22 Questions You Can’t Put Off for After Busy Season
As of March 17, one busy season deadline has passed. But I’m not hearing a big sigh of relief just yet. For many CPAs, the real crunch is just beginning.
Despite the frenzy of the season - or maybe because of it - a lot of CPAs are asking themselves some serious questions - questions about their work and their families, their careers and their firms, their clients and their futures together. Busy season is not just about taxes, accounting and audits. It’s not just about meeting with clients and pushing out work. No, it’s also a time when CPAs are making a lot of very personal, very important, decisions.
It’s a time when, more than ever, successful firms and fast-track professionals are considering and creating options for themselves because they’re asking some tough questions today. Here are 22 questions I’ve been hearing most often.
CPA firm leaders may be wondering:
- What do I (or, what does my firm) really want to do in the short and long term?
- Do I have the right people in the right jobs to do it
- Do I have a succession plan for myself? For key players? And the firm as a whole?
- Have I had enough? Do I really want to go through another busy season? And how do I start to think about how to exit gracefully?
- What’s the outlook for the firm’s organic growth?
- Should I bring on a business development person?
- How can our current partners develop more business?
- Do I have major decisions to make, such as signing a new lease, handling a problem partner or staff member, or increasing profits?
Line partners and future partners are probably asking:
- Do I like the path my firm is on?
- Will the firm need to merge in order to remain competitive?
- Will we need to merge for succession or retirement reasons?
- Am I happy with my compensation and my role within the firm?
- How much do I like and respect the leadership of the firm?
Partners and professional staff might be thinking about some of the same things, like:
- Do I have a personal career business plan?
- Where am I going?
- How will I get there?
- Who can help?
- What do I need to expedite the process?
- Do I have a life plan?
- Have I addressed my personal risk management - life and disability insurance?
- Do I have a financial plan?
- Are there areas in my life - my spouse, my children, my parents, maybe even myself - that I’ve been overlooking? Do they need more of my care and attention?
This is New York, a very competitive landscape. Many firms and people will be considering their options and I can safely say there is some pent-up demand. Firms have taken the gloves off on lateral hiring. Talented professionals are coming quickly to understand their options. The best and best-prepared will move as fast as they can when busy season ends. They’ll be ready. Will you?