Reflecting on Busy Season

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Well, we made it. Tax season 2018 is officially behind us. Sure, we still have plenty of work to do, but it feels so great to cross that finish line. Yesterday’s finale was marked with some pretty unique celebrations here at BGW. Take a look:

No one will ever accuse us of being boring accountants!

We make it a big point to celebrate our successes because, frankly, we work really hard to achieve them. In this case, we’re marking the end of the hustle and bustle of tax season, the sheer number of returns we processed, all the late nights we worked, and the weekends that we sacrificed. We worked hard, we worked well as a team, we met client expectations, and we nurtured a group of killer interns (below) who are now heading back to college. Those are all things to celebrate. But, what now? What else can we do to grow beside have a little fun on the roof? The answer is simple: We can reflect.

Without reflection, we go blindly on our way, creating more unintended consequences, and failing to achieve anything useful. –Margaret Wheatley

The slower pace following busy season is the perfect time for us to look back and consider what went well, what didn’t, where we shined, and where we can improve. It’s something we do annually, really, because before you know it, it will be time to start ramping up again. What we learn each year about our processes and our personalities serves to improve our organization year after year.

Undoubtedly, you have a busy season, too. Where it falls on the calendar is dependant on your industry, but there is a time of the year when your team seems to do the unthinkable. So, after your celebration, take the time to debrief with your team. A few questions to ask are:

  • First impressions? How did we do?
  • What went smoothly?
  • What did we do really well?
  • Which team member(s) stood out in their performance or their approach? What can we learn from them?
  • What were our biggest challenges? Are they the same as last year/are we making the same mistakes? How do we better address our issues in the off-season?
  • What things do we need to do better to prepare for busy season? Increase seasonal personnel? Implement a software solution to make our processes more efficient?
  • For the staff who struggled, how could we have better prepared them? Peer training? Shadowing? Weekly update meetings?
  • Did we meet client expectations? Better yet, did we exceed them? How can we improve client relations during our busiest times?
  • What can we do in the off-season to improve our client relationships and better prepare for next busy season?

By no means is an exhaustive list! These are just a few ideas to get you started on the process of introspection and improvement.

Taking the time to celebrate the end of busy season and reflecting on your company’s performance can set you up for even greater success next year. There is much to do the offseason. Just make sure you’re making reflection part of your company standard. You’ll be better for it.

 

 

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