A Simple Matrix For Managing Your Tasks In The Rush Of Tax Season

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Sometimes clients will ask me or my staff how we get so much stuff done, and how we are able to serve hundreds of clients by hand (when so many other “gurus” or marketing service firms either spit you through some sort of automated system, or are terrible about getting back with you.
PLUS, we’ve been launching new services and concepts (some of which is only behind-the-scenes) every year, and there’s more to come.
Well, what started out as an “intuitive” process for myself and Troy Lakey (my Director of Operations) has, by necessity, grown into a formal system for evaluating projects and prioritizing tasks.
So, I thought it was the perfect “nugget” to share with you as you continue to process the flurry of tax season. (And by the way — this is the sort of thing which is a “business owner” task. Too many tax pros get bogged down in “employee” work, that they fail to maintain the bigger picture vision needed, with the commensurate owner-mentality, and the firm remains stuck in third gear. Here’s how to break through that.)
A Simple Task Prioritization Decision Matrix
1) Create a four-column task list sheet.
* The first column = Action
* 2nd column = Business Impact (When the action is complete, how big of a bang will it make towards raising revenue or cutting expenses — i.e. PROFITS)
* 3rd column = Ease (Res ipsa loquitur)
* 4th column = Total (to be explained in a moment)
2) After you list out your proposed actions (first column), subjectively evaluate each action on a scale of 1-10 for both the Business Impact column and the Ease column, separately — with 1 being small, and 10 being FREAKING HUGE.
3) Add up the totals for ease and business impact, and put them in the “Total” column.
4) Re-sort your task list according to the highest total. By definition, this IS a subjective model for making decisions — but so is “winging it”, and how well is that working for you?
The point is to remove the guesswork behind how you are deciding what project to focus on, when there are about 20 which need your attention while the bullets fly here in tax season.

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