Eliminating Last-Minute Tax Season Stress
Tax season may be exhausting. Burnout rears its gloomy head year after year as tax professionals slog over tax return after tax return. You know when it's going to occur, and the circumstances are always the same – clients wait until the last minute to turn in their documentation, there never seems to be enough staff, and it feels like you're working around the clock.
Tax season has arrived, and you've got a lot on your plate. You're probably already frazzled, and there is still a long way to go before April 15th. You're probably stressed out and exhausted at this time of year. What can you do to avoid collapsing against a brick wall!?
Consider the following tips:
Avoid distractions: Work interruptions are never pleasant, but disruptions during tax season may be extremely aggravating and lead to exhaustion. Tax season is a great time to delegate activities that pull you from your primary work. Set aside a specific block of time each day to handle those distractions. Turn your phone off or especially disable notifications, don't open emails, and put a "Do Not Disturb" sign on your door.
Hire offshore staff: You may not be able to find full-time support for tax season, but you can supplement your team working with an offshore staffing partner. Hiring either full- or part-time can help reduce the workload across your firm, lessening the burden on everyone. If you have identified your needs and have a solid hiring process in place, now is the time to get that extra assistance. Offshore staffing helps you build capacity so that your compliance and data entry or even review level work is being done by your offshore team. Then your onshore core team is responsible for investing time behind their clients and their business.
Reduce preparation delays: Many firms have unnecessary delays in sending and receiving signed documents. If you can organize requests, questionnaires, engagement letters and payments into one structured system, it can truly speed up your production. The more you can automate data collection and deliverable creation, the more quickly you can service clients.
Optimize new technology: For many, tax season appears to be the worst time to contemplate investing in a new software package, but having the greatest technology on your side will surely speed up your productivity. As demand for accounting software grows, there will be a new accounting technology to help with this need. To date, there are more than 50% of accounting practices using accounting software solutions.
Advances in technology have made it easier for firms to operate in a multi-office environment. Technology enables efficiency and with state-of-the-art business tools you can ‘wow’ your clients! Technology can potentially help you work faster with fewer mistakes, and thus decrease your stress. If you have outdated technology, this is likely a cause of stress for your employees, and an upgrade would be a long overdue relief.
Take Rest: Look for symptoms of burnout in yourself and your staff before it's too late. Take a vacation break or entirely disengage if necessary. Taking a long vacation this time of year may seem out of the question, but surely will help you rejuvenate where you can make up for it in the days that follow. Overtime is bad for everyone, no matter what time of year it is or how vital the task is. Make sure you leave the office at a reasonable hour so that you may relax and get some rest before going to bed.
Prepare for critical problems: Identify clients who may have more difficult tax returns and ensure that you have someone on staff with the specialist expertise required for those tasks. Take use of the time you have available this year to handle any concerns that you believe will arise.
Positive work culture: Having an attitude of gratitude is a natural stress reliever. Tell your employees how thankful you are for their contributions. Words of appreciation and thankfulness can go a long way towards relieving tension. The smallest thing that you do or say to someone will be very impactful in more ways than you know!! In short, burnout is a problem, but at the same time, it's a good problem to have.
Take this advice in guiding you to reduce stress, avoid burnout, and become more lucrative this tax season. Communicating, delegating, use of technologies with streamlined workflow processes may all help you triumph through this difficult period. Take care of yourself and your business and April 15 will be here before you know it!
Entigrity™ is a trusted offshore staffing partner to over 600+ accountants, CPAs, and tax firms across the US and Canada. Our flexible and transparent hiring model gives helps firms of all sizes to hire staff for accounting, bookkeeping, tax preparation, or any other task for 75% less cost. As a firm 'run by accountants, for the accountants', Entigrity captures the hiring needs of accounting firms most precisely, providing staff that works directly under your control and management, still, you are left with least to worry about compliance, payroll taxes, overheads or any other benefits.