Tax Season Words of Wisdom From Mike Tyson?!

  • Updated your staff on new regulations and requirements? Check.
  • Polled your clients to find out about any new developments? Check.
  • Updated your software and hardware? Check.
  • Identified any potential problem clients or process issues? Check.

In the run-up to his fight against Evander Holyfield, a reporter asked Mike Tyson if he was concerned about what Holyfield might do in the fight. Tyson replied, “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.”

Whether he knew it or not, Iron Mike’s remark is similar to the adage that no plan survives first contact with the enemy.

Tax season is in full throttle. Pre-season you likely spent many hours and resources in preparation putting together the plan that you are currently executing.

However, at some point prior to April 15th, reality hits. Maybe it’s something small like an oversight in your roll forward procedures or client engagement letters – or perhaps something larger in your tax process. Reality always hits during tax season and then it’s fire drill time.

Fortunately, it does not have to be that way. You can’t plan and prepare for every contingency, but you can increase your odds for ducking some of the punches. Here’s how:

  1. Fix what’s broken: Stop ignoring the issues with tax organizers, engagement letters and roll forwards. They are fixable – easily.
  1. Integrate: Many of the process driven problems are likely due to a lack of integration in your systems. They will not go away by themselves.
  1. Start today: No firm wants to take on any new initiatives during tax season. However, the time to start planning for next tax season is now. Pay attention to your workflow and processes. Get your arms around what’s working and what is not. Most importantly, take action as soon as the season is over to improve. Don’t wait until September.

Guess who won the fight?