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Rick Telberg
Rick Telberg
  Is Your Job Safe After Tax Season?

Economy impacts end-of-season parties. Are job cuts next? Join the survey; get the answers.

April 16, 2009
by Rick Telberg/On Careers

The economy is clearly cutting into the profession’s traditional post-busy-season celebrations.

Accountants have never been known for their wild parties. But this year, firm-sponsored get-togethers are decidedly low-key and individual celebrations seem much more toned down.

To be sure, some firms are looking at their work calendars, finding less than expected for the upcoming months and looking at some belt-tightening. Indeed, the post-busy-season reductions in force could be especially broad and painful this year, considering the continuing repercussions of an economy still in freefall.

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One accountant told me that her firm will hold their party, as usual, at a local restaurant. But the story is different at home.

In years past, she and her husband would go away for a few days. But unfortunately he works in the construction industry, hard-hit by the recession. So they’re skipping the trip this year. “Instead I will celebrate by ridding the house of three months of accumulated dust bunnies,” she says.

So, while you relish the achievement of the end of another long, sleepless busy season, it may also be wise to update your résumé and reconnect with colleagues and old friends in the business — just in case.

So, exactly how are accountants celebrating the end of busy season? Here are a few generally low-budget ideas from around the nation:

  • Go to vacation home on the lake and relax — no cell, no laptop, no pressure.

  • Company dinner and a few days off to relax.

  • Camping, peace, relaxation and fishing.

  • Lunch and wine tasting after noon on the 15th with spouse and a long hike on the 16th.

  • The office closes about 3:30 p.m. on the 15th and adjourn to a Mexican restaurant for drinks and snacks. Close the office on the 16th so everyone can get some sleep.

  • Spend some quality time with kids and update the planning for the firm with firm’s partners.

  • Sleep … then get out bills.

  • No change from prior years. Will be taking out the firm to a steakhouse for dinner. Then off to Florida.

  • Lunch with comrades-in-arms, then take the rest of the week off!

  • A very long weekend and then come back in and start working on the Texas franchise tax returns.

  • Dinner for staff. Weekend trip to Vegas with wife.

But my all-time favorite idea for celebrating the end of busy season comes from Ann M. Menke, a CPA with offices in West Point and Keokuk, Iowa.

Her firm is celebrating “National Accountants Week.”

What, you’ve never heard of “National Accountants Week?” Well, neither had I until Menke mentioned it.

“Don't you know about National Accountant's Week?” she said. “Probably not, since I made it up.”

“Each year since 1991, my office closes for National Accountants Week,” said Menke. “The door is locked to clients and only essential activities — like payrolls — are completed for seven days after April 15th. The staff loves it and clients have come to accept it. My theory has always been that there is no such thing as an ‘accounting emergency’ and my staff needs the time off as much (or more) than I do. I love it and each year it gives us all something to look forward to.”

These days, we could all use a little something to look forward to.

NEXT QUESTION: Now that tax season is over, what’s next for accountants in this economy? Join the poll, see the results.

Comments: Questions, ideas, rants or raves? Send an e-mail to Rick Telberg.

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Copyright © 2009 CPA Trendlines/BSG LLC. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission. First published by the AICPA.