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Crazy Life of a Tax Accountant During Tax Season, and My Philosophy

During tax season, I would work 18 hour days.  I used to, and still do, blame everything in the world on it being tax season.  For instance, friends of mine will text me and say: “I haven’t heard from you in a while.”  My reply is, it’s tax season.  There isn’t much time for me to do anything else other than work for about six months of the year.  My tax season starts in January, and goes until June.  In September and October, due to extensions, I have a mini tax season.  I grew up, and my father was an accountant.  I knew what, tax season was, before I went into this business.  I knew what I was getting into.  I will tell you something, I wouldn’t change my job for anything.  Albeit, during this time of year I get a little tired, and I get frustrated, but I love what I do for living.

All of that being said, during this time of year, I become very popular.  Friends that I don’t normally hear from, get in touch with me.  Clients, that I try to get in touch with all year, finally returned my phone calls and emails.  I’m a very popular person right now.  Everybody wants 5 to 10 minutes of my time.  As busy as I am, I never tell a client that they are on the clock.  For instance, a client will say they want 5 to 10 minutes with me.  There is no such thing as 5 to 10 minutes of my time.  When I’m talking to a client, I don’t care if it takes 2 to 3 hours to get the situation taken care of.  I don’t bill for that, and I want to make sure that my client is comfortable, and I have all the answers.  When I am asked for 5 to 10 minutes of time, I always know that there are questions that I’m going to have to ask, and answers that the client is going to have to give me.  Those answers, always lead to other questions.  I want to make sure that I do a thorough job for my client.  I ask a lot of questions, because I’m trying to get to the heart of the matter.

I know that a lot of accountants just want to fill out a bunch of forms.  That is the end result, of what we’ve been doing all year.  Although filling out these forms are important, that isn’t the reason why my client is hiring me.  They are hiring me, to save them money.  Anybody can fill out a form.  I know that my approach is completely different than most accountants in the business, but I don’t know any other way to practice.  Before I went on my own, I would prepare about 1000 tax returns a year.  At the place I used to work, the philosophy was to do as many tax returns as we possibly could.  The more clients we had, the better for the bottom line.  It was good in one respect, in that I was exposed to pretty much every situation, every business type, and I learned a lot in the 18 years that I worked there.  When I went on my own, I decided that I wanted to do things differently.  I wanted clients to pay me for what I knew, rather than filling out a bunch of forms.  Of course, the time that I spend with clients, and the time that it takes me to complete a client’s tax return, has tripled from what it used to be.  The reason for this, is that I do extra things for my clients to protect them, that other accountants are doing.  I also take the time, to analyze a client’s tax return before I give it to them, and give them advice on how they can do things differently next year, or save money this year.  This means having fewer clients.  I’m perfectly okay with that.  I want to run my business this way, and the response that I have gotten from most clients has been extremely positive.

That is my philosophy on taxes season, and my clients.  I’m very blessed to be able to run my practice.  The way that I want to.

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