5 Tips for Reducing Next Year’s Busy Season Stress

Tax time is always a challenge for accountants, but preparing can make it easier.

You made it through tax season. Now is the time to take what you’ve learned to make next year’s season less stressful and more productive. Here are five things you can do now, according to CPA Practice Advisor.[1]

  1. Assess your season. Set aside at least 20 minutes to think about the main sources of stress for you this tax season, while it’s still fresh in your mind. Was it software glitches, the way the work was apportioned, a co-worker or a client? Then ask yourself if you can do anything to address this challenge. If so, set a plan to manage this change before the new year.
  2. Schedule client meetings. Your calendar might look open now, but it can fill up quickly. While you have the time to be thoughtful about it, plan for early appointments in November, after October tax filings are done. If you have particularly difficult clients, set up meetings with them so you can get ahead of any paperwork and other burdens.
  3. Staff up. To ensure that you have enough people for the February and March rush, plan to staff up in December or January. If you start early, you won’t face the burden of hiring staff when you’re overwhelmed, and your new hires can get up to speed on your processes and routines.
  4. Thin out your client list. If you’ve had a good year and some of your clients are not as profitable in terms of time and energy invested, consider offering them recommendations for another firm.
  5. Update your processes. Now is the time to evaluate new technologies and revisit your systems. Look at the components of your business: your billing and invoice system, your time tracking, even your office supplies and procurement methods. Taking care of these smaller pieces now makes it less likely that a problem will come up next tax season, when solving it could make things truly difficult.

Tax season is a challenge no matter how well you prepare. But some attention and consideration now could go a long way toward making next year’s responsibilities and difficulties more manageable.

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  1. http://www.cpapracticeadvisor.com/news/12135623/3-tactics-to-reduce-tax-season-stress

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