Has Tax Season Left You Burnt Out?

So, you survived tax season. Whew. Quite the haul.
Was it good? Bad? Thrived? Barely survived?

Regardless of what this tax season was like, I believe it’s a really good idea to do a post-tax season evaluation. I’ve always referred to ours as the “tax season beef & bouquet meeting”.

This meeting is designed to highlight the things that went really well and that should be reinstated and duplicated again next year. More to the point of this exercise, is to discuss all the things that did not go so well this recent tax season. All the stresses that could have been avoided or reduced, the client complaints, the lack of efficiencies, as well as your pricing methodology for tax services rendered.

A format we use is to simply to brainstorm all areas needing improvement without any discussions for solutions. Basically, this should become a bitchfest. No holds barred. No scared cows. Shoot everything that deserves to be shot.

Once the brainstorm is over, I suggest you revisit this list and now go to work at discussing possible solutions.

Four important notes:

  1. Timing. This meeting should be done ASAP, while the frustrations and discontentment are still very fresh on your mind. Do not rely on your ability to remember much of all this even a few weeks after April 30.
  2. Be sure to protect everyone on your team. Never should anyone feel under attack at any time. The purpose is not to lay blame, but to simply work towards a better process.
  3. Take notes of all discussions including ideas and suggestions provided that were shot down and explain why such suggestions were eventually dismissed, as someone may bring up the same solution later in the year.  
  4. Be sure to keep your notes and dig them up again in February, just before the next tax season. If you’re anything like me, you’ll have forgotten many of this year’s woes by the time next tax season roles around.

Odds are excellent that this meeting will not only go a long way towards improving your processes and increase profitability, but it will likely greatly help in improving office morale, as the firm will be perceived as a firm that cares about its team and its clients.