Have you ever wondered why you’re are so crazy busy during tax season? Have you ever wondered why you push deadlines right to the wire?

When I first ask my coaching clients that question they immediately start blaming the clients. Missing information, client not returning calls, client is disorganized etc. Why would you let your client dictate your workflow schedule and sleep patterns? It’s not their business it’s yours!
After coaching Accountants around the world for the past 25 years I am here to tell you it is not your clients fault. It’s your fault. 
You let your clients supply missing information. You let your clients bring in the work when they’re ready. You let your clients be disorganized.
Think of it this way. If you were operating an efficient manufacturing business then you’d be looking at every part of the processing line and taking out ALL of the constraints – the bottlenecks.
A lot of workflow throughput has to do with the missing bits and pieces along the way. A car manufacturing company would not get to the wheel station and say ‘damn it, there’s a wheel missing’. NO. There would be the required number at the required station ready for the robot to attach them.
It’s the same with your business. You need certain pieces of information (documents, source files, queries) at certain parts of the process. The objective (once you’ve fixed the price in advance) is to produce the product in the least amount of time possible – by having an efficient manufacturing process. TUB is the goal – Time Under Budget.
The outcome of having an efficient manufacturing process means you have no more weekends working, no more long days and no more chaos! You also end up with tons of capacity to help your clients more.
Here’s how you fix it once and for all.
Get a pile of sticky back post it notes – 2 colors. Using one color document the current process. One post it note = 1 step. Mark the step number, what happens at that step and who manages that step in the process. As you write the current process stick them to the wall in order. Make sure you get every step that could incur. If you do this as a team it’ll help immensely.
Now look at what you’ve currently got and find the constraining points. The steps that “clog up” the fast throughput of the process. Brainstorm with your team how they can be fixed, who actually needs to be doing the step (if at all) and what a new workflow process might look like. Get super serious around who needs to do what and how it should be done. Remember, it’s your business not your clients.
Next get the 2nd color and re-write the entire (new) process on the wall. Go through the list and again under the lens of speed and efficiency. Take out more irrelevant steps and improve the process. Look at what technology can be employed to do any of the steps. Keep going until you can see a fast throughput process on the wall.
Then just go and do that.