Since Busy Season is over, we wanted to take some time to show you how Busy Season isn’t always just about 60 hour work weeks and endless cups of coffee. In this series titled “What Firms Did For Their Staff During Busy Season,” we wanted to show people the amazing company culture and invaluable sense of camaraderie that many firms establish in order to help their staff get through Busy Season happy and healthy. Earlier this week, we featured RSM US LLP.
Today, we’d like to feature two more firms who are doing just that. We spoke to Beth Sarkar, Coordinator from Mountjoy Chilton Medley LLP (MCM) and Jessica Quas, Marketing Coordinator, from Wiss & Company LLP who told us how their firms helped get their staff through Busy Season.
Mountjoy Chilton Medley LLP (MCM)
MCM CPAs & Advisors is a large regional CPA firm, with offices in Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. MCM provides highly specialized services to a broad range of clients, including privately and publicly held businesses, not-for-profits, small businesses and individuals across the region and throughout the country. All receive personalized attention and local access from national level talent. We specialize in a variety of tax, assurance, accounting and consulting services and are proud to offer expertise in more than a dozen disciplines, each staffed by a team of highly qualified professionals. At MCM we provide expert guidance, beyond the bottom line. Learn more at www.mcmcpa.com.
Why do you think it’s important to keep up staff morale?
Staff morale is critical for success and productivity. Employees spend long hours at work and need to feel valued and happy in their job in order to be the most effective in their role.
What other activities do you all do together during Busy Season?
Busy season can be one of the most stressful times of the year and we try to keep it as fun as possible. During busy season, dinner is provided Monday through Thursday with breakfast provided periodically on Saturdays. Snacks are abundant and readily available in each office, around the clock.
Food is important for keeping up the morale in the office, but we also like to entertain. Our tax department created the Tax Olympics series of competitive events, including movie trivia contests, Wii tournaments, laugh out loud games like Pie Face. We also have our annual Busy Season Fun initiative. Trivia questions are sent out each week to all of our employees, and by playing our staff members can win weekly prizes, as well as larger grand prizes at the end of busy season.
What’s your best piece of advice for firms/CPAs going through this intense time?
We tell all of our team members to keep their eyes on the bigger picture. These are some of the most intense months of the year, but they pass quickly. Make sure to schedule time to relax and recharge to reduce stress and increase productivity.
Wiss & Company LLP
Wiss & Company LLP has been serving clients since 1969, helping companies translate numbers into smart business decisions. Wiss also strives to make a deeper impact by giving back and serving our community. We have the size and personal attention of a small firm but the depth and reach of a national one.
Why do you think it’s important to keep up morale during Busy Season?
Busy season is a constant battle of long days, late nights, internal and external frustrations as well as the longing to return to human life (as opposed to zombie-life). It is important for us, during these ups and downs, to make sure we make life bearable for our employees for those few months. We want them to stay motivated and help them in seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. At the end of the day, work is work, but when companies make it a top priority to keep up morale and make sure their staff feels a sense of purpose, all will benefit in the long run.
What other activities do you and your staff do during this time?
During busy season, we make sure to include activities that will help all “de-stress.” Whether we are participating in “Bring your Dogs to Work Day,” providing massages, smoothies, or making sure there is a constant flow of Dunkin Donuts, we always try to make sure our employees continue to feel loved and appreciated. The kitchen is consistently well stacked with food and our staff is always welcome to take a quick mental break by playing at one of our ping-pong tables, taking a few hits to the punching bag, or playing games on our arcade.
For those who have to work on the weekends, we make sure to jazz them up with Saturday themed luncheons to get everyone excited and encourage a lunch break with fellow coworkers and friends. We also offer complimentary gym memberships for those employees who want to stay physically healthy and blow off some steam. And while all of these events are awesome during tax season, the most looked forward to is our end of tax season party planned by our new hires (typically called the 4/15 party) where we all celebrate as one firm together with plenty of laughs, food, and celebratory drinks of course!
What is your best advice for other firms/accountants/CPAs going through Busy Season?
Always maintain a positive attitude. Throughout the day, our coworkers are the ones that keep each other going. We are a team and work together toward one firm-wide goal; so if someone is slacking, unhappy, or frustrated, it is our job to pick them back up (and hand them a coffee).
Additionally, try to have some fun during busy season – accountants, by nature, tend to be very hardworking and technical people. It is important to joke around, share a laugh with friends and not take ourselves too seriously. Everyone has a unique personality that shines throughout the day and we believe that this is attributed to our Wiss culture and what we stand for. Knowing that each of us are trucking along through this stressful time together will only make busy season pass by that much faster!
Lastly, we are firm thinkers that a little bit of appreciation goes a long way; encourage coworkers to compliment one another or let your employees know how much you appreciate their hard work – this will only boost employee morale.
We’d like to thank both Mountjoy Chilton Medley LLP and Wiss & Company LLP for letting us feature them and for giving us a glimpse into their awesome firms!