Friday, April 2, 2010

Top 10 Issues Accountants Face This Busy Season

Two weeks to go and what the hell?! I’m writing a blog post instead of working on my clients’ financial statements. But I needed a break so here I am writing.

While I was searching online, I came across this issue from CPATrendlines. It’s about the Accountant’s Top 10 Issues for Tax Season. I know the article deals mostly with U. S. Accountants but when you look at the list, they’re also applicable to auditors and in other countries around the world. Here are 7 of those 10 issues (and some of my thoughts about them):

General Economic Situation. I’ve been reading about economists and experts saying that the economy (global or otherwise) has hit rock bottom and there’s no other way to go but up but for this year, I don’t think the outlook is positive. This issue will definitely still be around during the next year’s busy season. This year? Well expect some clients to still ask for cuts in their fees or to still delay paying their fees. I know I am (expecting this).

Setting Aside Enough Time to Plan. When was this ever a non-issue? Ever since I started auditing, the planning season just never seem to be an effective one, mainly due to lack of time (due to special and other jobs) or lack of resources (human or otherwise). So yes, this is really an issue.

Staffing Issues. Too many staff? Too many lay-offs due to the recession? Or having difficulty finding the right staff who will fit in the job or the firm?

Tax Code Changes. Okay, I know, this is more of a problem for Accountants and for the auditing firm’s tax people but who’s to say we, auditors, are immune to these changes or that we shouldn’t know about them? Especially if your client suddenly runs to you and asks for your advice about the tax changes and how these affect them.

New Accounting and Auditing Issues. Very true especially with the adoption of the IFRS, the codification of the accounting standards and the revisions of the auditing standards. Well, this busy season is almost over but for the next? Better brace ourselves for these changes and issues.

Partner or Office Issues. Another issue that is the same year in and year out (unless you resign from the Firm). Even if you get to transfer to another team or partner just to avoid the partner that you so dislike, what’s the guarantee that you are really ‘safe’ from this issue?

Personal or Family Issues. I always thought that family issues should not be brought to the office while office problems should not be brought home. But then again, this is easier said than done. And with the kind of hours we keep, especially during the busy season, be prepared for all sorts of issues (personal or otherwise) to crop up during this busy season and the next year’s season, and the next, and the next…

So those are the seven issues. The last 3 are – Competition from Others, Technology / Software Problems and New Office, Technology or Software Processes.

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