It’s February and Plante Moran finds itself in the midst of yet another tax season — our busiest time of year. People often assume CPAs dread this season, but that’s like saying farmers dread the harvest. Where would they be without it? For us, the busy season means long hours, hard work, and immersive opportunities that translate in to productive interactions with our clients.
In fact, my favorite part of tax season is the quality time we get to spend with clients. It’s when we learn the most — about them and their industries — and gain the insight we need to be strong client servers. After all, we’re more than bean counters; we’re strategists, problem solvers, trusted advisors, and occasionally, we’re even prognosticators. At least we seem to be to our clients.
Recently someone asked, “How can Plante Moran solve clients’ problems before they even know they have them?” Well, one of the benefits of working with a firm of our size is that we come prepared with deep knowledge in a variety of industries. Our staff can leverage that knowledge by collaborating and identifying disruptors in one industry that will eventually impact others. The driverless car, for example. First instinct tells you it will impact the automotive industry. And it will, but the ramifications don’t stop there. Builders in the real estate industry will have to change the way they configure buildings because convenient parking won’t be as valuable. The insurance industry will likely have fewer claims. Local government could notice fewer cars on the road. And the list goes on…
After all, we’re more than bean counters; we’re strategists, problem solvers, trusted advisors, and occasionally, we’re even prognosticators.
Many times business owners are so consumed by what’s happening in their industry that they aren’t aware of disruptors that could have a trickle-down effect. It’s our responsibility to help our clients stay in front of these issues — and tax season discussions are a perfect way to address them.
Plante Moran talks a lot about breadth and depth of service, and I’ve always looked at tax season as a great opportunity to put our knowledge to use. When things get busy, it’s important that we don’t just put our heads down and get the work done — we have to look up and discover the opportunities that lie before us.
What value does your busiest time of year bring?