About every week or so the Accountants Media Group puts up a new online poll on www.webcpa.com and www.practicalaccountant. I want to apologize for a recent survey question. Actually it wasn't the question that I feel bad about; it was one of the answers that I see as being a problem for some.

The question was posted at a time that is probably the most stressful and pressure packed for accounting firms--just prior to the end of tax season. It simply asked whether the staff following the end of the tax season received a party and/or a day off for all their efforts. As I am writing this column, I checked for the latest results. Most firms, some 42 percent, had a party and gave their staff a day off, 24 percent of the firms held parties only, and 17 cent of the firms gave their staff a day of, but no party.

So why do I need to apologize? It is for putting in that fourth choice of "Neither." Seventeen percent of survey respondents indicated they didn't receive a day off or a party. No, I am not apologizing to them. I actually want to say I am sorry to the management of the firms of those respondents. Although your staff knew they didn't have a party or a day off, they probably didn't know that the other 83 percent responding to the survey did.

Accordingly, I am very sorry that when you are celebrating the completion of another tax season, I might have introduced some possible discontent among your staff. If you feel at all guilty, you may still want to throw a party or give a day off. And even if you don't feel guilty, how about springing for a pizza lunch for everyone or bringing in a couple of pounds of cookies from a bakery? The reason for this suggestion is simple. Your staff will probably continue taking our online polls.

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