Jackie walked into the partner's office and handed her the keys. "I just can't take it any more. My family and husband need and miss me. I don't know how you have done it all these years and still stayed married."
And so our business lost another promising star.
This is nuts. Three months of misery: from January until mid-April, those of us who are practitioners have our lives put on hold. It is work, work, work and nothing else. I was too exhausted to visit my Uncle Moe who was visiting relatives 75 miles away. Two weeks later he was gone.
Practice-wise, this was perhaps our best tax season ever. There were lots of new clients, we opened another office and our new office manager's systems worked beautifully. Staff was motivated and we had lots of fun. Our newly redecorated office made coming to work a pleasure. We went paperless three years ago, and our office environment is highly organized. We are a close-knit group of nine and we helped a lot of people, which is very rewarding.
And yet, I would give it up in a heartbeat in order not to lose 3 months a year from my life.
This blog is not meant as a rant. It is designed to open our eyes as a profession that something needs to change or we will have nobody qualified to help the clients. Look around at your next public CPE session; is the average age about 55?
It doesn't have to be this way! What if we were able to even out the workload to a more normal flow 12 months a year? Here's my solution. It doesn't cost the government a dime, and will actually help plan cash flow.
Let's have a system where people file four different times a year, based on their last name or social security number. Sure, anyone could file by April 15th, but only those with names ending in "A through E" would be required to do so. "F to O" file June 15th, etc.
Would we lose as many "Jackies" as we currently do? Would our profession be more attractive to college grads as a place to permanently build their careers, instead of being merely a stumbling block to get somewhere else?
BTW, I'm changing my name to Zielinski next week...
Allan S. Boress, CPA is the author of 12 published books on marketing, selling and managing the business development process for CPAs. The "I-Hate-Selling" Book is available at: www.ihateselling.com