Rick Telberg
Rick Telberg

CPAs Plan After-Season R&R

Goodbye and good riddance to busy season 2009. How do your annual results compare? Join the survey; get the comparisons.

April 13, 2009
by Rick Telberg/At Large

From the famed Peter Luger Steak House in New York to the not so famous Crazy Pinz bowling lanes in Fort Wayne, Ind., CPAs are planning for the day after April 15th.

It’s been a tough season, beset by a widening economic crisis that has left clients worried or worse and their CPAs in much the same condition.

Still, about 33 percent of the 1,249 accountants who have taken our survey so far this season term it better than last year’s, with 22 percent calling it worse and the rest “about the same.” We’ll be reporting more details on the season in coming weeks. Be sure to join the survey to get all the results.


Join the survey; see the results.

(Free. Confidential.)

With deteriorating business conditions and distressed clients, accountants are more worried than in years past about getting paid in full or on time. And, worried too, about how much new work will be available this summer and into the fall.

But for these final few days, accountants are focused on getting the work done and then enjoying the respite afterwards.

At Jones & Roth in Oregon, for example, Tricia Duncan reports that each of the firm’s offices will be celebrating the end of busy season in its own way. “One will have a Casino night on the 15th. Another will do bowling,” she says. In the Eugene office, “We offer a Tax Holiday for the employees to choose a day to take off between April 16 and May 31st.”

Meanwhile, Bruce Ekmanian at Cook, Ekmanian & Associates LLP in Grover Beach, Calif., is taking the staff out in the afternoon, having some pizza and “a lot of beer.” Brian E. Barber at Arthur Lambi & Associates in Cumberland, R.I., is looking forward to six days of riding off-road motorcycles in the Hatfield-McCoy trail system in West Virginia — which is about as far as he can get from his office in a hurry.

David Neidhart in Houston will get his R&R in class. His plan: “Get some CPE.” Robert Loe in Seattle just wants a couple weeks off when “anything personal takes priority over work.” Peter Iannone in Westlake Village, Calif., is going car racing. Ron Skalberg at Beaird Harris & Co. in Dallas just wants to go out to “a nice Mexican restaurant.”

Joe Eckelkamp, chief executive of Eckelkamp & Associates CFO Group in St. Louis normally takes a cross country train trip with his children. “This year,” he says, “we found a company that needs an RV moved from Vegas to Denver, so my son and I are going to do that trip by way of the Grand Canyon at an incredibly low cost!” (Can you tell Joe is an accountant?)

However you decide to celebrate the end of busy season, please do so safely. Remember, extension deadlines are right around the corner.

NEXT QUESTION: Now that tax season is over, what’s next for accounting firms in this economy? Join the poll; get the answers.

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Copyright © 2009 CPA Trendlines/BSG LLC. All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission. First published by the AICPA.

About Rick Telberg

Rick Telberg is editor at large/director of online content.

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