Have you ever wondered how your accountant survives tax season every January to April? It is not unheard of to see an accountant who works 70-80 hours a week from start to finish during the busy season. For many of us, the long days turn into long nights and then into even longer weekends. Lucky for us we love our jobs and we wouldn’t want to have busy season any other way. However, there is a balance that must be maintained in order to ensure the firm has a productive, successful tax season, after all we only have 90 days to do it.
The most important thing for every accountant to remember is that in between those pesky returns that have you scratching your head in disbelief of your career choice, is to keep having fun. Just because everyone is running low on sleep and working to their absolute maximum there is no reason that as a firm you cannot continue to have fun throughout the busy season. Here at BKC we have several ways to continue to have fun all the way from January to April 15th. From team lunches, pranks, and to partaking in a 5:01 on a Friday evening after a hectic week, we know how to keep fun in the mix. Let’s not forget about our mid-season tax party where all firm employees and spouses get together on Saturday to let loose and blow off steam, all while forgetting about that giant stack of returns on your desk that need to be prepared the following week.
Stay Healthy - Physically & Mentally
The most important thing we can do as accountants to survive tax season is to maintain good physical and mental health. It is worth noting that tax season happens to take place during flu season. For many young accountants who have families and young children this can prove to be quite difficult. Even when it seems like there is an endless stack of work to be completed, it is important to maintain a schedule and diet that provides you with enough sleep as well as the proper nutrition you need to keep healthy. However, even the most diligent accountants can fall prey to illness, when this happens it is important to recognize the need to stay home so you do not spread the risk of illness to your co-workers.
Mental health is another aspect that plays a huge role in an accountant’s success through-out the busy season. Finding the time to take a break and tune out from taxes can be challenging but doing so will ensure that you stay sharp and focused. Whether it be going to the gym, spending time with your family, or just relaxing on the couch at home, it is crucial to find a work-load balance that doesn’t leave you feeling burnt out by March. April 15thmarks the day that we can finally let loose and forget about all the 70 plus hour weeks we just worked, and for many, this also marks the start of a long-awaited vacation. Here at BKC we take Tax Day as an opportunity to celebrate as a team with our annual Tax Day party. The office closes at noon and everyone is in good spirits as we know we have finally reached the finish line.
Caffeine (& Other Tips)
Caffeine and Caffeine. Did I mention Caffeine? There are few things that are more important to an accountant then a quick jolt from a caffeinated beverage, who wouldn’t need one after working until midnight the day before and then starting the next day at 5 am sharp. For those of us who don’t partake in caffeinated beverages we have our fixes also, it could be as simple as our favorite snack, an essential oils diffuser, or music, needless to say the list goes on. At BKC you can find a fresh pot of coffee starting at 5 am all the way until 5 pm and sometimes later. Whatever you choose to help you get through this busy time of year, it is important to remember to keep It all in moderation!
Keeping a Good Perspective
There is something to be said about going with the flow and remaining flexible throughout the busy season. When your co-workers buckle down and start spending long days and nights at the office, you follow suit. Remaining flexible and being willing to take on new challenges throughout the busy season in order to get the job done is essential to the firm’s success. Tax season can present you with a lot of high-stress situations and tight deadlines, learning to prioritize and multi-task to work through those stressful situations will help keep you on track to meet your deadlines. Even the calmest and collected individual at the firm can become easily flustered with a difficult project, it is important to recognize this as a co-worker and jump in when help is needed. Taking the time to look out for yourself and others is how we survive the busy season.
There is no one single best strategy to surviving tax season, rather it is a mix of many different variables that help us succeed through this busy time of year. If you continue to have fun, stay healthy, and work as a team player then tax season should breeze right on by!.