Every industry goes through a busy season; for CPAs and tax professionals, we understand your pain since you are currently in the homestretch of your busy season. Our retirement plan coordinators just completed theirs by meeting the March 15th deadline of making sure all plan compliance and nondiscrimination testing was completed. Now that our coordinators are in their (somewhat) cool down phase, we thought we would share some tips and tricks that helped us make it through the busy push.
Retirement plan coordinators Frank Corea and Lorena Mabe, who have been with us for seven years and year and a half respectively, have very different approaches to handling the busy season.
How do you prepare for this time of year?
Lorena: I save related reports to work folders ahead of time in preparation for the rush. Anything that I can do to get organized prior to the rush will help me in the long run.
Any tips on time management?
Lorena: Organize related tasks for certain times of the day. I find that early morning is much more productive for “busy” work such as preparing forms, balancing assets, etc. I receive more customer inquirers in the afternoon. I also try to remain focused on one task at a time until completion. It’s not always feasible but it is the way I work best.
Frank: Time management is dependent upon how the client gets information back to us. If timely, then it is smoother. If the needed information comes in slowly, then your time is pulled in all different directions.
When Things Get Intense
How do you recharge?
Lorena: Sitting down with a good book in the evening helps take my mind off the day. I try to be conscious and carve out some quiet time just for me.
Frank: Group lunches and discussions have been a great way to recharge. It is important to lean on your coworkers for support since everyone is going through the same stress that you are.
Lorena: I have to make sure that I get up from my desk at least hourly. It’s generally just a few minutes to loosen the muscles and provide circulation but it really helps and makes a difference.
Frank: Keeping in mind that the deadline will come and our work will be completed strangely enough helps me relax because I know things will settle down once it passes.
Do you reward yourself?
Lorena: I usually take a few days off after March 15th just to recharge.
Frank: I take more days off during April, May and June
To all our financial friends out there, we hope that our tips will help you in your final stretch and that you take the time to reward yourself for another job well done and making through another busy season.