We all snicker this time of year. Don’t get us wrong, we respect the profession we choose to work in and with. It’s just that every conversation over the past three months with accounting professionals – young, old, in person or by phone – always starts with them taking a deep breath and saying, “I’m so busy right now, call me after April 15,” or “Yup, I survived another busy season.”
We get it. Workload compression, procrastinating clients, long hours, being away from family, unique problems popping up, cranky staff, technology challenges, and no time to deal with everything else weigh heavily on the profession and you’ve earned the right to be a little punchy after April 15.
We know you have business clients who work 50-70 hours a week 52 weeks of the year, year in and year out. For them, there’s no “finish line” of April 15, glowing on the calendar like a siren calling your name in the fog, beckoning you to get to the final destination.
Many clients work long hours, are away from their families, encounter problems with staff, technology, and have little time to deal with everything else. They’re worried about making payroll, growth, succession, training, hiring the right staff, finding time for R&D, investments, retirement planning, marketing, business development, competition, governmental regulations, taxes – and the list goes on.
How many times have you seen images like these, titled like, “You’ll Make It,” “Hang In There,” or “How to Survive Tax Season?”
Rather than complaining about the long hours during the 100-year tradition of a three-month tax season, shift your firm’s focus to the problems and challenges you share with your clients.
Make it a firmwide goal to ease your clients’ challenges of long hours, 12 months a year; make it your goal to help them with the issues that challenge them. Don’t wait for them to reach out to you next year. Do they know you can provide guidance at any other time of the year? Sit down with them, talk about all the issues, and find one that you can help them solve. Surprise them. Make a difference in their lives.
Are you your clients most trusted advisor? All of us at IPA have an incredible amount of respect for the profession, and know most people in the profession have the capacity to step up and truly “walk the talk.” Only by jumping in, proactively identifying a pain point, and bringing a valuable solution to the table will you become the go-to person for all issues, truly earning you the right to claim the title “most trusted.” You’ve got time. Pick your clients, identify a challenge and change their lives.