2020 TAX SEASON IS OVER - NOW WHAT?
The 2020 tax deadline will undoubtedly be remembered as one of the craziest filing deadlines in the profession’s history. Obviously, all of 2020 will be remembered as a crazy and tumultuous year, and for CPAs, July 15th will come as a long-awaited finish line. CPAs not only had to deal with the usual stressors of a typical filing deadline, but they had the added stress of keeping their business healthy (both literally and financially) and helping their clients navigate a sudden and drastic economic recession.
What is unfortunately cruel about 2020 for CPAs is that the filing deadline comes right when they would begin ramping up for the September and October deadlines. Many CPAs may find themselves facing the reality that this year will offer no break, and July 15th may not have the usual relief that normally accompanies the end of a filing season. But taking a little bit of time to decompress, rest, and recharge is imperative. Rest is will help you not only regather your energy for another push but also prepare you for ways to improve in the coming months. Here is a list of 5 things we think CPAs can do to decompress and recharge for the next filing deadline:
When placed under pressure, a process can become exposed to not only its strengths but its weaknesses. It’s important, especially for those leading their own practice, to honestly evaluate and consider ways to improve. Many CPAs would agree that their normal process was stretched to the limit, if not totally compromised, in this last year, and it would be a waste if you didn’t evaluate and figure out ways that you can come out better on the other side. Should you be investing in technology and cloud-based solutions more? Should you incorporate more ways for your employees to take a break and have fun during busy times? Do you need to investigate more efficient ways to gather client data? Evaluating and seeking ways to improve is a way to decompress and rebound from a stressful season.
CPAs notoriously have terrible work-life balance. When you are staring down the barrel of more deadlines, you may find it hard to think about stepping away from work for a moment, however, you absolutely should. Delete apps from your phone, leave your laptop at the office, or at least shut it down. We even recommend CPAs, particularly practice managers and partners, have separate cell phones so you can step away from client communication too. How well you rest will directly affect how well you work.
You may find yourself having not only put on some of the usual tax season weight, but COVID weight as well. Get outside, go for a walk, and get a little bit of exercise. If you have been good at getting up and exercising, change it up. Go to a nature trail, go to a park, get exercise in a different way. It’s not only good for your body, but it’s good for your mind!
DO SOMETHING NEW
Obviously, there is not much to do right now. Many things are closed, and you may feel it’s too risky to do much else. But there are a lot of things you can still learn to do or experience that you haven’t. Watch new movies, learn how to make pizza dough, and everybody seems to be making sourdough bread, so maybe try that! Tax season often robs CPAs of a lot of living, so go take some ground back and do something new and fun.
You made it through yet another Tax season! This one had an extra degree of stress and you should celebrate getting passed another deadline. Remember to celebrate your coworkers and employees as well – make people feel appreciated and appreciate the hard work that you have done to complete yet another filing deadline.