By Sally Glick - In recent years “Tax Season” has developed a new brand. It is now often dubbed “Opportunity Season” – and for good reason. As most firms begin to hunker-down and get ready for the onslaught of work and the long hours that accompany the flow of tax returns through the office, it is also a good idea to remember that this is the time when the rest of the business community is actually focusing on their trusted advisors.
More people stop by to pick up or drop off documents, and there is usually a significant increase in phone calls, questions and other personal interactions. But instead of taking advantage of the limelight, some firms send a subtle message that they are simply overwhelmed and will come up for air sometime after mid-April. In fact, that message is expected in the workplace. I recently met with some attorneys who wanted to set up a meeting at our firm. Before I could even check the calendar, one of them commented, “Well, let’s do this in May when tax season is over.” I had no intention of waiting four months to set up a date with this prestigious firm, losing momentum along the way! Instead, we agreed that since we all have to eat anyway, we would host an informal lunch in late February at our office.
While tax season is no myth - and the rigors of the workload can be challenging - try to find practical ways to remain visible and accessible while managing the pressures for your time at the office.
If other firms want to retreat from the marketplace during the first quarter, it makes it all the more attractive for you to think of ways to increase communication and visibility with your own clients and potential. In addition, with so many firms extending their service offerings to include fraud and forensic accounting, business consulting, corporate governance and other “non-tax” type engagements, there are plenty of professionals who want to remain involved in the business community, even during tax season.
So think about new ways that you can effectively leverage your practice development hours during tax season – you may be surprised at the outcome!