In this industry we are all affected in some way by tax season. Our faculty team here at astUtemy are experts and have offered to share some of their best survival tips for dealing with the stress of tax season. Many of these tips can be applied to any busy work day or anytime you feel overwhelmed. I find that it is really important to find balance and set priorities when there are major deadlines, including tax day. When you are ready to pull you hair out, try some of these tips from our astUtemy faculty team.
#1 Team work is dream work, don’t be afraid to delegate.
Rely on your team to take up the slack while you work through tax season. Empower them to do what they need and you will see your stress levels drop and your productivity rise.
– Jay Kimelman, Founder & CIO of the digital CPA
#2 Take care of your health.
I religiously walk every morning. No matter how busy I am I make time. You can also do meditation or yoga at your desk. Its important to take a quick break to get up and walk around throughout the day. Never skip lunch and eat healthy because you need energy to help you make it through the day. Also be sure to get enough sleep.
#3 Don’t wait until the last minute, manage your deadlines.
Tax season is a marathon, not a sprint.” I’ve been guilty of it – burning the candle at both ends. Sometimes it’s unavoidable, but other times you may be able to alleviate some of the deadline pressures by asking clients if they’re ok with extending their returns. This is especially true as deadlines approach, and may be a necessity for those that turn their information in to you right before the deadline. Their procrastination does not equal your emergency.
– Dustin Poland, CPA Touchstone Accounting
#4 Get outside, go for a run.
I really try to find time for a 45 minute run as often as I can. It seems counterintuitive but investing that little bit of time actually makes be more productive the rest of the day and ensures good sleep that night. And watching spring evolve over the six or so toughest weeks reminds me that things are going to be just fine.
– Amanda Aguillard, CPA, Aguillard Accounting
#5 Be responsive and communicate with your clients.
Most clients are typically ok waiting longer if you just keep them in the loop and be responsive to what is going on. To relieve stress, you should take a break to think about things that make you happy. I plan our family vacation during tax season but my favorite thing in the world is traveling, it’s a stress reliever to daydream about cruises in the tropical islands and family time!
– Tiffany Higgins, CPA, Founder of Cloud 9 CPA & Accounting Services
#6 Set yourself up for success.
It is important to be organized. This way you can set your priorities then take time out for yourself when you can. I also strongly urge you to set firm boundaries on your availability. Setting the expectations with your clients early and communicating effectively with them will free up time for you in the long run.
– Kathy Grosskurth, Owner/Principle of Bookkeeping Clean and Simple
#7 Plan ahead so you have time to relax.
Plan ahead and don’t let your clients dictate your schedule. (And, wine, lots of wine. We all have to #winedown at the end of the week.)
– Lynn Mattice, Your Profit Advisor, Mattice Business Services, Inc.
#8 Work smarter, not harder.
When preparing for taxes, the Reclassify tool is your best friend. It’s the most efficient way to hand the client’s CPA perfect books. Hint: in QBO, first turn to Report Tools to set the default date range so that you don’t have to reset it every time you click on a transaction to look at it.
– Alicia Katz Pollock, Author and CEO, Royalwise Solutions Inc.
#9 Do it now.
I try to attack what is giving me the most anxiety. The thing that you are most worried about or may the most challenging will cause anxiety if you procrastinate and push it off. If you can tackle the hard stuff first in the day, every thing else will come easy. An added benefit is that you will be able to sleep better at night because you no longer have this lingering project hanging over your head.
#10 Play with your kids.
Last night I tied up my laces on my new hockey skates and went skating with my kids. Tonight, it’s flag football. This is how I keep sane no matter what is thrown at me. A little play will make you fresh and spending a little time with your kids will make their day.