How to Achieve Post-Busy Season Success in Accounting

About the Author: Katie Thomas, CPA, is a content creator, 2021 & 2022 40 under 40 CPA Practice Advisor recipient, Top 50 Women in Accounting recipient, and the owner of Leaders Online, where they help accounting professionals increase their impact, influence, and income through thought leadership and digital marketing. Feel free to visit Leaders Online or connect with her on LinkedIn to get in touch with Katie.

Busy season is over — finally. You’ve worked hard, drank a lot of coffee (maybe?), and likely spent more hours at your desk than you care to admit. It’s an exhausting time of the year, and I know all too well how badly you want to relax.

You deserve some time off, trust me. After my first busy season, I spent nine days in the hospital because I didn’t give myself time to recover.

Before reading any further, I want you to do a few things for yourself:

  1. Rest: The Association of International Certified Professional Accountants reports that the average accountant works 50 – 80 hours per week during the busy season. You likely missed out on social outings, family events and sleep. Now, it’s time to rest a bit and recharge.  
  2. Encourage: It’s not just you that needs a break, your team does too. Encourage everyone to take a break and schedule vacation time. It’s much deserved. 
  3. Improve: Consider what went well and what can be improved for the next busy season. You don’t have to do anything drastic just yet, but start thinking of ways that you can make next year just a little less taxing.

Once you and your team take some time for the above, it’s time to focus on strategic career planning because that enables professionals to develop careers that are both fulfilling and aligned with their goals.

Strategic Career Planning

Accounting departments often conduct annual reviews. This year, I encourage you to use this post-busy season time to go deeper. You should sit down with each team member, those who were in the trenches with you this past season, and ask them:

  • What parts of their job do they truly enjoy?
  • What do they want to do less of?
  • How can you help them build the career that they envision themselves in years from now?

FloQast’s Controller Guidebook found that accountants ultimately want fulfillment. I know that fulfillment looks much different for me than it does for others, so it’s important that you know what it looks like for your accountants.

If you can keep your team happy and fulfilled, you’ll easily retain talent


  1. Allow accountants to be involved in strategic activities that help them advance and feel fulfilled.
  2. Increase coordination among functions and people to improve the way your team gets work done.
  3. Integrate new technology that supports accountants so that they can work on higher-level tasks.

When you sit down with each of your team members, they will shed more light on the steps that you can take to help them get more out of their careers and feel fulfilled doing it.

It’s no secret that there’s a shortage of 340,000 accounting professionals. So working on fostering an agile, resilient team that is fulfilled and willing to stay at your organization in the long term must stay top of mind.

Build Resilient, Agile Teams And Plan For Uncertainty

Let’s be honest: it’s a tough time for accounting departments. Along with a talent shortage mentioned previously, we’re also in the midst of an unknown or shaky economy.

Given these two factors, now is the time to focus on building a resilient team and planning for uncertainty.

I’ve already discussed the process of building resilient accounting departments here, but a few things to specifically consider when creating more resilient teams during this uncertain, shaky economy include:

  • Upskill team members. Encourage your team to focus on professional development and continuous learning. Many accountants want the opportunity to grow in their careers and stay on top of the latest developments in the field. Look for ways to support your team in these ventures. For example, FloQademy can help your CPAs expand their skills and earn their CPE.
  • Futureproof your employees by offering training on new technology relevant to your industry and implementing a mentorship program to help less experienced employees improve their skills and careers.

Building a resilient, agile team and planning for uncertainty can help your organization weather storms while retaining talent. Making a few changes to your work environment can also further improve employee satisfaction.

Make Work Environment Adjustments

Making positive adjustments to the work environment can improve team morale and help employees feel valued. 

How can you improve the work environment?

Be Flexible with Work Arrangements

Your team has worked so hard throughout the busy season. Why not give them a little more flexibility in their work arrangements for the time being? 

Maybe you can offer more options for remote work days or flexible hours. For example, in the summer, could employees take 3-5 PM off to spend time with their families and put in two hours later in the evening? You have to figure out what works for your employees and team as a whole, but I encourage you to let loose of the reins a bit.

Improve Your Office Ergonomics

Along with being more flexible with work arrangements, you can also make positive changes to the physical environment. Investing in ergonomic furniture, for example, will make the office a more comfortable and enjoyable place to work.

You can also make other changes to enhance your team’s lives while working. For example, could you purchase them noise-canceling headphones, an upgraded curved monitor, or an under-the-desk walking pad? Spending a little extra money to ensure your team is comfortable and happy while working goes a long way. 

One note on this topic is to make sure you’re making these changes whether your team works in the office or from home.

Get the Team Together

Now that busy season is over, it’s time to bring the team together. Fostering relationships and building a strong sense of community within your organization will help create a positive work culture and set your team up for success next busy season.

Here are some tips for community building:

  • Launch community engagement initiatives. Organize charity events or volunteer days, and offer your team a chance to give back to the local community. Providing opportunities to give back can help team members feel more satisfied in their work while improving morale and team cohesion. Research has found that 79% of employees who volunteer through employer-sponsored programs are satisfied with their work.
  • Create a rec team for volleyball, softball, or any other sport. A rec team will strengthen co-worker relationships and collaboration, but it will also give everyone a chance to relax and have a little fun. 

What if you have a remote team? Try planning a quarterly or semiannual retreat to get everyone together in person.

Final Thoughts

The busy season may be over, but there’s still work to be done. Yes, you should rest, take a break and reflect on the season. But once that rest is over, shift your focus to things like strategic career planning with your team, building a more resilient and agile team, improving the work environment, and bringing your team together. Together, these activities will help strengthen your team morale and prepare you for success next season.