Are you worried about staffing shortages before the tax deadline? Don’t panic! This post has you covered with practical tips to help you overcome this challenge.

For accounting firms and corporate finance and accounting departments, tax season is the busiest — and most stressful — time of year. And if you’re short on staff, an already difficult season can be even more challenging to navigate.

Nationwide, the accounting sector is facing a staffing shortage driven by retirements, as well as departures from young and mid-career professionals. According to The Wall Street Journal, more than 300,000 accountants and auditors have left their jobs in the last two years, representing a 17 percent decline in staffing.

With Tax Day looming in this challenging hiring landscape, how can you make sure your firm maintains its performance?

1. bring in some temporary help

During your busiest times, temporary employees and contractors can support your in-house team. These reinforcements help shoulder the additional workload and keep stress levels manageable. Staffing firms like Randstad USA can help you hire for various finance and accounting roles, helping you maintain your steady state and fill any gaps that may emerge as you focus your resources on tax.

Local colleges and universities can also be great resources for tracking down temporary staffing support. Accounting students may be eager to get on-the-job experience to add to their resumes, so consider contacting nearby schools to see if they have anyone who may be willing to work part-time or do an internship.

2. cross-train employees

Cross-training makes your team more agile and adaptable, so take time to teach your employees about various roles throughout your firm. For example, consider showing accounts payable or finance analysts how to conduct basic tax preparation tasks. Chances are, they’ll appreciate the professional development opportunity, and you’ll have a built-in pressure relief valve when the going gets tough.

3. offer flexible scheduling

During tax season, it’s essential to be flexible with your employees’ schedules whenever and however you can. Think about remote work — commutes and long hours can add to stress levels, so if staff can do their jobs just as well from home, let them. Because firms often work punishing hours in the run-up to Tax Day, many switch to more relaxed schedules in the weeks following to give employees time to recharge their batteries.

4. keep spirits high 

Long hours, high stress and heavy workloads can zap employee morale, quickly leading to burnout and high attrition rates. That’s why, especially during tax season, finding ways to keep spirits high is crucial. Consider simple things like buying in dinner for late nights, offering small tokens of appreciation like gift cards or promising additional time off post-Tax Day. These gestures will make employees feel understood and valued, boosting morale and productivity.

5. ask for overtime

Sometimes, there’s nothing else to do but ask your staff to put in extra hours. While this is necessary at times, tread lightly. If you fall back on this option too often, you’ll do more harm than good. And when you do require extra work from your employees, be sure to balance the request with some of the morale-boosting activities listed above.

Tax season is always crunch time, but staffing challenges can occur year-round. Learn more about Randstad’s high-tech, high-touch approach to delivering skilled finance and accounting talent.