Tax season is here. Accountants all over the country are scrambling to meet with clients, answer questions, prepare returns, and deal with a variety of issues that are sure to arise. Sounds like fun, right?
Every accountant knows that the months of January through May will bring plenty of work. The "busy season" may be full of challenges, but there is no better feeling than helping others while doing what is best for your business.
The following five tips can help accountants survive tax season:
Use email, but not all of the time. If you have clients that prefer to communicate via email, don't shy away from this. It can save you a lot of time, which in turn saves you money.
However, there are times when a phone conversation or face to face meeting is necessary. For example, if a client is being audited by the IRS, it is best to jump on the phone for a call and then setup a time to meet in person.
Come to grips with long hours. Do you want to work 12 hour days? Probably not. Do you want to prepare tax returns on a Saturday or Sunday? Definitely not. When busy season arrives, you may not have a choice. There will be times when you have to work long hours. The best thing you can do is accept your fate and realize it won't last forever.
Don't neglect yourself. There is no denying the fact that clients come first during tax season, but this doesn't mean you should overlook the importance of a solid diet, regular exercise, and family time.
Imagine this: you neglect yourself to the point of becoming sick. If you thought you were busy before, wait until you return to the office after a few days in bed.
Keep a schedule. It doesn't matter if you do this yourself or have a secretary who handles this part of your practice, it is of utmost importance. A lack of organization during tax season can lead to more trouble than you ever want to think about.
Keep a schedule on paper, or find a software program that can do the job for you. Either way, organization is essential to making it through this time of the year without any major bumps.
Take regular breaks. It is not uncommon to find yourself sitting at your desk for hours on end. Before you know it, you realize you haven't stood up in several hours.
There are many benefits of taking breaks at work. This may sound counterproductive, but it can actually work in your favor. Once you return to your desk, you will feel re-energized and ready for anything that comes your way.
Being Busy is a Good Thing
As an accountant, you may cringe at the thought of tax season rolling around. This is only natural, but always remember one thing: it is better to have more work than you can comfortably handle than none at all.