1. Incentivise early submissions
We would advise you to consider how you communicate deadlines to your clients. If a client knows they can send you their information just before an ATO deadline (and that you will work late into the night to ensure it is submitted on time), they may well do just that. Ensuring that deadlines are firm and clear can encourage clients to submit the required information in good time, so that deadlines for filing the return can be met. This can therefore help to prevent work being rushed, and also protect your own wellbeing.
2. Integrate tax and document management systems
Efficiency is key during tax return season, and the optimum driver is technology. You may want to consider using a hosted, fully integrated tax and document management system. This ensures that all parties can securely access returns and documents, whether they are working from home or the office. (CCH iFirm Tax and CCH iFirm Document Vault allow users to do these things.) You can also use online portals, like CCH iFirm Client Portal to get tax returns signed off in minutes. These can then be efficiently submitted to the ATO.
3. Take time for yourself
Even during the “rush”, your productivity is not solely driven by hard work. Periods of rest and exercise are just as important now as they are throughout the year. Little changes to your daily routine can make a big difference in preserving your productivity and wellbeing. For instance, you could take five minutes of each working hour out of your chair and away from your screen. In addition, we’d encourage you to resist any temptation to substantially change your regular eating or sleeping patterns. Getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, and maintaining a healthy diet will help optimise your productivity and wellbeing.
4. Change your surroundings
Your physical working environment has a clear impact on productivity and wellbeing. For example, adding plants to your workspace helps to soothe and lower stress levels. We’d also recommend that you clearly separate your workspace from the areas you relax in, particularly if you are working from home. The urge to continue checking emails can become overwhelming. For that reason, you may want to consider developing a daily routine that signals the end of your working day. Even during the “rush”, think about you could partition work from the rest of your life.