The 10 habits of happy CPAs

In my many incarnations as a Big Four auditor, a controller, a consultant, and a coach, I have met and worked with hundreds of CPAs. I can report that there are all kinds of CPAs out there: some tired, bored, flustered, bossy, loud, and some – why, yes – happy! My amazing discovery is not only that happy CPAs exist (which by itself is a pretty big deal), but that they are not singularly defined by industry, job title, age or gender. Rather, what sets them apart from the rest of the grouchy crowd is what they do differently.

Here, in no particular order, are the ten things that I have consistently observed happy CPAs do. Continue reading

The curse of the home office

Home office is the work reality for many CPA consultants and tax preparers. It beckons with the promise of an easy commute, and the comfort of working in your pajamas. It provides the flexibility of working when you want to. It can also save thousands of dollars that would otherwise be spent on rent. What’s not to love? Well, as tax preparer Joyce Linzy has learned the hard way, a home office can also be a liability. Continue reading

“You’re fired!” (and other choice things you want to say to your clients)

This has been an intense few weeks. The sheer joy of about to be done is probably washing over you in a welcome cool wave of relief. However, before this busy season fades from your mind to join all previous busy seasons, I encourage you to reflect on what just happened. Specifically, think about your clients, because they contributed significantly to making your busy season what it was, in all its glory and misery. My question for you is: which three clients are you going to fire? Continue reading

Final push to the deadline: Get more done!

May I ask you a personal question? Do you feel like your job description is “last-minute issue tackler”? You are not alone. As the filing deadline is fast approaching, more and more tax preparers feel that there are not enough hours in the day to get it all done. Throw in the interruptions – a phone call from a client, a question from a staff member, a jammed photocopier– and you’ve got an already busy day spinning out of control. Continue reading

Busy season CPAs: 5 steps to recovery

By Natalia Autenrieth

Busy season… Say it to a room full of CPAs and you get a round of all-knowing nods in return. “Busy season” is like a secret code: to those in-the-know, it stands for long hours at the office, mad dash to the deadline, poor team morale, and missed family gatherings. Many CPAs have resigned themself to trudging through 5 months out of the year, and feel there is not a lot they can do to change their predicament. After all, the common agreement seems to be that you have surrendered quality of life at the door in exchange for that CPA license to hang on your office wall. Continue reading