The 2016 tax return season is over, and CPA’s can now look back to see how the season worked and what improvements can be made to make next year even better. Before, during and after the recent tax season, CPA Trendlines surveyed just over 13,000 accounting professionals from the US to get their thoughts on what happened.
The results can be summarized as below.
Those that participated in the survey tended to be public accounting or consulting practitioners, with only 6.5% working within business or industry. At the same time, nearly half (49%) worked in organizations where there were between 2 and 10 employees. Nearly a quarter of all respondents were solopreneurs.
73.7% of those who responded were the senior business executive and another 13.7% were another senior executive or CFO. Only 1.1% of the respondents considered themselves to be a junior member of staff.
The Busy Season
The season was much busier than it was for previous years according to the majority of respondents. Only a few thought that there had been a reduction in work. Most accounting professionals thought that there was an increase in client traffic, profit from clients and general profits.
However, that doesn’t mean there weren’t issues. Accountants in the survey found that there were problems that still needed to be addressed. Some of these were time management issues, but clients also contributed to the challenging environment by being late or completing forms incorrectly. However, these challenges were much reduced compared to the previous year.
Accounting firms also had issues with staffing and faced pressures with pricing.
If there is one group that will know about the health of the economy, it will be those who are looking at the accounts of many businesses. Accountants across the country are rather pessimistic about the future of the economy. The average scores state that accountants believe that their personal wealth and that of their firms is in good health, and while clients are doing well, it isn’t at the level of their own firms.
However, when looking at the national economy, accountants are rather negative about the prospects.
Ways To Improve For Next Year
The report ended with thirty-seven tips that can be implemented by accountants to improve their performance in the next tax year. These range from staff resources to strategic planning and time management. Implementing these could make next year an even better ‘busy season’.
Have you read the report? What was your opinion on the busy season?
Let us know in the comments.