Right now, many IT leaders in CPA firms are looking ahead, ensuring they’re prepared for the busy season. Many firms will have interns or new staff starting in the first few weeks of January, so they’re likely setting up laptops, working to ensure they’re ready to onboard those new team members, and finalizing the implementation of new tools and technology.
While you might be trying to squeeze as much as possible into year-end, balancing that productivity push with allowing your team to decompress is essential. Your people had a busy year and probably want to take some well-deserved time off.
So today, I’m sharing your top three IT priorities for year-end, so you can focus on what matters and leave the rest for 2023.
Priority #1: Preparing for tax season
The end of the year is a busy time for IT teams in CPA firms as they prepare for tax season and annual audits. There are a number of tasks to be done, such as setting up laptops for new staff, preparing for new employee onboarding, ensuring the firm has enough licenses for everyone, etc.
Clearly, making sure the firm’s employees are ready to hit the ground running after the holidays is the top priority. Focusing on these tasks now will ensure everything is ready when tax season hits.
Priority #2: Finalizing implementation
If you adopted new tools or technology in the past few months, now is a good time to finalize implementation.
Often, firms will get 80%-90% complete before tax season, then leave the final push until after tax season. However, that last 10%-20% often includes the most valuable features and functions.
If there’s any low-hanging fruit you can finish up before year-end, do it now. The firm may be able to achieve significant productivity, client experience, or employee experience gains.
Priority #3: Planning for next quarter
Now is also a great time to plan for what the IT team will work on during busy season. While keeping systems up and running will be the top priority for the next few months, there are many projects you can work on that won’t impact service professionals, such as marketing, human resources, and other back-office functions.
When you identify and accomplish those tasks during busy season, you can also start planning ahead so you’re ready to execute after April 15th.
Wrapping up, I encourage you to take a step back and look at the big picture. What small things can you do in order to move your firm and projects forward? Planning is critical for the upcoming quarter, so make sure you have specific goals set and a timeline in place. And don’t forget about tax season! It’s important to start preparing now so that everything goes as smoothly as possible for the next few months. Finally, give your people time to rest and recharge over the holidays. This will allow them to unwind and enjoy their time off before gearing up for another busy year.
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Amanda Wilkie, Consultant at Boomer Consulting, Inc., has a computer science background, but she’s not your average geek. With two decades of technology experience, Amanda has spent 13 years driving change and process improvement through innovative technology solutions working across firms of varying sizes in the public accounting profession. She has held strategic leadership positions in firms ranging from Top 50 to Top 10 including her most recent role as CIO of a Top 30 firm. Amanda is a recognized expert in the profession who regularly speaks and writes on blockchain and cryptocurrency and their impact on the profession.