If you want to survive this tax season without ignoring your kids and loved ones or forgetting to eat, have a look at our suggestion in this article. These are best practices from experienced tax preparers and managers.
Plan your working days
Easier said than done. But it’s essential if you’re serving 100 to 200 to 300+ tax clients per tax season.
What you can do:
- Block in your calendar days when you don’t work. For example, all Sundays. In this case, your clients won’t be able to book a call on Sundays if you offer them the ability to book an appointment via scheduling tools.
- Turn off work-related notifications. If your phone allows you to set a notification schedule, opt for switching them off during nighttime, at the very least, so that you can rest better.
- Plan in advance what clients you will work on the next day. For example, pick 3-4 clients who sent you documents and don’t get distracted by the others. It’s harder to do if you track clients on Excel, but easier if you use a simple Kanban board where client statuses are visualized.
- Replace phones with text messages. Phone calls from clients can be distracting and overwhelming, but you don’t have to use them. You can have a voice message asking them to send you an email or text message. The easiest way to keep the conversation context is to communicate with clients inside your client portal.
Take care of healthy diet
Many accountants skip meals during tax season because their days are crammed with client meetings. Food preparation is a must-do for both accountants and their families.
What you can do:
- Create a meal plan 4-6 weeks in advance and make a weekly shopping list. This way you and your family always have something new to eat. Here’s an example of a meal plan and a shopping list — our favorites in Excel!
Use our handy spreadsheet to plan meals faster.
- Cook in advance and freeze meals.
- Prepare and freeze chopped vegetables. This allows you to quickly cook stir fry dishes and soups.
- Order ready-made meals. You can use services like Instacart, Dinnerly, etc.
Mind your body
With your back or neck hurting all the time, it’s harder to concentrate on work.
What you can do:
- Schedule weekly or bi-weekly massages to relax your tense muscles.
- Try a standing desk.
- Stand or walk during phone or conference calls when you can. Simple neck exercises will also do a good job.
Delegate your work
- Double seasonal staff. You can use Upwork and similar services to find extra help. Seasonal staff offer flexibility and allow you to focus on core tasks. However, they take more time to get to grips with your processes and lack loyalty.
- Hire students in their 2nd or 3rd year. It’s cheaper than the previous option and you help these students with internships. In this case, you will need extra time to start training earlier — e.g. during summer.
- Raise your prices. This will help you make sure your time is appreciated.
- Automate admin and repeatable tasks. You can automate annoying repeated tasks like sending engagement letters, welcome to tax season emails, or reminders for clients to send you documents. With tax automation tools like TaxDome, it will be two times cheaper than hiring seasonal admin or staff. Accounting firms save as much as $2,000 when they use a TaxDome automation suite.
We hope these tax season tips will help you survive tax season. If you want more tax automation tips, join the TaxDome community.
Subscribe to our news!
We will send you the best of our blog just once a month. We promise.