The Omicron impact on tax busy season – how should accountants respond?
So, here are we are – the second tax busy season of the pandemic.
While it looked like things were shaping up to be somewhat easier than the first, Omicron has emerged and thrown society into further chaos.
With working from home returning in a more serious way again, how should accountants react and carry on with their busy season duties?
Already, talking to fellow accountants lately, I know many are feeling overwhelmed by the challenge ahead. See my video below for more on this.
The key, I feel, is for accountants to make themselves as accessible as possible to clients, who will be feeling the strain again, and to really show they are visible. Particularly those in sectors like hospitality that are being hit so hard.
It’s a time for accountants (again) to provide a reassuring presence and show leadership.
For clients whose businesses are being hit yet again by fears over COVID driving their clientele away, it’s so important for accountants to continue fulfilling that role as the trusted advisor and giving a fresh perspective on how to navigate the way through this turbulent time.
They must be readily available to assist, advise and respond quickly.
What do accountants need to achieve this?
They need the digital tools to help them and their teams successfully work remotely. Cyber security is a vital part of that equation. Are your systems and precious personal client and staff data safe and protected through a secure cloud or hosted desktop system? Your staff members will be working from many remote locations. Ensuring safety and preventing any security threats must be high on the agenda. The same way as you have a safety alarm on your premises or your car, you need to ensure that you protect all the data that you store in your database.
The toolkit for a successful busy season this year should include and the ability to easily capture data and keep digital records and share documents seamlessly, while having transparency in workflow, tasks and management.
Those elements need to be backed up by the essentials for swift and effective communication – be it for video calling, email, instant messaging. Whichever ways clients want to talk to their accountant.
And another point to consider is this: if your team is overstretched and can’t manage the workload on their own, is it to consider getting help? Outsourcing might be just what your firm needs.
Always remember that you are not on your own, even if it seems like it. There are many accountants and bookkeepers out there and they feel the same pressure and try to juggle it all. Make sure that you keep checking in with each other and support your staff, team members.
Want to know more?
For more of my thoughts on coping through busy season, check out my recent video on LinkedIn. Do drop me a line there to share your thoughts on busy season and other hot accountancy topics.