The mid-April deadline is upon us and things will soon get back to normal. You’ll settle into your old routine. You’ll spend more time with your family – assuming they still recognize who you are. And you’ll start to feel like your usual self again.
But before you bid farewell to another grueling tax season, there are two pieces of business you need to attend to.
First things, first: The celebration
You’ve put in the long hours, it’s time to let your hair down and rejoice in a job well done – or at least give thanks you made it through. At Traphagen Financial Group of NJ (TFG), they make Tax Day a week-long celebration.
In addition to an annual tax party (this year it’s at the swanky Meadowlands Racetrack Skybox suite), they hold a Beard Shaving event. The male team members finally rid themselves of the facial hair they’ve been growing since the start of the season. Originated by the firm’s founder V. Peter Traphagen, the event has become a TFG tradition for more than 40 years.
The highly anticipated event raises more than just eyebrows. In addition to driving awareness of the Lymphoma Research Foundation, $3,000 was donated to the charity last year!
Second: The evaluation
While you’re anxious to put the long hours and sleepless nights behind you, it’s best to reflect on the season to see if there are any lessons to be learned for next year. Soon after the party’s over, TFG holds a firm-wide debrief meeting. The name, “Glad to Be Here” is modeled after the Blue Angels’ approach with the same name.
After every flight demonstration, the U.S. Navy and Marine pilots discuss the results of each maneuver in great detail and in total honesty. This approach allows them to successfully fly their jets at 500 miles an hour within 18 inches of each other. While accounting may not be aeroscience, it does take Precision, Accountability, and Unity to succeed, which is exactly what TFG examines during the meeting.
How can your firm take a similar approach? You can begin by asking a few questions:
- What ran smoothly? Were there any hiccups?
- Who excelled in their performance or approach? What can we learn from them?
- Who struggled the most? How can we help them?
- How was the team’s productivity? Is there anything we can do to keep them engaged and motivated?
- Are there any recurring problems from year to year? How can we address them?
- Was there anything we should have done differently?
- Are there any tools or technology on the market that our team could have benefitted from?
- Were there any problem clients? Can we doing anything to address them prior to next year?
Devise a plan
Once you’ve evaluated your responses, you’ll have greater insight on what went well and what you can improve upon for next year. Armed with that information, you should formulate a strategy for tackling some of the issues in the off season. Doing so will set your firm up for greater success and (hopefully) make next year’s season a bit more tolerable. Only nine more months left and counting!