Take a breath and reflect on busy season
Now that busy season is behind you, it's time to first take a breath and pat yourself on your back.
After you’ve grabbed a breather, I’m sure the last thing you want to do is reflect and relive the peak of busy season.
However, don’t let the opportunity for reflection and improvement slip by.
Reassess how everything went and start thinking about enhancements for the next year.
I know what you’re thinking: it has just finished, so why would I start thinking about next busy season?
Well, we advise you use this time while the experience is still front of mind to review what transpired successfully and what didn't.
It's a chance to assess, rejuvenate and formulate strategies which will ultimately benefit you in the long run.
Here are a few steps we advise you to take.
Assess how busy season went
You have the opportunity to evaluate this busy season while it's still fresh in your memory.
Here are some questions to ask yourself and your team:
What were the significant errors, and what prompted them? Was it people, software, clients or a combination?
Was the infrastructure supporting the team up to standard? Consider both your hardware and software
Did the work management processes run as smoothly as anticipated, or could more effort be put into delegating and communicating with staff?
Was there any valuable client feedback worth considering?
Were there any issues with document handling?
Did specific tasks prove particularly challenging for anyone in your team?
Could training be implemented to address potential problems in the future?
Top tip: keep note of the responses as they will be crucial for the upcoming "planning" phase.
Re-energise yourself and your team
Taking care of wellbeing is always crucial, but particularly important after the stress of busy season.
Consider arranging a group day out (or night out) to rally the team.
Additionally, contemplate organising an away day to instigate a fresh beginning, reconstruct vital team connections and lay the groundwork for the "planning" phase.
However, let's not forget about supporting general wellbeing.
Both work and home life have likely been affected by busy season.
Address any wellbeing areas that were compromised during the busy season, for example:
- Ensure sleep patterns return to normal
- Reassess lunch and dinner choices, as any shortcuts taken were likely less healthy
- Establish a regular exercise routine, perhaps at the gym or a local community venue
- Spend quality time with loved ones – take a break and create lasting memories
- Return working hours to a more manageable timeframe
Teambuilding activities are an option but bear in mind that they can be counterproductive if they create conflicts.
Opt for activities that align with the team's goals, challenges and dynamics.
Time to plan
Upon returning to work, once you and your team are feeling more grounded, utilise this quieter period to refine your business processes.
Examine the insights gathered during the "assessment" stage and consider how to address them.
Certainly, clients who may have hindered your processes are likely to be discussed in your deliberations.
Going forward, can you establish expectations for these clients during the next busy season and then monitor everything in a manner more conducive to your team's efficiency?
Should staff require training, consider the available third-party providers or assess if there are in-house mentors who can support them.
Meanwhile, if you experienced numerous errors, issues with updates, glitchy apps, inadequate data handling, lack of oversight and workflow disconnect, it's time to explore new software options.
Top tip: if you have ambitious aspirations which had to be placed on hold, now is the time to refocus on these impactful initiatives.
Accelerate your firm with our MOT quiz
As the dust of busy season settles, many are left with a question: how do we make things easier next year?
You need to discover what can be fine-tuned in your accountancy practice and what needs an upgrade.
Take our handy MOT quiz to find NEW ways to accelerate your accountancy practice - take the quiz here.
How IRIS supported accountants this busy season
Did you get in touch this busy season?
With over 7,820 tickets raised by our customers, there's a good chance that you did - and we hope your experience was a positive one.
We've been working hard to prepare our team, giving them new resources and extra training so they can provide the best possible service.
Consequently, despite seeing an increase of 1,200 tickets compared to last year, we were able to reduce wait times to just 38 seconds and maintained a customer satisfaction score of 97%.
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