Busy Season = Opportunity Season

In the rush of tax season, new opportunities can often be overlooked. Keeping your eyes open for them can give you a competitive edge, even in the busiest of times.

CPA firms are now in the full swing of tax season 2017! We have recently heard CPAs, both in our firm and in other firms we work with, refer to us as “hamsters running in wheels” and “CPAs on fire.” If you’re a CPA, the images that come to mind when you hear those comments may be amusing or stressful, depending on how fast your wheel is going or how much you’re on fire. We challenge you to view it as neither amusing nor stressful, but instead as an exciting opportunity.

Opportunity to do things better – Instead of focusing on the burning wheel, ask yourself why you’re stuck in a wheel or why you feel like you’re on fire. Getting to the root cause of an issue will help you to arrive at a solution to turn things around. Sure, an entire process overhaul doesn’t make sense during peak productivity. But a solution may be simpler than you think. Just Google “Lean Six Sigma Jefferson Memorial” and you’ll find a real-life example in which asking “why?” a few times turned a seemingly complicated solution into an easy fix. You can also take notes when you notice or participate in an inefficient process so you can recall those points after the busy season.

Opportunity to build relationships – This is the time of year in which CPAs have the most contact with their clients. Taking a moment to step out of the hamster wheel can lead to significant value for your clients and your firm. When you deliver that tax return, ask your clients how they are doing and whether there is anything your team can do to better serve them. You’ll be more likely to find valuable solutions for your clients’ needs outside of the wheel than inside the wheel.

So to our fellow CPAs out there, Happy Opportunity Season 2017!

Learn more about Lean Six Sigma and how these methodologies can improve client service while adding value to your CPA firm.

About the Authors

Mike Sibley and Katie Davis are passionate about creating thorough and sustainable systems to help organizations become Lean Enterprises. In addition to writing and speaking on Lean Six Sigma, Mike and Katie work directly with an organization’s members to evaluate an existing process and identify solutions that eliminate waste, as well as build efficiency and quality into the process. Mike and Katie have applied these approaches for manufacturing, construction, professional services, and governmental entities.