Episode 9 – Tips to Get You Through Year End

Tips to Get You Through Year-End

Now is the time of year where we need to put our heads down and work. The earlier we start, the less stress we will have later on. Check out this episode as I walk you through several tips to help you get through our busy season – Year-End.

Show Notes

#1 Planning Your Month for Year-End Work

If you’ve taken my month-end course, you know how important I think planning is. How do you really know if you are able to handle your workload until you actually plan it out on the calendar? Now, I’m not perfect and I still struggle with this, but I know if I take the time to sit down to plan it, that my life will be better.

#2 Reassess Your Plan Daily, Weekly, and Monthly

And, planning is not a one-time thing. You need to reassess daily and weekly. For example, I had a list of things I wanted to accomplish yesterday, and it didn’t all get done. So, now how am I going to get that accomplished by the end of the week? I can’t really do it today, because I know today is already booked up. So, I have to start moving things around.

#3 Request Info as early as possible

One of the biggest issues we deal with is waiting for clients. They are currently in their “after the Holidays” glow and focused on their resolutions and moving forward. That usually doesn’t include gathering documents or information for us. That is so 2019. So, we’ve got to find a way to deal with this reality. The beginning of the year makes our client’s response time even longer, so you need to request your documents or information as early as possible.

Also, let them know how important that information is. If they don’t get it to you by X date, what are the consequences? Can you still complete the 1099s in time? Will an extension have to be filed on the tax return? You get the point. You need to make it clear why you are so stressed about getting the info. If they still don’t care, then it is on them and you shouldn’t worry about it anymore. There are plenty of clients to worry about, so worry about the ones that care and don’t want to deal with the consequences.

#4 Continuously follow-up with clients

So, not only do you need to connect with your clients early, but you need to follow-up with them continuously. Don’t wait 2 weeks to send a follow-up email. We don’t have 2 weeks to waste right now. Follow up in 2 days and keep doing it. Maybe even follow up daily. You can use Boomerang to help you automate this process. It will pop an email back to the top of your inbox if you haven’t gotten a reply in X amount of time.

#5 Take Breaks

Now, this is also the time of the year that we work our butts of more than any other time. So, now is really important to watch out for burn-out. You need to take breaks. If you are stuck on something, stop spinning your wheels and try working on something else for a while. Make sure you are taking the time to walk away from your computer. I remember when I worked for a public accounting firm, I would hardly ever see the daylight. The busy season schedule combined with the short days resulted in darkness – literally. Maybe now is the time to actually go out to lunch daily. You need to see the sun!! It is really important for your mental health.

#6 Use Control Sheets

One tool that I look to use during this time is what is called “control sheets”. Basically, they help you control a project or multiple projects. I have a few up on my site – one for tax prep and the other for 1099s. I use it to be able to look at all my clients and the progress of work from a big-picture view. It can be fairly easy to see the progress on one job, but how about all of them together? Well, just put all of your jobs down on a spreadsheet and plot out the phases that they all must go through. 1099s, for example, we need to collect W9s on everyone. Has that been completed for all of the clients yet? Or, have all the 1099s been mailed out yet? Which clients are being held up by something? Control sheets help you get out of the weeds and help you not skip anything or anyone.

#7 Get Support from Others

My final tip is to get help. This isn’t about hiring someone right now. I mean, this is the time to really lean on your bookkeeping community and ask questions if you are unsure of something. We all get in our own heads and can overthink a situation. You’ll get several replies and be able to make a more informed decision. If you just need to vent about a bad day or a bad client, do that in those groups. Realize that we are ALL going through this craziness right now and so many of us are solopreneurs. That doesn’t mean you have to be alone. This is the perfect time to connect with your peers. It will also help you get through this stressful time.

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Cathy Iconis

Cathy Iconis, CPA is the creator and facilitator of the weekly tweetchat #QBOchat and the website QBOchat.com - a community for QuickBooks Online Users. She is also the founder of Iconis Group, an Intuit Top 20 Firm of the Future, that supports small businesses all over the United States with their bookkeeping needs. She is a five-time recipient of the prestigious CPA Practice Advisor 40 Under 40 Award, given annually to just 40 people nationwide.

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