As a tax accountant, I virtually “live” in my office. It’s like a home away from home! Unlike field auditors, who sometimes work onsite at client locations, tax accountants can be found sitting in their own office working on client tax returns in a comfortable, familiar environment.
There are many benefits to having a stationary, fixed workstation with predictable equipment and conditions. Since we spend a lot of time at our desks, we have the opportunity to set up our space for ultimate productivity. At Weinstein Spira, for example, members of the tax team all have multiple monitors that make it easy to view last year/current year data side by side. Some of us also keep a laptop up and running, perched on a stand for eye-level viewing.
Additional ergonomic support comes from consistently having the right kind of chair with a backrest, and using a wrist pad, footstool, low-light lamp, etc., to avoid physical discomfort.
We also have quick and easy access to the professional accounting software we need on the corporate network—without having to go through a cumbersome process from outside the firewall. The latest version of Microsoft Office is maintained, ensuring we have all the most recent Excel features required to perform our job.
Personalizing one’s office is actually encouraged when spending so much time at your desk, especially during the busy tax season. I make sure I have the following “essential” items within arm’s reach:
- 10-key calculator
- Cell phone stand and extra phone charger
- Coffee mugs and water tumbler (to stay awake/hydrated)
- Energy snacks and condiments
- Mini desk fan (for hot days or white noise)
- Blanket (for chilly days)
For extra comfort, I keep framed photos of my pets, friends and family right on my desk; with some artwork hanging on the wall for decoration. Another environmental plus is having one or more plants surrounding you, like my favorite succulent.
I really enjoy working in close proximity to the tax team members. There’s really no getting lonely when everyone keeps their office door open to answer questions and casually socialize in the hallway and break rooms. It’s very nurturing to see the same faces each day and form work relationships and friendships that last.
With tight schedules and deadlines, tax accountants tend not to eat out that much. Working at the office, I am just a few steps from our trusty kitchen, complete with microwaves and refrigerator, making it easy to eat leftovers. For those days when I don’t bring lunch from home, I can order food online from the nearby food court, and then quickly run downstairs to pick it up. When working later than usual, the firm will order food in for our team. No muss, no fuss.
At the End of the Day
I always know for sure that my desk will be just like I left it the next day, helping to stick to a routine and be as efficient as possible. Perhaps tax accountants are creatures of habit, as we like things to be in order; whether it is preparing a perfect tax return or having a perfect workstation.