Working extra hours, even double time, has become the normal part of a tax accountant’s job. Along with grueling hours, tax accountants have become accustomed to the other “norms” of busy season, such as the stress and pressure of the looming September 15th deadline, demanding clients and bosses and unhealthy late-night dinners.
Sound familiar? Here are a few tips to get you through another busy season:
• Start conversations with clients early: While we cannot control when clients provide necessary information for their tax return compliance, we can get a head start by having a pre-season conversation with clients which can bring up any significant events that may have occurred during the tax year. Knowing about such events early will allow you to start researching the tax effects, reach out to specialists, and prepare clients for gathering data long before the tax preparation begins.
• Use your resources: The tax law is frequently changing and it is nearly impossible to keep up-to-date. Many public accounting firms host calls throughout the year, especially in the months leading up to busy season, highlighting changes in the tax law and summarizing tax incentives specific to different industries. These calls are a quick way to receive brief updates while also accumulating valuable CPE credits.
• Make time for yourself: Making time for yourself is probably the most difficult thing to balance during busy season but the best way to avoid busy season burn-out. It is important to your mental and physical health to continue to make time to hit the gym, have dinner with friends or simply unwind with a glass of wine.
While many of the effects of busy season are inevitable, just remember you are not alone. If this sounds familiar, share your own tips for preparing for and coping with busy season in the comments section below!