Overtime is Overrated

Overtime is Overrated

by: Chris Knight

Consider this. You are scheduled to have brain surgery and you are allowed to pick between two equally skilled surgeons. Your choices are as follows: Doctor A has been working all night and is on the last hour of his 24-hour shift. Doctor B received ample sleep the night before, has enjoyed his morning cup of coffee, a nice jog, and has a mind that is fully alert and ready to conquer the day. I am pretty sure this is a no brainer matter (pun intended) on who you would pick.

Although some may argue there are not many similarities between brain surgery and accounting, I believe this analogy should be applied when considering whom to work with in regards to preparing your taxes and/or providing accounting, assurance, or consulting services. A study published by John Pencavel of Stanford University found that employee output falls sharply after a 50-hour work week, so much that someone who works 70 hours in a week doesn’t get any more accomplished than someone who works 55 hours. Mistakes are much more likely to happen in those excess hours as well.

For many accountants, January to April 15th is filled with substantial overtime. The copious amount of work familiar to peak season leads to a lack of sleep, a substantial increase in caffeine intake, and very little time with family. For most CPA firms, this is just a typical tax season. At hb&k, we are challenging the norm and proving that with the right internal leadership, followship, and processes, “busy” season does not have to mean substantial overtime.

Our initiative is named Project 40 (click here to read more about Project 40) and it focuses on decreasing overtime to give employees a better work-life balance year-round. A primary objective of Project 40 is to decrease the amount of time spent in the office while improving (or at the very least maintaining) the amount and quality of work. We want to give you as a client our absolute best, and Project 40 has played, and will continue to play, a huge role in allowing us to give our best every day. Your help will allow us to continue to improve the services that we offer to you as a client.

Here are some ways you can help us:

  • Send in your tax documents as early as possible
  • Send in your tax documents as organized as possible
  • Make sure you have a complete se of documents before sending them in.
  • Send documents in electronic format if possible

Project 40 is changing the way we think and the way we work in an industry that has a busy season. While we’ve been working hard to get our processes and mentality shifted within the firm, we can only accomplish this with the help from our clients. Help us to help you!