Tips for surviving busy season

Do you find yourself waking up in the middle of the night during the holidays in a cold sweat, nervous that that bank confirmation was not sent out or that tax return was never done.  You may be suffering from pre-busy season anxiety!

When I was working in audit, the anticipation of busy season always seemed to creep up around the holidays (glad I am out of that grind).  Whether you’re an auditor, a tax professional, you happen to support auditors (i.e. IT audit, valuations, etc) or work in industry, the upcoming race to the finish line is like a slow moving car wreck that you see coming every year but cannot escape.  It’s never too early to start sharing your best tips, tricks or self-medicating regimens (consequently, this is a great time of year to stock up on Jack Daniels and a good “coffee tumbler”) so let’s hear them!


39 Responses to Tips for surviving busy season

  1. Zainab says:

    OMG. You reminded me. I’m going to face my first busy season in audit- and after hearing the stories, not sure i want to!

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  3. jamie says:

    i keep a note pad by the bed so that i can write down what i remembered that i forgot to do lol

    that way even if i wake up in cold sweat (which sadly already happened) i can still fall asleep after if i know what i remembered is safely jotted down..

  4. Krupo says:

    So you’ve escaped from audit – congrats. Nice to see your new posts!

    One thing to note: IT audit busy season is now ending or over except for some final year-end procedures that can flood people. It’s an awesome feeling when you’re past the worst part.

  5. Carter says:

    Glad to see a real accountant talking about audit information with some intelligence. Keep up the good work!

    • Completely agreed. Naming no names, but certain blogs floating about these intermawebs seem to be completely lacking in actual authority and expertise.

      Why, a cynic might say that they were not written by accountants at all!

      Actually, a cynic would probably say that the accountants were writing just enough information to get people to pay attention to them, but not actually divulging any of their valuable tricks and tips…

  6. Gibson says:

    1. Get plenty of sleep
    2. Don’t think about the time that you charge (or don’t), waste in traffic, or don’t spend with friends and family. It’ll just make you angry.
    3. Find someone you can trust that you can vent with ( preferably that knows accounting or better yet audit/tax)

  7. Quentin Pain says:

    Audits can be worrying that’s for sure, but the trickiest bit is when you get stuck trying to figure out some weird transaction. As always, I just take a walk and think about something different. 20 minutes later, boom, the answer stares me in the face. Always take a break 🙂

  8. Andy Rank says:

    Personally, meditation is a must have to stay grounded in your busy season. It can so overwhelming at times.

  9. Accountancy says:

    Your website contains good information on auditing.. Yeah, the season has been busy and required more of the sweat…

  10. Very nice information for me…

  11. Jessica says:

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  12. Rick Kumar says:

    Keeping Organised is the best way to keep on top of things and make sure that you’re not feeling too overwhelmed in the busy season.

    Accountants In Lancaster

  13. Leon says:

    Snow and taxes. You bring up some good old memories. BTW very informative articles on your site.

  14. Good organisation skills are essential. Even if you have a bad memory if you are organised, for example, by keeping a detailed diary of events or work outstanding, then you will be sleep with your mind at rest.

    • This is by far my favourite tactic. When details are written down they are out of my head meaning I don’t have that nagging hour of insomnia before finally falling asleep as I remember what I’d neglected to do that day and stress about what’s up the next day.

  15. There are some great tips here for any put up employee at an accountant firm…

  16. Hmm, take a blanket and sleep in the office!

  17. Anas says:

    I want to share something which is not related to your subject, I worked for my big four audit firm for four years in a country in the middle east as expatriate and not a local resident, and two months ago the partner asked me to start an engagement in a region where some violence and security issues arose, I refused in a polite manner and asked him to assign me on other job in a safe area.
    I asked the answer of the human resources department about my situation, their answer was the partner has a clearance for starting the engagement and you should start their.

    P.S: the security issues did not finish yet and I resigned from my audit firm without finding a new job.

    My question is : who can judge in a big four firm if you and the partner have a conflict in your point of views?

    Thanks for your great blog and keep forward.

  18. I’ve never heard of someone who’s had this but I wont be surprised if such an anxiety existed, though clients are stressed out in general. That’s where we step in.

  19. tomsfinances says:

    Thanks for all the good info on your site.

  20. GuestYou says:

    Take a break for busy season and read an awesome bestselling Big 4 satire on Amazon. Written by a Big 4 survivor. It’s HIL. LAR. E. OUS, peeps. So hilarious that you can’t utter the word without pausing between syllables. Check the link and click “look inside” for 4-page Big 4 plot setup.

  21. TheThe says:

    Just finished this one. Awesome!

  22. Sarah says:

    Lolz When I was I used to do it but now Auditing is far away from me……

  23. Be organized … hire good people … delegate well … model businesses you respect – ask them how they handle it. If you do these 4 things (really do them) you’ll be miles ahead

  24. Don’t we all love the busy season. Even with today’s technology the busy season just seems to get more and more hectic.

  25. “The busier the better”, But I do not know how to handle this. I am really glad that I ended up here in your post, especially now that I am so very busy… I got an idea from your post and also from some of the comments about your post on how to handle this busy season.Thanks for sharing..

  26. great post and very true. what has helped me is my approach leading up to busy season, to ensure that the actual busy season itself coasts by with the least distractions and stress as possible. similar to tax planning, the approach is a year long process.

  27. James Norris says:

    The accountants have their work cut out for them. In Calgary, they have that service expectation.

  28. Luke says:

    Turn your arms into a pillow and have a nap! And good old time management of course

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  32. Kylie says:

    HI my partner is applying to do a six month contract in auditing in san fran starting this November, Is there any one who has done something similar that we could pick your brain?

    • Dawn says:

      Im a first time entry level internal health records auditor. I sorta fell into the position. Im seeking advice on pacing….ive 3000 transactions to research. Today I started this daunting process. Any advice on pacing and or just overall advice? I need as much coaching as possible. Please thank you.

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