Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Last Busy Season, the Best Laid Plans…

…and everything went awry!

It’s now a week after my busy season officially ended. And I still don’t quite believe that I made it through the last one alive.

Okay, that’s an exaggeration but really, everything that seemed to get wrong went wrong during that time.

It started out really fine. I thought I was going to make an easy time for it. First, because I decided not to do any audit for the 2010 financial statements of my previous audit clients. Second, I had a good plan for ending my busy season earlier than before and third, because I had more experienced staff (those staff that had been with me for one busy season or more) than inexperienced ones.

It turned out that the first and second actually helped me go through that busy season after my third reason went south, big time.

First off, my only experienced male staff resigned. Okay, now that I expect because he informed me as early as December that he was going to leave my firm. Then lo and behold, another one of my experienced staff also resigned. Well, resigned is not actually the word here. She just went AWOL, gave me some excuse why she will be absent for a few days then she never came back!

Needless to say, I had to hire new ones and train them ASAP. But it’s not really the same and so we had to work double time to finish everything, address inefficiencies and several errors we encountered along the way.

So even if I had the inclination to write something here or in my other writing sites, I just didn’t have the time. My days (and nights and even week-ends) were fully covered with our closing of the books and financial statement preparation activities (and this is an indirect apology, by the way, for the owner of this blog).

Come to think of it, it’s always the same. We make plans. Even when I was with the Big 4, we always had planning sessions or meetings, meetings that we hoped would lessen our work during the tax busy season. But it never happened. From January to April, we’re always busy, always working overtime, always working during week-ends. It got to the point when we were (or I was) just playing lip service to the planning sessions, something that we can just document in our working papers for compliance purposes.

But to help lessen the workload during busy season? Never going to happen.

If it’s not a problem on our staff, it’s a problem with the client or it’s a new audit issue that just cropped out during the last quarter of the year (which wasn’t captured during the planning season which happened the third quarter of the year) or it’s a new auditing or accounting requirement (that went out only during the busy season) or it’s all of the above!

Not that I want to discourage anybody from going through these planning sessions. It gives some order on our audit procedures (or in my case, in our closing of the books process). But don’t rely on them to get you home early during the busy season. You can always hope for the best but certainly plan for the worst. And the worst always happens during the busy season, not before.

Enough about that. My busy season is already over. Now it’s time for some rest. Till the next post, ciao!

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