A typical day for a tax accountant depends entirely on the season. If you want to consider what your days will be like during the first quarter of the year, when tax filings and extensions are due, it is important to learn about all of the various tasks that experience tax accountants will perform in a routine day. Of course, your schedule and your load as a tax accountant will depend upon where you work and how many clients you service, but the average accountant who specializes in taxes will be bombarded during the month of April. Here is a basic outline of a tax accountant’s day during tax season, as well as a to-do list.
Reporting to the Office and Listing Out the Priority Items
A tax accountant must be able to keep up with changing regulations while still servicing their clientele. When the most skilled tax accountants report to the office, they will start their day by reviewing their emails and creating a list of what must get done for the day. Many tax accountants will also have floods of customer voicemails to reviews, and while many of these messages will not be emergencies, to the client filing their taxes they may feel that way. Typically, a morning to-do list will look a lot like this: 1: Review tax returns and statuses; 2: Practice development; 3: Return calls from previous day; 4: Return emails from previous day; and 5: Outbound calls to prospective clients.
When you work in the world of tax accounting, whether you work in a large firm or your own independent firm, servicing your clients is key. This is why you will need to make it a priority on your list to make time to speak with your clients about their concerns. Individuals only file taxes once per year, and many individuals have anxiety when tax season comes. By speaking with your clients and easing their concerns, you will keep a client even if you charge higher rates than some of the national chains. You should always show your clients that you are in control no matter how swamped you are during the peak season.
Tax Appointments and Making Time for the Unexpected
It is not out of the ordinary for a tax accountant to spend the entire day at the office without breaking for lunch. If you do have time for a lunch, do not plan a long outing or you may be stuck in the office well past dinner handling the unexpected. Many seasoned professionals use the afternoons and the weekends as a time to set up client meetings. This is where you will gather information and documentation to file taxes, and ask the imperative questions to do research after hours when a complex issue arises. Make time in between your meetings for the unexpected, and expect the return most calls and emails the next morning.
The average accountant works 60 hours per week during tax season. Despite these grueling hours, tax accountants need to stay sharp. The last thing they want to be accused of is tax fraud due to making unnecessary mistakes. After the filing deadlines have been met, many accountants will decompress by taking their annual vacation. Throughout the slow periods of the year, many accountants specializing in taxes will do other tasks like bookkeeping, networking, marketing or professional development. Make sure that you are prepared for the slow periods of the year and the peak periods. If you can handle the pressure, tax accounting may be for you.