Are You Overlooking a Valuable Resource During the Tax Season Rush?


The frenzy of year-end closings is well behind us and Q1 is in full swing. But if you’re the manager of a bookkeeping firm or corporate tax department, you’ve got busy days approaching in the near future. It’s time to get ready for tax season. Are you doing all you can to give your team the necessary support?

As you well know, tax season can bring a variety of challenges. One of these is keeping your staff motivated and productive, while not allowing them to fall behind on daily routines during this busy time of year.

What’s a manager to do? Why not back them up with some administrative talent?

During tax time, your accountants are going to be drowning in a sea of numbers and regulations. But their duties likely include many tasks an administrative assistant is equipped to handle. Here’s a sample breakdown of how the workload could be balanced:

Receptionist: As well as being backup gatekeepers for busy accountants, receptionists can take messages, return calls and schedule appointments. They can also lend a hand with data entry, which can be a huge plus for their swamped accounting colleagues. 

Front desk coordinator: These professionals can also take the reins on most of the above duties. Additionally, they can review forms and paperwork with clients to make sure that no box goes unchecked, no line unsigned.

File clerk: Your file clerks can help accounting staff stay organized throughout tax season by arranging letters and other indexed documents. As with receptionists, they can provide data entry support.

Office clerk: You can count on these clerks to help your bookkeeping crew with surprisingly time-consuming responsibilities like copying, scanning and faxing.

Cross-training administrative professionals can give them rewarding new responsibilities while alleviating demands on those handling tax issues. However, you want to ensure your administrative team doesn’t become overburdened in your efforts to ease the workload of your accounting staff; shifting the stress from one group to another is hardly the solution. You can keep the busyness in balance by:

• Regularly checking in with administrative staff to answer any questions about new duties and make sure they’re comfortable with their increased workloads

• Emphasizing your open door policy and willingness to lend an ear or hand to any team member who needs it

• Bringing in interim administrative professionals if it’s clear you’re asking your full-time admins to take on more than they can handle

The key to office harmony during busy times is balance. If you effectively delegate duties and regularly check in with your crew, you might wonder why tax season got a bad reputation in the first place.

What extra duties do you anticipate your administrative team taking on this tax season? How have they helped in the past? Let us know in the comments section.

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