What to do During [Not So] Busy Season

With many of the year’s biggest deadlines in the rear view, you may be finding yourself with less to do at work each day. If you have been using this time to browse Pinterest boards, or shop the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale catalogue I have some suggestions that may be more productive and accounting related.

Planning

Now that you made it through busy season and before you gear up for the next wave of deadlines, now is a great time to do some planning. Take a look at your annual professional goals and assess whether or not you are on pace to meeting those. Are there a certain amount of charge hours you have to meet? Have you met your annual CPE requirements? Examine your calendar, scanning for holidays, upcoming networking opportunities and filing deadlines. Go ahead and plan out any paid time off you would like to take for the remainder of the year. Getting those requests in early help, not only to increase your chances for approval, but to plan out how you will take the time off while still meeting any professional goals you have set.

Continuing Professional Education

Whether or not you have already completed the CPA exam, it is likely that you have a certain amount of CPE credits to meet each year. Take the time now to register for those accounting conferences and seminars. It makes for a stressful situation if you are at the end of your fiscal year and realize you do not have enough CPE credits but your schedule does not have the flexibility to do anything about it. Continuing professional education credits are often offered at professional conferences and are a great way to expand your professional network. Many of the individuals that I have met in the profession have been at accounting conferences. Not to mention, these conferences have been known to be held in awesome cities. Maybe you could kill two birds with one stone and turn that four-day accounting conference in Chicago into a week-long summer vacation. It’s all about being efficient, right?

Enhancing Your Resume

With things settling down to a more manageable pace at work, you should have the time to work on your overall professional portfolio. Now is a great time to study for that certification that will help boost your resume. If you are still on the CPA journey try to pass at least one section of the exam before things pick up at work again. Maybe you already have all the certifications your heart desires, you can pay the knowledge forward by mentoring some of those who are newer in your field. Take that new associate to lunch, the one who you think has potential but just needs a little fine-tuning. Maybe set up a weekly meeting with them over the next month or so to go over some ways you feel they can take their career to the next level. This is also a great time to update any work profiles. Most firms have their associates update a profile with information to be later used during year-end evaluations. Make sure you have updated yours to reflect your most recent successes.

Health Renewal

If you are anything like me, you had a very busy busy season. Two months after the April deadline and I am still recovering. With this additional time in your schedule, take some time for renewal. Renewal should be done at all levels: physical, mental, and spiritual. Try to be intentional about getting adequate rest each night and practicing healthier eating habits. This is a great time to work on getting back into shape, especially if you slacked off during busy season. Carve out some time to see that new art exhibit, meet your friends for Sunday brunch, or read that book you’ve been hearing so much about. I would also suggest using this time to renew your spiritual health. Get back to meditating, practicing mind-fullness, and/or attending church. Wherever you go to find your peace, revisit that if it has been a while. Going back into the next wave of deadlines with a renewed health will make for a much smoother transition.

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