Friday, April 20, 2012

An Ode to Busy Season

Happy Friday! Yay for the weekend! Since that beautiful tax deadline (April 15th, in case you forgot) has come and gone, I thought I would opine on the great three and a half months known to accountants everywhere as "busy season." I won't bore you with the details of how (or why on earth) I chose to be an accountant. We'll save that story for another day. However, I will give you a little background, followed by some numbers. Because, obviously, I love numbers!

I'm an auditor for a mid-size regional public accounting firm. Hold on to your seats while I explain what that means. Most companies require an audit, mostly by law or in order to get and/or keep a loan with a financial institution. The most basic definition of auditing I can find is this: "a systematic examination of the books and records of a business in order to verify and to report upon the facts regarding the financial operation and the result thereof."  So yeah, that's what I do on a daily basis. Which means we spend a lot of time in our client's place of business, working with a senior or manager (someone with more experience than a 1st or 2nd year staff), looking through their files/documents/reports, etc. As an auditor, busy season is a little different than a race to the tax deadline, but we're still busy this time of year with our own filing deadlines.

Here's my cube. I'm working on the decorations...
The firm I work for is amazing. I interned here twice and never thought about working anywhere else. While busy season is rough (i.e. a LOT of hours and less sleep), they do their best to make it as bearable as possible. Enter: food. Lots and lots of food. They fill empty file cabinets with snacks to keep us fueled. The snack drawer just happens to be conveniently located directly outside my cube. Let's just say it's a good thing I wasn't in the office much over the past few months. They also provide lunch every Saturday for us while we're working. They also let us dress as casually as we want on Saturdays, too. They provide an "afternoon surprise" every Wednesday (candy, cake, ice cream, you name it). Have you noticed a common theme here? Apparently busy season = stress eating. But hey, it works and we all survived. We're having a party at one of our shareholder's house to celebrate another busy season in the books. I can't wait! (PS. It's a complete lie that accountants are boring. We are fun people, okay?!)

Now let's do busy season by the numbers, shall we??

701 hours worked
8 different clients audited
2 different states visited (Savannah, GA and Birmingham, AL)
6 Saturday lunches consumed
10 weekends worked
93.5 "overtime" hours
300 (at least) lunches and dinners eaten out
10 Friday night happy hours
2,483 visits to the snack drawer (an exaggeration? probably not)

Whew. There you have it, folks. I survived my first busy season! I think It'll be fun to do this comparison of the numbers each year. 

Until next time...

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