Several CPAs shared their stories with AICPA about how new moms and dads can juggle their schedules when the birth of a child coincided with Busy Season.
Here are suggestions on how to nurture the double challenges of balancing the needs of a newborn and working with your team to diligently meet deadlines for getting clients’ tax forms to the IRS.
Support from Superiors: Communicate early with decision-makers to develop plans so maternity/paternity leave can be spent without having to juggle calls from the office. This is especially important if nature decides that the delivery date isn’t going to align with the doctors’ expected due date.
Delegate with Technology: Many firms have systems that allow associates to log in remotely and get a few hours of work done from home to meet daily goals. One new dad arranged his schedule so he could come home at dinner and help get his two daughters fed, bathed and into bed. Then he would log onto his accounts remotely and work several more hours at night.
Avoid Brain Drain: Newborns can demand that sleep becomes a distant memory for parents. Middle-of-the-night feeding times happen no matter when mom or dad have to wake up for work.
Lack of sleep and the hectic schedule of having a baby can mean that brain may not be as sharp as usual. That’s when to-do list schedules and Post-it notes become vital.
One Big, Happy Family: When colleagues learn that an associate might need family leave during Busy Season, avoid grumbling about how the firm will have to scramble to spread work to substitutes. Leaders should show they’re excited for expecting parents.