The first four months of the year might mean certain things for you: time to clean out your garage, seed the grass, and maybe even collect your bonus. But for the members of your accounting team, this time of year is associated with one thing above all others: tax season.
Whether it pertains to the filing of your internal corporate taxes, prepping your records for a potential audit, or supplying your clients with the necessary forms they will need, tax season can put a significant amount of stress – not to mention hours – on your accounting team. Here are our tips for keeping your accounting professionals motivated and thriving this tax season.
Reward and Recognize
Positive reinforcement is an incredibly powerful tool. For the next couple of months, make a concerted effort to recognize your accounting professionals for instances of excellent work. Consider rewarding your accounting department with gift certificates or Employee of the Month accolades at the conclusion of tax season. Making it clear that you value their expertise and work product will go a long way in motivating these professionals.
Make Expectations Clear
The first step in successfully completing a task is clearly and concisely defining it. Ensure your accounting team knows what is expected of them this tax season. Have a meeting with the head of the department and lay out a clear order of priorities. Encourage the delegation of tasks that accentuate the strengths of each individual member of the team. Don’t shy away from giving your team guidelines as to how long certain assignments should take and when you expect tangible products to be submitted. Clear expectations will create a more productive environment and lead to more diligent and directed workflows.
Collaboration is an easy way to make tasks easier and more efficient. With larger projects or highly sensitive filings, encourage the formation of a focus group or committee to handle the project expressly. This will help create an intense focus on the matter at hand without involving the interference of irrelevant parties. Smaller task forces also create a sense of ownership and accountability within a team, often leading to more satisfied employees and higher quality output.
Now that tax season is at the forefront of your accounting team’s mind, consider having one-on-one meetings with each member of the team. In smaller settings, employees are more likely to voice their thoughts and concerns. It will also send the message that you value each teammate’s contribution and care about their input. Take notes during these meetings, and use them to inform your prioritization framework and execution plan.
Turn to the Experts
Every business is unique, and every tax situation requires care and focus. At Schmidt & Schmidt, we have years of experience handling the custom accounting needs of our clients. Contact us today to learn how we can help streamline your tax season and reduce the stress placed on your accounting team.