Wheeewwwww! This busy season has truly tried to take me out. I have made it a point not to freak out and to keep my overall health in mind. While these tactics have been helpful- I am still hanging by a mere thread. With the biggest deadline of the year just one week away- I am putting together a post busy season plan and challenge you to do the same.
Increasing My Efficiency
One thing working against me this busy season has been time. Because the workload has been so heavy and there are so many changes this year, I could really use an increase in speed. I have often struggled to find the most efficient ways to do things and this is something I am working to change. Post busy season, I will be spending a few hours each week dedicated to practicing new moves in Excel. There are always new tips and tricks to learn in Excel and they can save you so much time in the long run. I will also draft a few email templates to have at my leisure. This will be helpful in alleviating the extra few minutes it takes to analyze my email tone and the “does this sound okay?” moments that I spend overthinking it.
I plan to resume studying for the CPA exam after the April deadline. Outside of this studying, I will be doing more reading up on the industry. Many of the tax reform changes happened in real time this busy season and it felt like a lot to keep up with. I plan to catch up after busy season on reading accounting articles. There are so many great accounting related publications to subscribe to. If you can’t stay ahead of the curve, you should at least be able to walk along side it. Being well read is a great place to start.
My Accounting Portfolio
Diversity is important to all portfolio types. Post busy season is a great time to think of what type of accounting career you want to have in the long run. Once you can clearly define this, consider all the elements you need in order to work toward that type of career. I plan to use this time to discover a niche area of accounting. This may not always be possible to do in public accounting but you can seek out engagements that involve certain types of client work.
In addition to working on this niche, I plan to get more involved outside of the office. Spring and summer are often slower and a great time to host/attend more lunch and learns, attend accounting conferences, and do more networking.
As you wrap up what was most likely the most intense busy season of your time, reflect on your overall performance and how you can improve it going into the next wave of deadlines.