Tax Managers

F&C Tax Managers, the Greatest of all Movie Characters

I often get asked, “What is a tax manager? What does a tax manager do?

Well, there are many replies and ways to describe what a tax manager is and what we do.  I could get into the professional jargon and lingo and explain, but where’s the fun in that, besides, if you already know the professional jargon and lingo then I don’t need to explain what I do or don’t do. Before we get to that let’s take a look at the tax department in general.

We have 8 staff members and 2 managers, and one partner who oversees the tax department. In this collection of individuals, we have the Baby Boomers, Generation X, Millennials, and Generation Z.  So, I have learned you have to modify the explanation of what you want done and how you want it done based upon which generation you are addressing.

Also, worth noting here, when you are quoting movies, most likely the Gen Z’rs aren’t going to get it.  Some of them don’t even know who John Wayne is! I know..Right! Well anyway, back to the subject, because this is a whole other topic for another day.

"Talk low, talk slow, and don't talk too much."
- John Wayne

As tax managers, we have various situations to deal with the clients, the staff and the other departments. But for today let us concentrate on those months, January through April or as we lovingly call it “Tax Season”. At the start of the year we are like the Earps and Doc Holliday armed to the teeth with all we learned in October through December ready to take on the world and the staff has bought into the whole “Let’s do it” attitude.

"I'm your Huckleberry"
- Doc Holiday

By the middle of February, the tax managers have become the teachers as in “Dead Poets Society” pressing the staff to learn and think about what they are doing and developing them into productive tax professionals. Then comes mid-March and we turn into Darth Vader, holding our hands up and clinching our fist to silence the little rebels before they say another word! And then April arrives, we see the light at the end of the tunnel, and we become the Avengers.  We survived that 3 ½ months and can stand in triumph.

"Heros are made by the path they choose, not the powers they are graced with"
- Brodi Ashton, Avengers

During tax season, the tax department spends a lot of time together and we become like that dysfunctional family you love to hate but can’t.  To break up the long hours spent sitting and working we have adopted a few things, well, forced on them anyway, but adopted sounds much nicer.

For those of us that come in early, we crank up the Bluetooth speakers and let the music flow.  Of course, back to the generational thing, none of them like the same music, but they prefer any music to the sound of keyboards typing and adding machines being reprimanded for working incorrectly. On occasion, as we get later into tax season some have been known to “bust a move”.  I have found out the whole “busting a move” thing drives the staff out of the cubbie almost as fast as raising the Darth Vader fist!

Also, for the tax department, during tax season, snacks and sugary drinks are provided to keep the work flowing and this seems like a little thing, but, when you are hungry and needing a sugar buzz it is great,  and you didn’t have to drop like $2.50 into the vending machines.

"You don't know the power of the dark side!"
- Darth Vader

In general, the managers are a level below the partners and act as a liaison/interpreter/enforcer for the partners.  We teach and encourage the staff, assign work, meet with clients, review returns, prep some returns and lastly, most importantly, we are the buildings DJ’s!  All in all, not a bad gig!

Jim Grimes
Partner, Finley & Cook

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