Seeing the light at the end of the Busy Season tunnel
April 6, 2016
Everyone hears the unpleasant stories of busy season and the long hours, hard deadlines, and overall stressfulness of this time of the year. What you hear a little less of is the non-busy season time, which fortunately is a majority of the year!
Pretty much the first question I always get when I meet new people and they find out I’m a CPA is “Can you help with my taxes?” After consistently telling others that I am a CPA and I don’t do taxes, you can see the look of confusion on their face, and then I generally get the next question of “What do you do after April 15th?”
While I don’t do taxes our audit Busy Season generally coincides with the traditional timeline of tax filings as a majority of clients have December 31st year ends. As we look towards wrapping up those year-end audits I wanted to share some insight to what we do with the rest of our year, you know the other eight months of the year.
Over the summer we perform various internal audit functions for Banks as well as Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX) Section 404 internal control testing. Here we get to assist management with their financial reporting requirements when they do not have the internal staff to perform the necessary required functions. Additionally over the summer we perform employee benefit plan audit. Probably a more common term you are used to hearing is 401k or pension plan – these are consider employee benefit plans. All companies with over 100 employees are required to have an audit of their employee benefit plan. There are additional requirements for companies who file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). This type of work occupies our summer.
As we move into the fall we start to shift our focus back to planning for year-end audit engagements. We typically start our planning procedures for the audit which includes reviewing activity for any major events during the year, updating control understandings and performing walkthroughs of significant controls, and determining our procedures we’ll perform during the audit. Additionally we may perform some interim testing to try and lighten the load of work during the audit.
Also with lightened work load we like to enjoy some fun! I’m sure if you’ve read any of the other blog posts you’ve heard of our fun activities including dinners, golf outings, happy hours, white water rafting, etc. As we move in to April I know I (and I’m assuming most of my coworkers) are looking forward to the upcoming nonbusy season activities!