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Discussion:How Do You Decide what to do first

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Discussion Forum Index --> Business Growth Community --> How Do You Decide what to do first


Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

7 April 2007
I think my hardest task in the morning is deciding what to do first, or next? Whose return shall I start or finish? I keep a flow chart, but I also have a box of ones that needed more information. Box? Heck, more like boxes and racks! So each day I realize I could begin with Mr. P, who owed me a K-1 and stock information and has sent it, or I can see that I am in the middle of those who arrived March 25th, but there were eight that day. So which do I choose, or do I start processing those my assistant data entered. All complicated by the fact that the Fosters are coming at eleven, and that by late afternoon, Pam's son, daughter-in-law and three kids plus a cousin of theirs will be here. Yesterday work went on while the house filled with the smell yeast rising, of Easter bread and rice pies baking, and finally some sort of fish dinner.

I've tried making an 'appointment' book to schedule my work, but events are in the saddle on April 7th, and squeaky wheels always need grease.

Just wondering how you real one-man professional bands do it.

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

7 April 2007
Approximately FIFO, but when someone drops off last bit of info and I've already input 90%, that goes to top of pile because I get a huge satisifaction out of completing anything at all.

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

7 April 2007
I keep a tally on my white board to see where I am compared with last year. Making the tick mark for a completed return is my sole reward, so I like to make as many ticks as possible. If you have 8 clients coming in, you better have 8 ticks for returns completed that day, otherwise you're behind.

Deback (talk|edits) said:

April 7, 2007
Same as Kevin, except if the next return to do in the basket is a lengthy one (or a PITA return), and if I'm not awake yet or not in the mood to work on it yet, I'll skip it, go to the next in the pile, and come back to that one later in the day. I prefer to finish those that were waiting for more info. They are quick and can be done when half asleep.

Bottom Line (talk|edits) said:

7 April 2007
Generally FIFO. Start big projects first thing in the morning and end the day with small projects. I hate to carry projects over the night because my brain works on it in my sleep. Since I still do some pick up and delivery (learning to cut it down), I'll adjust my schedule to take that into account.

Deback (talk|edits) said:

April 7, 2007
When I start at 11 am every day, several clients will come in from 11 to noon, so it's not easy to work on complicated returns early in the day. Wish I could go back to bed right now, but it's time to get in the shower and do it all over again today. 7 more days for me. Slept 12 hours last night and still feel like I've been run over by a you know what.

PVVCPA (talk|edits) said:

April 7, 2007
I have a strong sixth sense of my client's level of impatience. I am able to channel into my client's mind and determine their level of satisfaction with my progress on their tax return. Using this special skill, I am then able to determine with almost perfect probability which client will be calling me next to 'check in' on the status of their return. This will determine which file gets picked up off of my floor next.

Kevin, I don't get it. If you have 8 clients coming in, then you need to get 8 returns done. So if you have no clients coming in, then you can take the day off? Lord, help you on those days that you have 12 clients coming in.

PVVCPA (talk|edits) said:

April 7, 2007
I also like to punish those client that missed 2 appts and finally came in this last week. Although I only need a half-hour to finish that return, I'd rather make them sweat it out. I will promptly deliver their return to them on April 16th.

I wonder why I do this? Am I punishing them, so that they will change their behavior next year. Or is it because I am pissed off at everybody in the world, and a little revenge sure makes me feel good.

Bottom Line (talk|edits) said:

7 April 2007
This year I've been looking at my historical invoicing on my clients. I started doing this to look at pricing but am also looking at dates. When during the tax season did I invoice them? I see that most people get done around the same time each year. Now I need to determine which are based on their timing and which are based on my timing. Sounds like a post tax season analysis project (I do an analysis every year after tax season looking for ways to make it smoother and make more money)

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

7 April 2007
PVV, of course I didn't say you actually complete the same number as come in, only that you strive to. Saturdays and Sundays are for making up what you couldn't get done during the week. Sometimes I get 24 done on the weekend, which meant I got really behind.

Yesterday I had 12 appointments and only got 4 done. So today and tomorrow I'm playing ketchup.

PVVCPA (talk|edits) said:

April 7, 2007
YOU HAD 12 APPTS ON APRIL 6TH!!!!

Have the police started looking for the bodies?

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

7 April 2007
yes, for some reason my front office person doesn't like to say no. I keep asking her when she thinks I will do the returns. She says "but they've been calling for 2 weeks wanting an appointment".

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

7 April 2007
I have 11 appointments for Mon the 9th

PVVCPA (talk|edits) said:

April 7, 2007
Man! You must have really pissed her off!

RSRAGENCY (talk|edits) said:

7 April 2007
GOD BLESS YOU ALL!!!! and I mean that!! I'm sitting here with 7 more to go, BUT my problem.....I have 12 standing up at the end of my desk WAITING for the #8879 before I'll send it thru for e-filing.....will have to make phone calls soon.....Does anyone else let the clients take the paperwork home for 'better-half' to sign??? This is really starting to get to me!!

DJ

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

7 April 2007
You were just voted off the Island, DJ. Image:smile.jpg

RSRAGENCY (talk|edits) said:

7 April 2007
I KNEW IT WAS COMING!!! There's NO WAY I can run with you BIG GUYS!!


DJ

Deback (talk|edits) said:

April 7, 2007
I just posted all of my final stats and discovered someone moved this thread, so now I have to start all over again!

Deback (talk|edits) said:

April 7, 2007
26 returns to be picked up

47 8879s not received yet (this includes the 26 returns to be picked up)

1 to finish (after several emails yesterday trying to get the rest of the info from a cat and horse breeder)

5 pending and waiting for more info

55 to be dropped off (this includes my own return)--If I get 55 more drop-offs, it will be a total of 700 returns (plus several amendeds)

No appointments - I don't do appts in March and April--drop-offs only and will answer questions, if they have any.

Deback (talk|edits) said:

April 7, 2007
RS - Yes, clients take home the 8879s all the time here. They mail or fax them back to me.

RSRAGENCY (talk|edits) said:

7 April 2007
DEB, I'll say it again, YOU GO GIRL!!! You are amazing..I'm sitting here with my 'almost 200' and I feel overwhelmed! One thing, after 15 years (Next season) I've noticed that I need more Education! My SIMPLE 1040's are beginning to draw in a more 'advanced' group of people. AFTER the season, can I pick your brain to see what classes I should take during the coming summer??? I'm not sure what is offered here in NJ...

DJ

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

7 April 2007
Don't be cheap and only get the education that comes to your town. Spend the money to go to where the education you need and want is. I have always thought that I should charge enough for doing returns so that I could attend the education needed to do those returns, no matter where those classes were. See my page if you want to come to any of my classes. Kevinh5

Deback (talk|edits) said:

April 7, 2007
I haven't been to a tax class since about 1986. Went to the year-end MSU classes for about two years back then and was so bored that I decided it was a waste of time. But I read a lot during the year, especially relating to the new tax laws each year and to refresh my memory on other tax laws.

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

7 April 2007
Deb, you must be a "visual" learner. Others are "auditory" or "kinesthetic". Reading works for visuals, listening to a seminar works for audios, and working problems in a workshop works for kinestetics. I try to use all 3 types of teaching in my seminars, although by nature there is more visual and auditory stimuli provided. Now if I could just figure out a positive way to get the olfactory senses involved.....

RSRAGENCY (talk|edits) said:

7 April 2007
Kevin, that sounds great! I will look at your page. I really need to improve!! Deb, I've found that I NEED to actually HEAR what's being taught...and a lot of time, questions get asked and answered during the class that may not be included in the texts....

I REALLY need this....for my own satisfaction, too!!

DJ

Deback (talk|edits) said:

April 7, 2007
I think you're right. I understand things much easier when I read them than when listening to someone talk. I remember that I slept at my desk during some classes in my senior year in high school, when those teachers allowed me to do so. I had already read the material and probably stayed up late every night reading textbooks and doing homework, so I was always tired during the day. Was still valedictorian, but that wasn't based on what I did during the classes.

Deback (talk|edits) said:

April 7, 2007
And now I'm just sitting here with nothing to do. Finished two returns so far, nobody has stopped in yet today, and I have nothing to do except to review my own return and post my check register for 2007 so far. I doubt that I'll do anything except take an Excedrin.

What I want to know is how could it have been 75 degrees two weeks ago, and today, it's 23 degrees?

RSRAGENCY (talk|edits) said:

7 April 2007
DEB, Just looked at your site.....We're the same age!!! But your mom probably had better pre-natal vitamins than mine..Ha Ha....(really none 'back' then like now) Anyway, my brain never did absorb. I really struggled when test time came...still do....my mind would just go blank..I need to hear, read and write all at the same time!! That's why my office has EVERY book imaginable relating to taxes!!!

DJ

Bottom Line (talk|edits) said:

7 April 2007
I've also decided I need more training. Never knew about NATP until this forum. I've bookmarked it for review after 5/1

RSRAGENCY (talk|edits) said:

7 April 2007
BL, I highly recommend NATP! Been a member since 1993..

DJ

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

7 April 2007
BL, come to my 1041/Final 1040 class in Tampa this summer!!! Kevinh5

SKPCPA (talk|edits) said:

7 April 2007
Kevin, do you ever get to Phoenix or Tucson? I'll have to look at your schedule after tax season. Always looking for good CPE - I usually do a combination of seminars and self study.

Bottom Line (talk|edits) said:

7 April 2007
That's one I was thinking about. I'll make a point of introducing myself!

Lizzit (talk|edits) said:

8 April 2007
Boston Tax Institute is amazing. Too bad it's only in Boston. Worth a trip to do it.

Lizzit (talk|edits) said:

8 April 2007
I note that I didn't actually answer your query: How do I decide what to do first? As I work from home, I don't have a commute to wake me up. So here's what I do:

1) shower and chat with hubby. 1 hr. 2) check emails for fires to be put out. Hopefully none. 3) read and post to various forums - Now it's 10 am or so, if I'm lucky. Noon if I'm not. 4) If I have client apts, prep small files.

   If I don't have any apts, prep a big file.

5) If it's March/April, work on extensions for 1/2 the day. 6) If it's June, work on extensions (for overseas filers) for 1/2 the day. 7) If it's Oct, work on final extensions (for overseas filers) for 1/2 the day. 8) If it's Dec/Jan, work on organizers and updating databases for 1/2 the day. 9) Have a nice lunch break away from the office, during which I read a book, meet a client or a business associate, and enjoy myself. 10) Quit when I'm tired, be it five pm or midnight. It's usually 7 pm or 8 pm.

How do I decide with small/big file to work on?

a) People who need 'em for legal reasons first. Also squeaky wheels. b) Big Balance Dues next c) Big Refunds next d) people with nil refund/balance due last.

FIFO within each category.

Alas, I usually have a big stack of squeaky wheels to get through. I've still got a few poor sods who are still waiting on their 2005 returns since they're in (d) category. I SOOO need to complete my expansion plans (tied up due to circumstances beyond my control).

Death&Taxes (talk|edits) said:

8 April 2007
So I was opening mail that came Thursday and Friday to put the information in files when I read "Hope you can get this done by the 15th so we can submit it to our son's private school."

Kevinh5 (talk|edits) said:

8 April 2007
Lizzit, how do you find time to get any work done. That shower with hubby could take all day if you're lucky.

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