Get a Demo

Are You the 99% of Tax & Accounting Firm Owners Suffering from Burnout?

April 23, 2024 TaxPlanIQ Support team

What is “Burnout” and is it Common Today for Tax Preparation Professionals?

Burnout. You’ve probably heard the term, but what exactly does it mean? According to the American Psychological Association, burnout is when you feel overwhelmed and worn out from too much stress over a long period. It's not just about being tired; it's a deep exhaustion that affects you emotionally, physically, and mentally. Signs of burnout can include feeling constantly tired, changes in your relationships, having a hard time focusing, and sometimes, turning to things like medication or, in severe cases, substance use to cope. It's tough on both the person experiencing it and the quality of their work. 

In the accounting world, this kind of burnout is especially common during tax busy season. A survey by FloQast found that nearly all accountants they asked felt some level of burnout, with about one in four experiencing it at a medium to high level. 

Now, let's dive into what's causing this overwhelming stress…

What is the Cause of Busy Season Burnout for Tax & Accounting Firm Owners?

Tax season often feels like a "necessary evil" for the success of your firm, bringing with it a lot of stress. It's tempting to think that this stress is just part of the job or blame it on demanding clients. 

But in reality, a lot of the overwhelm comes from not having strong enough plans, boundaries, or systems in place. It’s important to realize that you're not at the mercy of these stressors. By stepping up your planning and management game, you can take control and make tax season more manageable. This not only makes life easier for you and your team, but also improves service to your clients. With some smart adjustments, you can dial down the stress and even prevent burnout.

Keep in mind, it's all about perspective and focusing on what you can change. Sure, you can't stop tax season from coming (and let's be honest, you probably wouldn't want to since it brings in a lot of extra revenue), but you can definitely change how your firm handles it.

Now let’s quickly explore some of the main reasons why burnout is prevalent in tax firm business owners today:

  1. High Workload: Tax season can be particularly stressful with long hours and high client expectations. This can lead to a heavy workload and increased stress levels.

  2. Complexity of Tax Laws: Tax laws and regulations are complex and constantly changing. Keeping up with these changes can be challenging and time-consuming.

  3. Client Expectations: Clients often have high expectations and meeting these can put a lot of pressure on tax firm owners.

  4. Lack of Work-Life Balance: During the tax season, it can be difficult to maintain a healthy work-life balance which can lead to burnout.

  5. Technological Challenges: Adapting to new tax software or dealing with technical issues can also contribute to stress and burnout.

  6. Tax Preparation vs. Tax Planning: Probably the most important reason why so many tax professionals experience burnout is because they are not offering tax planning and are only focusing on tax prep and bookkeeping. Once you move to tax advisory services, you can start offering high ticket services which will increase your revenue without increasing the hours you have to work. In fact, you only need one tax planning for every 22 tax prep clients! And business owners that do tax planning can see a 30%+ YoY average revenue growth as compared to tax preppers at only 9%. 

Now, let’s talk a bit more about how reducing burnout can lead to higher value clients and thus, help to scale your business…


Less Burnout = More Time = Higher Paying Clients

One of the biggest benefits of reducing burnout is that you have more time to pay attention to tax planning strategies and can charge higher rates for less work. In short, you can work less hours, make more money, and create a better quality of life for yourself.

TaxPlanIQ’s Founder, Jackie Meyer’s, story is a great example of this…

Jackie ran a full service accounting firm for 6 years. She had built her firm to $350k in revenue with 4 contractors on staff, but was still working 60 hours per week. Over time, she was getting burned out and felt she wasn’t providing the value she really wanted to her clients. She knew that in order to get out of the hamster wheel of tax prep and bookkeeping, things had to change. 

So she started to offer tax planning and advisory services, and soon realized that manual tax planning is HARD. There are so many strategies to memorize, calculations to perform, and presentations to build in order to show value to the client. And it could take days to put all of this together for just ONE client… 

But when she presented the results to the client saving them tens of thousands in taxes, it was all worth it. She found that even with all of the manual tax planning work, her firm started changing. Clients were over-the-moon happy. The firm’s revenue started a steep climb. Jackie was able to work less hours and generate more revenue with fewer clients. And she got to spend a lot more time with her family, which was the ultimate goal. Her firm had grown to $900k in revenue with 10 part-time staff, and she was working just 4 hours per week!

And guess what? You can do the same. But not without the right tools to help you easily stay ahead and serve your clients at the highest level.


How Tax Planning Software Can Help Reduce Burnout

We’ve discussed that tax planning software can help to reduce workloads and thus, reduce burnout, but how does it actually do that? Here are just some ways in which tax planning software can help to manage burnout and reduce a heavy workload:

1. Take the guesswork out of knowing what strategies to select for your clients: Tax planning software like TaxPlanIQ offers a comprehensive library of tax strategies that is regularly updated to reflect the latest tax laws and best practices. This database includes a wide range of strategies suitable for various client scenarios, ensuring that you have access to the most relevant and effective options.

2. Helps you to price services with a unique ROI method of value pricing: The Return On Investment method of value pricing is designed to be efficient and specific, focusing on discovery and a quote rather than a broad buffet of options. It's a streamlined process that aims to maximize tax savings for clients. To see the ROI method in action, book a quick demo with our team today.

3. Generates custom proposals with just a few clicks: Creating custom tax strategies with TaxPlanIQ is easy and efficient - two things that are critical when it comes to providing your clients with the best possible service. Not to mention, it's a great way to differentiate yourself from other tax professionals who are still using a one-size-fits-all approach.

4. Helps you to identify the tasks needed to implement a strategy for your client: TaxPlanIQ assists in identifying the tasks needed to implement a strategy for a client in several ways, one of which is a comprehensive tax plan report that can be customized according to the client's needs. There is also a Strategy Library which includes additional resources like educational strategies, videos, templates, Excel files, worksheets, and IRS references that can be applied to clients to help implement their tax plan. TaxPlanIQ even gives you a task management feature so that you can keep track of the progress and ensure that all necessary steps are taken to implement the strategy for your client.

Overall, by using tax planning software like TaxPlanIQ, tax firm owners can reduce their workload, stay updated with tax laws, meet client expectations, maintain work-life balance, and overcome technological challenges, thereby managing burnout effectively.

TaxPlanIQ is committed to helping accounting and tax firm owners streamline their businesses and automate the complexities of tax planning for your clients with ease.

Ready to learn more? Schedule your free demo today! Whether you're looking to dive deeper into tax strategies or explore other avenues for tax savings, our resources and tools are designed to help you save your clients more money in taxes. It's easier than you think, and we're here to help every step of the way.

Share This: