The festive season is well and truly upon us. Whether you like it or not, the season to eat, drink and be merry is here. But what do I hear you say? Bah humbug, you have a mountain of tax returns to do AND still some march year end accounts to finalise. This article is for anyone who is feeling under the pressure to help you claw back some time to enjoy the festive season, whilst being confident that everything will get done.
The old ones are often the best ones. We’re not talking about Christmas cracker jokes now. A great way to reduce your sense of overwhelm is to identify on a plan exactly what needs to get done, who will do it and how it will get done. You may even find that when you draw up the plan it doesn’t feel as bad as you thought it would be.
Running an accountancy firm (and any other type of business) is always about choices, and how well you make those choices. Now is the time to take a long hard look at your diary and strip out the non-essential things. Can you close the gates to new clients for the next month to give yourself some much-needed breathing space? Can you re-schedule any staff appraisals to a point where the practice is a little less busy? Don’t forget to leave some fun stuff in the diary which will give you some much needed festive cheer and boost yours and others spirits.
It’s tempting to think that you need to get everything done immediately. That’s not the case. Aim to chunk up what tax returns and year accounts work will get done on each day.
Take a long hard look at the mounting pile of work you and your team need to get through. How much are you being a bottleneck? What can you do to bring in some external pairs of hands, such as outsourcing some of the admin and chasing to a virtual assistant? Or perhaps our team can give you some much needed extra capability to get through your peak period?
5. Take regular breaks
It is not unusual for me to hear tales of accountants doing 12-hour days seven days a week to get through the March Year End work and all the self assessment tax returns. Which is why I am never surprised to hear exactly how many accountants are off sick in February. When it comes to being productive, less is often actually more. How can you timetable in regular breaks to help you and your team stop burning out whilst still getting everything done? This may be an opportunity to bring in some festive cheer into the office.
You can get everything done and enjoy a slightly less stressful festive period than last year, by
• Working to a plan
• Being strict with yourself and the team and prioritising what really needs to get done
• Pacing the work to be done and pausing anything that isn’t urgent
• Ensuring everyone takes regular breaks