4 min read

Did You Lose Employees After Tax Season?


If you’ve been in the accounting profession for any serious amount of time, you’ll know that tax season often drives some employees to leave their roles when it ends (or worse, BEFORE it ends). This isn’t anything new. Tax season is brutal. But, it is essential, as an employer, to understand why this happens and what it means for your business.



Reasons for Employee Turnover After Tax Season

There are various reasons why accountants leave a firm after tax season. Some of the biggest are burnout, lack of recognition, lack of work-life balance, or a new career opportunity. 


Tax season is a hectic period that puts about 18 boatloads of pressure on employees. The long hours and high stress can affect their mental and physical health. After enduring these intense work conditions, many individuals start considering switching to a job that offers a less stressful environment. 

Because, at the end of the day, people still aren’t machines. We need to recharge, we need to step away from work, and we’re not made to be under that kind of pressure 24/7. Employees will begin questioning their career choices when the pressure is up and doesn’t seem to come down. 

Lack of Recognition and Reward

Workers who dedicate long hours and exert considerable effort will want to abandon ship ASAP if their hard work isn’t properly recognized and rewarded.

That doesn’t mean they expect a Lamborghini and $5 million to get through tax season. But it does mean they’re human and want their hard work to be valued and appreciated — to feel like they belong. And if you’re only buying the team pizzas on Friday as “appreciation” for the amount of work they’ve put in during tax season, you could be part of the problem.

Limited Career Advancement Opportunities

A clear path for career progression is crucial for retaining talent. Employees who perceive a lack of opportunities to advance within the firm may become disillusioned with their current roles. The desire to grow professionally and achieve career goals is a powerful motivator for seeking new employment opportunities. If they believe their career aspirations cannot be fulfilled within the company, they may leave in search of a position that offers clear and attainable advancement prospects. 

The Slow and Painful Death of a Healthy Work-Life Balance

The demands of tax season can severely disrupt an employee’s work-life balance, making it challenging to allocate time for personal activities and family. Finding a position that allows for a healthier balance between professional responsibilities and personal time is often a top priority for those looking to change jobs post-tax season.


The Effects of Losing Employees Post-Tax Season

Let’s look at some ways losing top talent in your firm directly affects it.

Increased Cost of Recruitment and Training

Businesses must allocate funds not just for the hiring process — which includes advertising the position, conducting interviews, and possibly employing recruiters — but also for the training of replacements. This training consumes monetary resources and current employees’ time, which could otherwise be invested in revenue-generating activities.

Decreased Productivity with New Hires

Productivity tends to dip when new employees are hired simply because they need time to acclimate to their new roles. There is an inherent learning curve with any position, and mastering the intricacies of the job, understanding company operations, and developing proficiency with specific procedures and software cannot be achieved overnight. This transition period inevitably leads to a slowdown in workplace efficiency.

Employee Morale and Engagement at All-Time Lows

High turnover, particularly after a stressful season, can adversely affect the morale of remaining employees. It’s not uncommon for the exit of colleagues to create an environment of uncertainty or dissatisfaction. This atmosphere can dampen engagement and the overall spirit of the team, potentially leading to a domino effect of decreased morale and productivity and even further turnover.

Client Relationships Get Strained and Stretched

Seeing familiar faces during tax season can be comforting and reinforce customer loyalty to the firm. Clients want consistency. Frequent staff changes disrupt these relationships, leading to a lack of continuity and potentially diminishing a client’s confidence in the services provided. 


5 Strategies to Retain Employees After Tax Season

Now that the doom and gloom are out of the way, here are five strategies you can implement in your firm to retain your best people.


Recognition and Rewards for Their Hard Work

A simple “thank you” can go a long way, but it’s seldom enough, and offering tangible rewards is often beneficial. Consider implementing a rewards program that gives bonuses, paid time off, or other incentives for employees who excel during the busy season. These gestures can go a long way toward making employees feel valued and appreciated, not to mention encouraging them to keep up the hard work.

Professional Development Opportunities to Further Their Careers

Fostering an environment that encourages growth and learning can significantly enhance employee satisfaction. Show your team the available paths for career advancement within the company and offer opportunities for professional development. This could include training courses, certifications, workshops, or conferences that allow them to expand their skill sets and knowledge. Employees who see growth and learning opportunities are more likely to stay committed to the company.

Flexible Work Arrangements for Team Members who Need It

Offering flexibility in work hours or allowing remote work can vastly improve job satisfaction. Flexible work arrangements can demonstrate your understanding of employees’ lives outside work, showing empathy and respect for their personal lives. Whether it’s flexible start and end times, compressing workweeks, or offering options for telecommuting, such arrangements can positively affect employee retention.

Employee Wellness Programs that Keep Everyone’s Best Foot Forward 

Implementing wellness programs can proactively support employees’ health, particularly during high-stress periods like tax season. Programs for stress management, physical fitness, mental health support, or even healthy eating plans can contribute to a healthier and happier team. But remember, how you implement these programs is vital. When push comes to shove, most people would rather get their work done than spend an hour on a treadmill. So, ensure you have options catering to their needs without adding more stress to their schedules.

Communication and Feedback Channels for Continuous Improvement 

Employees should feel comfortable expressing their thoughts, ideas, and concerns regarding their work. Regular meetings, surveys, or suggestion boxes can facilitate communication. Listening to and acting on their input can improve your company’s operations and build trust and respect among your workforce, further motivating them to stay.


Keep It Together!

Keeping your team together after tax season might feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be complicated. It does, however, require a little empathy. 

You know what makes this season so difficult for your team. So now it’s about implementing incentives and care to help push your team through and keep them fired up. Value their work and help them grow. Bonus points if you can ensure they know they’re an essential part of the company all year round and not just during tax season.

Taking the grunt work out of your employees’ hands can also help with satisfaction, and that’s something Botkeeper Infinite excels at.


Check it out today!