The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced last month that the tax season opens from January 23, 2017. If you are a CPA working independently or in an accounting firm, you are soon bound to be overburdened with piles of paper(less) work.
So before the tax season sets in full swing and you fall into a swirling sea of W-2s and 1099s, it is important for you to follow 7 smart tax survival tips to not only manage large workloads with precision but also to avoid staying in office long after work hours:
1. Foster a healthy office environment Tax season is synonymous with stress levels at a totally different level! It sucks up energy faster than most days. Obviously, with so much to do, CPAs are often on their toes for close to 3 months – doing nothing but sorting out taxes for their clients.
It’s a tedious job, and therefore, it is important to create a positive and motivating environment for the team. On Fridays, especially, try to organize birthday celebrations (who doesn’t love cake?) or have a pizza party. The social gathering should be long enough for everyone to get out of their work mode to unwind a bit.
2. Schedule post-tax season activities A vacation, an informal office event or a company off-site are a few examples for post-tax season activities. Whatever you finally choose should pose as an ultimate reward for all the hard work you and your team does in the next three months.
3. Upgrade your technology Upgrade your hardware and software at the earliest. Even if it is repairing an old printer, do it right now. Make use of cloud accounting to automate most of the time-consuming tasks. For instance, one can provide payroll services at a marginal cost, and yet earn more. Hurry!
4. Take small breaks frequently Please don’t hesitate to go out for a short walks, or having a small chit with a colleague by the water cooler. Take deep breaths every time you feel overwhelmed with your workload, emails or strict timelines. Just take it easy, because like everything else, this “season” too shall pass.
5. When in doubt, seek clarity Don’t hesitate to ask questions or raise queries. You are dealing with sensitive matter and therefore, it is more of a procedure you need to follow to get all your facts right. Notify your clients about the status of their accounts, and come up with ways to resolve their problems. And if you get stuck, ask them.
6. Take care of your health
Exercise! It doesn’t matter how late you come back from office. Get up early in the morning and go for a walk or run. Hit the gym – if possible. Do yoga. Exercise will help your body cope better with stress. Additionally, eat healthy. Don’t hog on junk food or drink lots and lots of coffee. Eat in moderation.
7. Outsource This term is often met by animosity or ignorance as most people don’t understand how outsourcing actually works. Questions are raised on “security” and “reliability” of outsourcing services. It’s natural but with companies such as QXAS Inc., you can be assured of reliable professional accounting services.
For instance, bookkeeping – an extremely tedious accounting task – can be outsourced. Even though it a more time intensive activity than payroll, hiring personnel just for this can burn a hole in the pocket. This is where outsourcing comes into the picture.
Tax season is chaotic, challenging and will make you consume copious amounts of coffee. But if you listen to us and follow the tips we just mentioned, you are going to thrive despite the hectic stretch.