Tax time is here. Accounting professionals have begun working longer hours preparing tax returns for their clients. The pressure for employers to stay on track with the right personnel and support staff will reach a critical boiling point.

Accounting professionals can all agree that tax season is their busiest time of the year. Stress is at an all-time high as the pressure from clients builds and the deadline for tax filings quickly approaches.

The compounding nature of workloads and the collaborative flow of the accounting process clearly highlights skills and personnel gaps within accounting firms. These two contributing factors make for the perfect storm. Accounting firms and companies with in-house accounting teams are forced to react and frantically fill these gaps in a moment’s notice.

The secret behind a successful tax season is to quickly identify skills and personnel gaps in the workflow. From junior associates all the way through to partners – a high degree of awareness of accounts, client needs, and workloads is essential.

For over 25 years, we’ve seen time and time again, the high burnout rate within accounting firms. Like clockwork, we receive urgent requests to fill junior to senior level accounting positions within a month of tax season beginning. Some of these requests are due to resignations and leave of absences but where we see the bulk of our orders is in the skills and personnel gaps mentioned.

Busy times quickly highlight productivity inefficiencies when deadlines are missed. This time also showcases key competencies, or lack thereof, within team dynamics. These problems create shifts in workloads and an imbalance among team members.

During this crucial time, accounting firms need dependable and experienced personnel who exhibit key characteristics.

  • They must be seasoned to weather various storms that arise.
  • They must have a solid understanding of the business operations, industry trends, company goals and risk factors.
  • They must have a solid understanding of rapidly changing CRA rules.
  • They must be agile in nature and exhibit the ability to make smart and strategic decisions.
  • They must be tech-savvy in order to leverage various platforms to maximize productivity and insight.

Sustainable Solutions During Tax Time

Accounting firms need to look for opportunities within their workflows to identify roles and responsibilities that need support. There are a variety of roles that can be filled both on a permanent and temporary basis. Typically, we receive orders that range from:

  • Full Cycle Accountant
  • Junior, Intermediate and Senior Accountant
  • Controller
  • Accounts Payable Clerk
  • Accounts Receivable Clerk
  • Bookkeeper
  • Tax Accountant
  • Payroll Specialist

We’ve polled a list of typical skills requirements in these urgent fill positions. They range from:

  • Accounts Payable
  • Accounts Receivable
  • Collections
  • WIP Reports
  • Progress Billing
  • Budgeting
  • Forecasting
  • Identifying ROI’s
  • Month End
  • Year End
  • Bank Reconciliations
  • Trial Balances
  • Data Entry
  • Expertise in MS Excel
  • Payroll Support
  • Payroll Timesheet entry
  • Vendor Relations
  • Supervision of other accounting and payroll staff
  • RRSP management
  • Benefits Administration
  • High aptitude in QuickBooks, Sage 50 or payroll processing software

Shift Your 2021 Tax Season

The key to a successful tax season is to temporarily shift your financial focus to your people. Identify areas of opportunity within your organizational chart. Who is struggling? Where are deadlines being missed? Identify the need and leave the rest to the experts. Utilize the flexible and cost-effective staffing solutions that employment agencies can provide.

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