[IMGCAP(1)]The next three weeks of tax season land me somewhere between the Frozen song “Let it Go!” and House of Cards character Frank Underwood’s cufflinks: FU! (a.k.a “Follow Up”). It’s a race between a Disney musical and a power-hungry congressman.
We know these next three weeks can make you absolutely insane as client pressure and staff exhaustion mount, but if we look at the things we can control, this crazy time might go a little smoother. Especially with the right understanding of what is really important.
Instances when, yes, you can “Let it Go!” (cue voice of Idina Menzel):
1) Your staff member forgot to update their dashboard regarding the status of a tax return. Remind them and be thankful that we can still use conversation to communicate. Technology and people are not infallible.
2) The tax return that has been sitting waiting for a client to get back to you on immaterial information—move on and, yes, let it go. Chances are the client really doesn’t care.
3) When crabbiness and short tempers flair in the office, don’t take it personally—folks are just overtired. They will be back to normal soon enough.
Instances when you need to FU!!!! (Follow Up)
1) When the client still hasn’t gotten back to you on something material. Give him a drop-dead date or tell him it’s going on extension. You’ll be surprised to learn the client’s true priority.
2) When the partner has something sitting on his board that needs review. Remember he/she is being pulled in a bajillion different directions. Check in with him or her. The partner will be happy you are concerned about your project. But note: I did not say stalk!
3) When someone says or does something truly inappropriate. Work environments should NEVER be abusive—tax season or not. Make sure that individual is dealt with appropriately NOW, not after tax season when everyone has forgotten how bad it really was.
Firm management is always important, but when it comes time for tax season, it’s even more important to know when to let it go and when to follow up. Hopefully we’ll all be doing more of letting go