Organization is one skill that can make a world of difference. With tax season right around the corner, it’s more important than ever to make sure you have the right organizational processes and tools in place to keep you and your firm in control of the chaos.
First of all, you’ll want to identify any problem areas you have. I’d recommend going through your major workflow processes step by step annually to make sure you’re being as efficient as possible. If you don’t have any easily identifiable issues on your end, here are a few things to consider when getting ready to dive into tax season.
Setting goals is a simple yet effective strategy in staying on top of tasks. Having clear-cut and consistent goals throughout your firm is a great way to keep everyone on the same page with the same priorities. Periodically check in with your staff and make sure they are working towards the preset goals and that they have the tools they need to accomplish said goal. There are few things as frustrating as not able to complete a task because of a lack of support or tools, so make this a regular part of your goal setting.
Organize Your Workspace
Whether you’re working from home or you’re in a traditional office, you’ll want to make sure your workspace is organized. A cluttered desk can often create a cluttered mind, and that’s good for no one. Take the time to organize your desk with the use of folders, filing cabinets (if needed), drawers and desk organizes you can get at any office supply store. Make sure your digital office is organized too – creating folders on your desktop, share files, utilizing cloud storage. Make sure to label everything properly and put unnecessary things away.
Try Not to Multitask… (too much)
If you work in a small firm, you know that not multitasking is rarely an option. We all have a lot on our plate, and especially during tax season, the amount of work is typically more time-consuming and there’s just more of it. But, it’s important to make sure you aren’t overextending yourself. Work on one task (or goal ?) at a time, to make sure you are giving your true and undivided attention to each one. You’ll find this approach may seem like it takes longer, but it actually helps ensure you are doing each project to the best of your ability. You can be confident in your work and not have those last minute “I forgot something!” panics.
Get into Good Routines
Getting yourself and your firm into good routines is another great way to make sure you and your staff are always on the same page. Bad habits are often the root of many organizational problems. Having weekly meetings where you discuss project status updates and any new or existing problems will help hold everyone accountable. Things as simple as not allowing yourself to procrastinate, keeping your calendar up to date and marking off complete tasks allow you to stay on top of your firm projects without micromanaging.
Tax season is a little crazy for all of us. But a few small changes in your workflow can make a world of difference. Let us know if you implement any of these (or some that we didn’t mention) in your firm and how it worked!