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The Lessons of Tax Season and What They Mean to the Year-Round Success of Your Firm

Page Eastman

Optimum Strategies, LLC | P.O. Box 962 | Spring House, PA 19477
215-694-8084 |
Northern Chapter VSCPA Blog Submission (Page Eastman)
Author: Ira Rosenbloom, Chief Operating Executive, Optimum Strategies, LLC
Contact: (or
January 17, 2020
The Lessons of Tax Season and What They Mean to the Year-Round Success of Your Firm
Every accounting firm is put to the test during tax season. Some will perform better than others, but—no matter the performance—there are many lessons to be learned. Be alert and ask the right questions, such as the 10 questions below, to learn how you can improve and what the impact will be for tax season and beyond.
  1. Are you getting the right performance from your administrative group? Are there tasks they are not being asked to do that they should? Would there be a benefit in upgrading the job descriptions of your administrative personnel and adding (or changing) a firm administrator?
  2. How versatile are your operations personnel? Not enough is stated about the impact that having multi-faceted operational people will have on productivity, job satisfaction and profitability. Operations team members who are cross-trained, billable, project-based and client-tasked will make your business run better and take some angst off of staffing and succession.
  3. How do you spot heroes and recognize their contribution? Having standards of performance—whether production revenues, number of jobs completed, turnaround time, new ideas or client satisfaction—allows you to recognize top performers and pay tribute to their heroics.
  4. What criteria do clients use to judge firm satisfaction? Service businesses must know how to meet and exceed expectations. Successful businesses are not all things to all people; they provide the right things to the right people.
  5. What motivates staff to go above and beyond? Check-ins to understand the mindset and priorities of staff and partners will create prioritized achievement and valued results.
  6. Where are we excelling and how can we do more of it? Success stories should be broadcasted internally and externally. The details of the success should be a teaching mechanism.
  7. How strong is the inbound referral flow from existing clients? Clients pay a lot of attention to you during tax season. Don’t pass up the opportunity to ask for referrals and to update the referral source on the effects of the referral. Build the opportunity pipeline for year-round revenue and get clients accustomed to referring.
  8. How do we demonstrate real team work? Use huddles to announce who needs help and who is ready to help. Applaud the team players and find ways to put non-traditional players on the client-service playing field.
  9. Are we tracking shortcomings? Maintain logs to note what and how to improve. Update logs several times a week.
  10. Are internal communications effective? Create a format to share information which minimizes time for meetings yet allows structured and sound interactions. Test the delivery system with fun rewards and questions and then replicate during the year.
For all of the time and challenges that come with tax season, you should get maximum return on your efforts. Be alert to the conditions in your practice—including the meaningful metrics—and you will be well on your way to building the kind of business you deserve.  Good luck with crunch time!