Top 8 Ways To FAIL This Busy Season


Now that it’s December, most people in public and private accounting for that matter are gearing up for the spring busy season! Auditors performs audits, private accountants prepare for audits, and tax people tax it up!

What makes this time of year so interesting isn’t just that everyone is stressed and overworked. There are also always new hires starting right away. So on on top of all that work, you have to be kind and understanding to the clueless young-ins.

Here are the top 10 busy season fails I personally experienced in my career. Try to avoid as best you can!


1. Don’t wear flip flops to the clients office
Seems basic right? If you’re working in a corporate office, going to meet with a client, probably should where flips flops or beach sandals.

Well I thought so. But one day, a new hire showed up to the clients office, toes hanging out and all! Needless to say she was taken aside for a talking too. Take this as your warning.


2. Don’t make donkey noises
You would think this one goes without saying. But on my second client, there were noises coming from a fellow co-worker that I can only describe as “donkey-like”. I re-enact them in this podcast if you feel you need a full explanation to prepare yourself.

3. Don’t provoke people during table sports

I’ve never been amazing at any sports. I played hockey, golf, and football when I was younger. Since I was never the best, I had to come up with psychological tricks to enact on my opponents to even the score. Normally this involved taunting, just being loud, or blabbering distracting sounds, noises, and stories to throw my opponents off.

This served me well at the PwC office foosball table. Well, for a while.

Until one day, in the heart of business season, one guy snapped. And I mean SNAPPED. He went so far as to raise his fist (foosball in hand which rudely interrupted the game) and acted like he was going to strike me.

I made the mistake thinking this was a joke and laughing uncontrollably. I realized about 25 minutes later when he was still lecturing me about “running my mouth” that he was actually upset.

In the end there was no physical violence but a lesson learned: don’t provoke the accountant during table sports during busy season.


4. Don’t chastise workers using religion

It’s not really important what your religion is here, the best practice at work is to keep it to yourself. If you have a certain practice you need to perform, or clothes you need to wear, knock yourself out!

But, chastising others for not following your religion or your god, not good.

That happened to me. Another fellow co-worker instant messaged me and said, “Andrew, can we talk in the conference room?”

I thought this would be to go over some work-related tasks the woman was too embarrassed to mention in the team room, or in front of the client.

Instead I preceded to be told about how, “Nobody is more important than God, not even you Andrew”. And other things like that.

This woman was no longer working at the firm about 3 weeks later. She mysteriously quit for apparently unrelated reasons.

But it was very uncomfortable for me and strange, as I don’t remember mentioning religion at all. I was managing her even though we were at the same level (Second year associate) and I think that bothered her quite a bit.

5. Drive Safely

I was traveling out of town and one morning got pulled over by the police. The best part was my hotel was a block and a half from the office, I could’ve walked.

I was pulled over for an illegal lane change and eventually given 3 tickets totaling $375. The kind lady cop wasn’t in too good of a mood I guess.

It ended up suspending my license as I couldn’t find the tickets online and mailed in my payment late (remember it was out of town so I couldn’t just walk visit the ticket office one day).

protect identity

6. Protect Your Identity

The first week of my first busy season, my identity and over $5,000 was stolen. I noticed thousands of dollars being charged at Wal-Mart and other locations  out of state.

This is normally pretty bad, but when you’re working 8am-9pm and the bank hours are 9am-4pm, it’s downright annoying.

There was not a bank near the client I was working at so I had to drive about 45 minutes to get there and 45 minutes to get back. I had too. My cards were frozen, it was the only way to get cash. It got worse when the first time I made this hour and a half trek, I showed up at 4:30pm, after they closed.

Had to explain to my Manager that one. She probably thought I was a kook from Day 1!

quit job

7. If you quit your job right before busy season, don’t come back

The worst time to quit your job in public accounting is now. December. People feel betrayed. They’ve been planning on having you there for all these clients, now, with no time to hire someone new, you’re gone.

It was even worse when a woman on my team left in December, and came back to the firm in the last 2 days of our huge audit! This is highly unusual but let it serve as a lesson, only quit in December if you’re certain you are not coming back!

old guy
8. Be careful with interns and old creepy dudes
One night, our team went out shotgun shooting after work. Yes, very Florida of us. There were about 15 of us and we decided to take the interns. One female intern forgot to bring a change of clothes, but we convinced her anyway. She shows up to a backwoods Florida shotgun range, in a pencil skirt and heels. Needless to say, the old guy supervising our shooting wasn’t too shy. He proceeded to instruct her on her posture and was specifically interested in how she positioned her hips.Ya creepy. And nerve-wracking for us. Luckily, the intern handled it gracefully, no lawsuits initiated.
While each of these experiences is unique to me, be careful during busy season. This is a time to shine, to beef up your experience and guarantee that raise, bonus, promotion this summer.It’s a stressful time for you, and the people you work with. Don’t make it harder with obvious and simple mistakes like the ones above. Enjoy the next few weeks, because it’s about to get crazy!
  • A

    You SERIOUSLY need to start proofreading. I’m really disappointed in how many errors this post has. I hope you don’t send emails to your clients without proofreading them.

    • TheBeanCountercom

      Thanks for the comment and my apologies! I do normally have proofreading done but I was getting this out quick and there wasn’t time. I promise to be better in the future!