In my first blog, I highlighted the striking similarities between speedos, margaritas and tax returns. Unfortunately, summer came to an end, so let’s put away the tequila and trade in the banana boat for some football pads. The NFL has had a controversial first few weeks to say the least. The good news is that we’re all wiser due to the NFL’s mistakes. The lessons learned can even be transferred to, yes, accounting professionals. Let’s explore how…
First, let’s all start with a big sigh of relief, FINALLY the NFL has returned some type of credibility to the game with ending the labor disputes between the officials and the NFL– thank you! On a side note, the dispute could have been resolved quicker if Ed Hochuli just did a few body building flexes in front of Roger Goodell. Being a die-hard Green Bay Packers fan, the first two weeks were a bit disheartening – particularly surrounding the Golden Tate Scandal on Monday Night Football a few weeks ago. To avoid my laptop intercepting my fist in a Cutler-like temper tantrum, we’ll move on.
Let’s fast forward to a few weekends ago, when the famed and somewhat victimized real NFL officials stepped back onto the green pasture. The zebras trotted onto the field to standing ovations – smiling as they tipped their hats. It was a serene feeling of unity – fans, players, and officials had their kumbaya moment together. But by half-time, the honeymoon period was over. The rust showed from the prolonged offseason, and cheers turned to jeers. In the officials’ defense, they were thrown into the regular season without any pre-season action.
Now, I understand you’re wondering where I’m going with this since I’m not a columnist for Sports Illustrated. Well, the lessons learned from the NFL lockout can be transferred to other professions, including accounting. Even seasoned professionals need pre-season activity when sidelined for prolonged periods.
Given that it’s the end of fall busy season, there are always movers and shakers throughout the tax departments – which makes recruiters excited, but has tax management scratching their heads on how to fill the voids. Once the qualified candidate is secured, the next step is bringing him/her off the sideline and up to speed on your tax department’s processes. No different than the NFL officials, preseason action is needed to grind off the rust prior to the official year-end busy-season starting. While training a new employee can be a daunting task to some – tax departments that thrive are the ones that realize the potential to capitalize on novel ideas and process improvements that come along with each new hire.
Undoubtedly, you may feel comfortable with the mammoth size Excel® workbooks currently driving your provision process; however, think back to when you started…how long did it take to get up to speed on the provision workbook? Better yet, if you’re the author, how long did it take to develop? The answers to both are probably more hours than you’d like to admit. Furthermore, as the years progressed, the Excel files added more and more tabs and became less and less efficient. Less efficiency equals more mistakes, and more mistakes equals added risk.
Now that you invested in fresh blood, invest in the future of your department as a whole. Don’t get flagged for wasting time teaching old inefficient ways to new professionals – the penalty will set your team back. Rather, throw the challenge flag – teach new effective processes to all employees and watch the ROI increase exponentially. Spend time improving your provision processes through the use of CCH’s provision automation solution, Global Integrator – all officials agree on that call.