Tax season presents exciting opportunities for CPA firms and their staff. Sure, there is a great concentration of work in a short period with occasional pressure, but if handled properly, the work can be managed sensibly with tensions at reasonable levels. Further, much of the pressure is self-induced by poor scheduling, inadequate quality control and the lack of uniform systems followed by everyone including the partners. The following are twelve advantages of making it through tax season:
- Tax season is profitable. Accounting is a business where the owners try to maximize earnings and staff get paid overtime or a bonus for their extra work.
- Innovation and immediate training opportunities exist. Growth, responsibility, leadership and innovative uses of resources come as a result of the large concentration of work. Public accounting firms have been among the earliest users of PCs, laser printers, high speed scanners, etc. In some respects the smaller firms led the profession in adapting technology as they were able to make the quick acquisition decisions tax season demanded.
- Continuous product and service development arises. This is because the tax preparation portion of the practice is a “separate” business that continuously needs efficiency improvement and service upgrades. It is a mini idea factory with continuous productivity and quality control initiatives.
- Staff become well-rounded and tax-knowledgeable quickly because of the high concentration of work. Further, there are myriad opportunities for lower level staff to speak to clients.
- A level playing field is created for lower level staff. Because the tax laws regularly change, the least experienced staff member can know as much about the new laws as the most experienced.
- Tax returns supply staff with ammunition to get new clients. When you meet people who possibly can become clients, or hear you are a CPA, they usually ask a tax question. Very few ask about an FASB or IFRS application.
- Taxes lead you to the best opportunities to get new clients because of the volume of clients.This can be proven by tracing the family tree of your largest clients. Many trace back to a 1040.
- Tax season is a relationship builder. It is not unusual for a staff person to interact with a couple of dozen clients during tax season. In a professional services firm, relationships are currency.
- Free dinners are provided for staff working late.
- There is no traffic congestion when you go home late.
- Everyone knows about tax season, so you can get out of going to third birthday parties of your spouse's cousin's in-law's kids.
Tax season is fun! Many firms expend great energy hiring staff and then make no effort to excite them and make them feel part of the firm afterwards. Tax season is a perfect time to foster a feeling of camaraderie and of belonging because of the personal benefits of working on individual tax returns. The value created for clients is great and immediate.