I have been a CPA for 35 years, and for over 20 years I have had my own practice, specializing in tax prep and consulting for small businesses. I am painfully aware of how difficult this profession is. It is overwhelmed by deadlines, changes, inconsistencies, and client issues. All of these collide twice a year during busy season, and in an age marked by technological innovation and efficiency, our industry is somehow getting busier and busier. “Busy season” is almost half of our calendar year, and in 2020 it was all year for most of us.
The April 15th deadline was always tough for me – my wife and daughter were born in late February, and my son in March. Being able to celebrate these on the actual date, or even getting an evening away, was difficult. As my company grew, we just got busier. I was spending more time at the office, and less and less with my family. This had negative effects on my health, ballooning up to 400 pounds in 2012. And then I had a lightbulb moment and changed everything.
CPAs often have a “someday list”. A list of items or things they’d like to do, but busy season doesn’t allow for it. Working well over 60hrs a week hardly allows for you to have a weekend free, let alone do things like “go to spring training with your son” or “see the leaves change in New Hampshire”. What’s even worse, is “health and wellness” often go on the someday list.
“I just don’t have time to exercise.”
“I have to eat at my desk, so it’s easier to do McDonald's, or order pizza, than something healthier.”
Health was on my someday list, as were a lot of other things. In 2012 I got lucky, that lightbulb moment shook me to my core and I ultimately lost 200 pounds. I wanted to help my company get healthier too, so I started investing in strategies for my firm to promote work-life balance and was driven to give my firm a normal 40-hour job year-round.
I did a lot of crazy things both personally and professionally. I rode my bike from Canada to Mexico down Highway 1, fired half of my clients and staff to become leaner and more efficient, started a non-profit focused on healthy living and work-life balance, adopted new billing philosophies, and invested in technology as much as I could.
Ultimately all this paid off. I still ride, have kept the weight off, and my firm is more profitable than ever before – with 2020 being our best year, literally. But it wasn’t just because I was driven, or that I got rid of problem people or even my billing. It was ultimately all about technology, and specifically us developing a proprietary workflow technology that allowed us to be more proactive than ever before.
That tech put us in our client's data in real-time, allowed us to be ahead instead of behind, and ultimately meant that we were done with all our client projects well ahead of the filing deadlines. I got to go on vacation on September 15th and got to check something off my someday list – riding my bike down the Rockie Mountains.
Our tech is now available and ready for your firm to experience and we’d love to share it with you. We believe true work-life balance is attainable for you and your firm, and this will help you be more productive for your clients.
We want to help you stop working overtime and start working on your someday list.