Blog|5 min

What should firms do after tax season?

Jeannie Ruesch, Director, Marketing

This has been a never-ending roller coaster ride of a busy season (that never really ended from 2020?) for many of the accountants, CPAs, and bookkeepers we know. And with all of the changes, pivots and adjustments firms have had to make, when this season does end, where should you focus first? What should you do next?

We went to the experts to ask, from our customers to friends on #taxtwitter, because who better to know than those in the trenches with you? Read on for some great quick snippets of advice (including those reminders that taking care of you is just as important as taking care of your clients).

What is the one thing firm owners and partners should do after tax season (and a much-needed vacation) this year? 

Cassidy Jakovickas
CEO of MBS Accountancy

After this 100-year tax season (feels like it, right?!) is over, I recommend a looooong vacation with family for all accountants or people in the tax field. Then, reflect on the experiences you had during this time so you can make yourself and your firm better. For example, I've learned that communication is key to being resilient. Through this time, my team and I focused on communicating clearly and frequently. It's proved to be a powerful tool for keeping us together as we bite our fingernails and await tax news. So, after tax season, reflect on the lessons you can learn from your experience and translate them into action items that drive your firm forward.

Amanda Aguillard, CPA
Co-Founder of Elefant, LLC and Author of Xero: A Comprehensive Guide for Accountants and Bookkeepers

Make time to learn the things that you know will make your practice better. Whether it’s around firm management, like improving your onboarding process, or learning a new software, block out ninety minute chunks every day for a week and go deep. The effort will pay off in spades!

Nicole Davis, CPA
Founder and CEO of Butler-Davis

Firm owners/partners should have a tax season debrief meeting to go over what worked and what didn’t work. It’s also a good idea to solicit the feedback of support staff in making process improvements. In my firm, we like to review the automations at each touch point of a client’s return. We want to make sure our process is as efficient as possible.

Dan Luthi
COO, Ignite Spot Accounting

At the end of this tax season, scheduling a complete off the grid moment I think is necessary. Unplugging from the world, CARES Act, tax changes, and everything else I think should be a REQUIREMENT. ;) Head to your place of solitude for some reflection, quiet time, and recharge, so that you can come back with your mind and hopefully body refocused. After such a long doubled-up tax season, assessing the overall process damage might be required, or decide what new avenue your firm will be heading into. Even with the chaos of the past 18 months, there has been some great development within customer interaction and value connection. Taking the next steps to either build around what you have started or assess the overall changes in your current offerings to include those deeper value-based services you have been providing over the past year.

Chantal Sheehan
Founder and CEO,
Blue Fox Accounting

​Tax season this year may feel never-ending (kind of like last year) due to all the delays, extensions, and legislative surprises. So rather than wait for it to pass, and naively wish for a time when we will be less busy or more “normal,” we are having a team retreat in late May to do a debrief on what went well and what didn’t.

Every element of our operations is on the agenda for review: technology (both client-facing and internal platforms), workflow tools, communications, and business development. We will take some time together to celebrate our successes, understand our missteps, and devise a pretty immediate plan for improvement. Continuous improvement is a core value for us. And a mental health bonus to planning a regroup like this is that, right now when we’re in the thick of it, if something comes up that we feel didn’t go well or smoothly enough, we add it to our retreat notes so that we don’t stress and grind on the issue.   

Nayo Carter Gray, EA
Accountant, 1st Step Accounting

One thing firm owners should do at the end of this tax season is hit the gym. We have been working our fannys off, eating not so great, and sitting for hours on end. Let’s get our bodies moving again!

Jeff Phillips
CEO of Padgett Business Services and Co-Founder of Accountingfly

After busy season ends, I recommend firm owners carve out a few days and focus on their strategic plan.  What worked during busy season?  What needs to be improved for next year?  Does your organization chart--the people in your firm and who they report to and communicate with, appear to be optimized to reach your goals?  What do you want out of your business in the next 12 months and what can you do to move closer to getting it?  Taking the time to optimize your business will help you thrive in the next 12 months and be well worth the time.

Jina Etienne, CPA, Principal
Etienne Consulting

What is one thing every firm owner or partner should do after tax season (and a much needed vacation) this year?  I can think of several. First, turn your cell phone OFF and step away from the world - go hiking, take an unusually long nap, binge watch a show you missed. Second, get your hair done. And yes, gentleman, I'm talking to you, too -- haircuts count!  Third, go out for a lavish dinner with your significant other or best friend, and don't forget to order your favorite cocktail and (of course) a decadent dessert. The pandemic has hit our profession hard, so you deserve to take a break.  Stay safe and thank you for kicking ass this tax season!

What do you think? What are you planning on when (we’re being positive here) this tax season comes to an end? Share with me and on twitter -- we’d love to hear from you!