Posts Tagged ‘tax season’

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015

Lighten-Up, It’s The Weekend – Tax Season Is Beginning And….

You are probably thinking it’s going to seem like a billion days until April 15th. 

Who’s the King of millions, billions, trillions and quadrillions? I’m not talking about money – I’m talking about our galaxy…  Carl Sagan! During his Cosmos series he taught us how small we really are and helped us attempt to comprehend the vastness of our universe.

I found this video via Gizmodo. It’s remise is very simple. It’s literally every time Sagan says million, billion, trillion or quadrillion on his 13-part series. It may seem funny but you begin to comprehend the incredible scale of these BIG numbers. I hope you will be intrigued.

  • Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known.
  • Carl Sagan

Wednesday, April 17th, 2013

The After Tax Season Debriefing

EinsteinI call it the ATS (after tax season) survey, others call it the annual post-mortem, the busy season debriefing and other various names.

It is an exercise CPA firms go through to assess the good and the bad (and I guess you could add ugly) of their just completed busy season. As you might expect, firm leaders go through the exercise of gathering key people for this discussion. Some firms survey the entire team for their input. Usually an action plan is the result of this exercise. But, then what happens? Often, very little actually happens to implement the necessary changes to make busy season better next year.

Make it different and better this year.

  • Design an internal survey that is divided into sections. There are some general questions to begin with and then there is a section for audit, tax, administration, technology/software and management/miscellaneous. Under the general category add a question ONLY for the accountants asking for feedback on the administrative teams performance and a question ONLY for the administrative team to comment on the performance of the accountants. Be sure to include a comment box and ask each “side” to give an example of above and beyond performance by the other team.
  • The firm administrator gathers all of the survey input and divides it by section. The audit section (raw data) goes to the Chair of the Audit Committee, the tax data goes to the Tax Chair, the firm administrator gets the admin section, technology comments goes to the IT leader and management/miscellaneous goes to the managing partner and firm administrator. These leaders use the data to meet with their committees and/or task forces to produce an action plan.

At my firm, the tax committee would not meet after busy season until they had this data. A brief summary of the feedback was made available to all team members and then the committees/departments shared their action plan after they met and reviewed the data.

Breaking it down into segments assures that more people are involved in the solutions and action plans have a better chance of being implemented. If you need a sample, feel free to contact me.

  • Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
  • Albert Einstein

Friday, January 18th, 2013

Become A High Performance Firm

For the last couple of days I have been following the Winning Is Everything conference via Twitter.

I was not able to attend in person this year. If you are in the same boat – – – for any major conference – – be sure to “follow” the happenings and advice being shared by attendees, experienced consultants, advisors and speakers on Twitter. In case you are not aware, you simply click on the hashtag (for example:  #WIE2013) for all the tweets on a specific topic, meeting or conference.

Danielle Lee, Senior Editor of Accounting Today, tweets as @ATomorrow. I found one tweet she made this week pretty much said it all for public accounting firms. She tweeted a statement made by Sam Allred of Upstream Academy. Her tweet:

“Impossible to become a high-performance firm by accident.”

Don’t wait until after tax season (the standard excuse). Begin now to plan how your firm can take the necessary steps in 2013 on your journey to becoming a high-performance firm.

  • In the end, the only perspective that matters is the customer's.
  • Jeffrey Gitomer