Tax professionals fight political uncertainty, ragged clients, toughened rivals.
Topic: busy season
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY By Rick Telberg CPA Trendlines Most tax practitioners across the nation are preparing for the 2014 busy season with the hoping it can’t possibly be as bad as last year’s “worst tax season ever,” according to exclusive CPA Trendlines polling. About 61% of accountants today expect at least a “somewhat” or even “much” better season this year, according to the CPA Trendlines Busy Season Barometer, a tracking poll now approaching its 11th year. Some 26% expect no change from last year, and 13% are bracing for “somewhat worse” or “much worse.” In the CPA Trendlines Special Report, responses and comments from more than 400 practitioners surveyed have been tabulated and analyzed. Key findings: Economic outlook for firms, clients, […]
Updated with responses from May 2013. The latest update to the topline results for the CPA Trendlines Busy Season Barometer shows additional confirmation of four key findings, beginning with the across-the-board problems of a late-starting season and buggy software. How did your season compare? We’d love to hear. Send your comments, rants raves, ideas, or questions to me here. – Rick Telberg Key Finding #1: Most practitioners, across all size firms, report a tougher 2013 than 2012. (See chart below for comparisons by size of firm.)
Stress management is critical to a successful season. By Sandi Smith, CPA Accountant’s Accelerator I don’t want to stress you out, but we really do need to do something about our stress levels. The American Psychological Association says our kids are getting headaches, having difficulty sleeping, and eating too little or too much due to pressure from school and household finances. The worst part is that most parents were not aware of the severity of their children’s stress. Many adults reported not knowing what to do to change their lifestyle so they could reduce their stress, so it just makes sense to talk about this a little. Here are the most common stress-reducing tasks that some people do, according to […]
And a couple more ideas for high performing firms. by Ed Mendlowitz Tax Season Opportunity Guide If you have staff, have happy, cheerful, helpful people. Don’t surround yourself with downers and nay-sayers. Make sure they are team players. Part of this is your firm’s culture. It takes work to get people to work together and to focus on doing what it takes to service the client fully, properly and timely. Everyone working together gets it done. You need to create that atmosphere. Here are three things that might help:
Washington brinksmanship spells big crunch for preparers. Join the survey; get the updates. by Rick Telberg CPA Trendlines Research With Tax Season 2013 delayed by last-minute code changes, staffing problems and software glitches, the mood of the profession is turning markedly sour. “IRS delays will cause confusion and errors, and many upset clients,” says Charles Postal at Santos Postal, a five-partner firm in Rockville, Md. “More extensions will depress cash flow.” At the same, Postal adds, “Clients will have more tax needs, but the struggling economy will depress their ability and desire to pay for services.” In order to battle the business pressures, Postal’s firm is “pushing back on fees, using standardized billing by product rather than hours, and adding […]
The top ten tax questions that too often go unasked. Ed Mendlowitz, CPA Trendlines contributor and tax practice veteran, says he sees many professionals fail to systematically ask clients some basic and important questions. Here’s his top ten list of key questions to ask this year. What would you add? 1. Foreign bank accounts: Make you ask every client if they have a foreign account and if they do report the income and file the proper forms. The penalties are too great if it is wrong.
How to be at your best through April 15th. Tax season can be a marathon. Everyone has their own tips and tricks, habits and techniques for staying sane and healthy. Here are 10 from CPA Trendlines contributor Ed Mendlowitz: Eat lunch out of your office. Go for a 15 minute walk in middle of afternoon instead of eating a snack. Take off either March 17 or 18.