Accountants are well acquainted with the deadlines and time pressures associated with tax time. When the end of financial year rolls around, it often means late nights and client requests around the clock. Whether you’re already in the throws of tax time or are currently preparing for the busy season, we’ve put together a few tips to help you survive.
Delegate anything you can
It may seem obvious, but it’s surprising how many people forget to delegate. During EOFY, work can quickly pile up and before you know it, you’re surrounded by stacks of paper and an endless to-do list. Before it gets out of control, put a contingency plan in place. If there are any day-to-day tasks that someone else can help with, make sure you let them. Anything that can be left for a few weeks or months, set aside, so you can focus on the most important tasks first.
Make any tech changes or upgrades before (or after) the busy season
When it’s all systems go, the last thing you need is a technology issue to crop up. If you and/or your firm is due for technology upgrades or software changes, plan ahead and get these done before the busy season hits. If you miss the window, sit tight until work calms down and then implement your technology upgrades.
Block out times when you are unreachable
There’s only so much that can be done in a day, so in order to have time for all the urgent tasks, block out no-go times in your calendar. Let your co-workers or receptionist know for that specific time frame, you are not available. This will help you make headway on your tasks, without getting constantly interrupted by phone calls, emails or impromptu meetings.
Don’t drop your workout routine
When you feel stretched or at capacity, it’s easy to drop your workout routine because you don’t have time. However, we all know that exercise is good for us and can help with concentration and memory function. It’s worth tearing yourself away from your desk for a quick 30 minute run, in order to get refreshed and revived. It will also help you maintain energy and a sense of routine.
Manage client expectations from the start
In order to keep your clients happy, you need to manage their expectations. Don’t promise them the world and fail to deliver. Instead, explain how busy this time of year is for you and set achievable timeframes and deadlines. Don’t put yourself under unnecessary pressure, but prepare your clients for the inevitable so they understand what to expect.
Set a daily cut-off time
In order to maintain a reasonable work-life balance, set yourself a cut-off time that you cannot work past – e.g. 7pm. This will ensure you don’t have to decide when to leave each day based on your workload. You can simply switch off at a certain point and head home. While this may be easier to enforce if you are working for yourself, you could always approach your manager to see if it’s something the business wants to adopt.