1. Re-cap the season. Write things while they are fresh on your mind. We think we will remember, but it’s amazing what we do in fact forget. These notes can be very useful when you are gearing up for the next tax season. Handwriting is the best way to write because it activates areas of the brain differently, and you are more likely to act on your ideas. I personally keep a hand-written “deal journal” and have gotten tremendous insight from this practice. Be sure to remember to ask your team to get their observations too.

Some focus items for your own “tax journal”:

  • Client analysis: Who did you enjoy working with and who was unenjoyable? Who is slow to pay? This can help you decide who you want to keep as  a client for next season.
  • Record your thoughts about the schedule you and your staff worked this season.
  • What was client feedback? This could be formal or informal, but record what clients liked and disliked about your services. Record any mentions you may have gotten for more service offerings.
  • Take stock of your profits. Was it worth it? This can help you reflect on price changes or services not worth your time.
  • General notes about what went right and what went wrong can be helpful too. This can pinpoint any headaches in workflows or software.
  1. This brings me to my second powerful to-do: Plan your time off! The most productive people take significant time away from the office. Time off can and should be incredibly rejuvenating. Some people don’t take very much time and still others feel obligated to work while on vacation. Vacation needs to be viewed not as unproductive time, but as an investment in your firm’s most productive asset – YOU. To do it well, leave the laptop and the smartphone behind. You and those around you will be glad you did. Don’t worry-your practice will still be there when you get back. Download our book The Unplugged Vacation.

There is certainly no shortage of the things that you could keep track of in your firm. My suggestion is to get it down and then take some time off. The notebook will be there when you return so you can strategically plan after some respite.

Congratulations on completing another tax season!

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