them cope with the tax season around February and March.
Communication matters: All CPAs should be given regular feedback during frequent meetings and conversations to cope with the crazy hours they put in. Errors should be fixed in a timely manner and there should be open communication and accessibility among team members and between clients.
Work-life balance is the key: Tax professionals need to know that balancing personal life and work is important, even during the busy season. Burnoutsa are not good, and CPAs will only commit errors and lose out on clients if they are over-worked. Professionals should limit working hours and not work weekends to make up for pending work.
Planning is everything: Staying organized will make a huge difference; for instance, if you have told your client to keep receipts of all transactions, you could save a lot of stress or time at the time of filing. You should talk to the client and carry out tax planning through the year, so you know where your client stands during filing season.
Apart from the above tips, a tax professional’s office should keep electronic records of all client documents with back-ups, and make use of software to track client contact information, and project schedules. If it is crunch time and there is lot of data entry work, a CPA should probably look at outsourcing some work to an intern or temporary staff. More importantly, a CPA should keep a positive attitude, exercise, get healthy meals, sleep well and keep good cheer.