My Thoughts On Tax Season

"2016 marks my 30th year in this business and in this building!"

greg cook 2015

February 19, 2016
Greg Cook
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There's only one way for me to descibe my tax season, which I define as February 1st to April 15th, ten weeks. The analogy I've used for many years is that managing tax season is like flying a 747 jumbo jet. The most difficult part is taking-off and landing, the first two weeks and the last two weeks. Those six weeks in the middle go pretty smooth, almost like being on auto-pilot in mid-flight. That is, if you get all of the problems corrected from your preflight check in January.

Kelly Whisenant

Saturday morning 02/20/2016 in the lobby. Our client, Kelly Whisenant drives from Gadsden to see us.
She has her cardboard box with everything imaginable because she doesn't want to forget something.

The thing about planning and preparation is, you cannot simulate the increased activity that comes with 90 people coming into the office per day instead of 5 or 10, without actually having that many people come through the office. The coffee maker, soda fountain and icemaker in the kitchen are suddenly working over-time. Little weaknesses, like a malfunctioning door knob on a restroom door abruptly become a major problem.

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We employ a lot of equipment at the office that operates at a normal pace all year long until we roll around to February 1st and it all gets stress tested. If anything is going to break, it usually happens in the first two weeks of February at the office. One of our big fax/copier/scanner machines broke down and died this year. We had it repaired and it died again the next day. When the maintenance guy came out the second time he said, "You know you've had this machine for ten years. It's time to replace it." $8,000 to replace, which by the way is half of what they cost ten years ago. So two days later we have a new one.

Greg Cook with new BizHub

Me introducing the new Konica-Minolta BizHub

"In 2006 when I first bought four of these machines, they were $15,000 each. Back then I was thinking that I could buy a new Jaguar for $60,000! But I will say this, our productivity at the office increased by 30% and they were worth every penny. And the best part, not only our productivity, but our ability to assist and represent our clients because we were capturing all of their source documents related to that tax filing has paid huge dividends."

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Three days after replacing the Konica-Minolta BizHub, our heating unit that heats the Tax Department died. Our office hours after tax season are 9:00 am to 5:00 pm Monday through Thursday. The programmable thermostats give the four units a rest Friday through Sunday. So suddenly we are present 8:00 am to 8:00 pm Monday through Friday and 8:00 am to 5:00 pm on Saturdays and even the heat and air units are stressed. I love tax season, I always have. Taking off and landing are just a small part of it, and honestly, I love that too.

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