4 best ways to recharge after busy season

  • career advice
  • April 12, 2017
Congratulations! You’ve survived another busy season. You’ve had little sleep or outside the office socialization. (Friends? What friends?) Now that Tax Day has passed, how do you recharge so you can make it to file yet another tax extension next year?

We asked a few tenured tax professionals to share how they survive and thrive after busy season.

1. Relax and regroup.

A common theme for these professionals after tax season is to immediately leave town.

“As soon as tax season ends, the adrenaline that has kept me going completely stops,” said Jack Mahan, CPA, a solo tax practitioner based in the San Francisco Bay Area, who goes to a cabin two days after Tax Day. “On the day after the season ends, I sleep in and move around the house in a coma-like state. I go on vacation with another tax preparer because she is as exhausted as I am.”

“Plan a summer vacation to look forward to,” added Elaine Chang, CPA, a principal in the San Francisco office of Novogradac & Company, a national public accounting and consulting firm. “Or give yourself a reward for a successful busy season like tickets to see [a baseball game] on your first Saturday off!”

For many tax professionals, it doesn’t necessarily matter what you do, it is more important to change your daily routine.

“Some years, my wife takes short trips to visit family in Texas and Maryland,” said Gil Charney, director, tax law & policy analysis at H&R Block’s Tax Institute. “Other times, I just enjoy relaxing at home and getting back to my hobbies. Basically, after months of stressful days, evenings and weekends, just about any change of pace is a breath of fresh air.”

2. Get physical.

For many tax professionals, the opposite of their busy-season life means exercising and being out of the office.

“It helps to make an effort to spend time outdoors and enjoy the weather,” said Tonya Phongsavanh, CPA, a partner in Novogradac & Company’s Atlanta office. “Doing something physical like playing sports with my kids recharges me after being tied to a desk for so long.”

3. Focus on career development.

Post busy season is a great time to work on career development and tackling continuing professional education (CPE) requirements. Many accounting and finance membership organizations hold their CPE events in late spring and summer for that very reason.

“Novogradac & Company takes the opportunity after busy season to focus on continuing education and the development of opportunities and promotion goals for professionals,” Phongsavanh said. “Pivoting to the development and advancement of our professionals is reinvigorating.”  

4. Set goals. 

Many tax professionals spend time planning for the next busy season, focusing on what was good and what can be improved.

“I like to reflect on my experiences during busy season to help me set goals for the rest of the year and the next busy season,” Chang said. “Reviewing what went well is a great way to identify ways to improve the service I provide my clients.”

Following tax season or other extended projects, accounting professionals have their own way to recoup. The important thing is to take time for yourself to rejuvenate.

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