Summer 2022 Update

June 22, 2022

A message to our clients

As summer officially begins this week and we move further away from the April 15th filing deadline, we wanted to share a few words with our clients, colleagues, and community partners regarding the state of our firm. Primarily, we are a vibrant and growing client-oriented business committed to the same quality and service that has been the foundation of our firm.

The past three years have proven to be a continual stream of challenges, many stemming directly from the pandemic. This has not only been true for us, as in speaking with a number of those reading this, we know you have been tested as well. With challenges come opportunity, and we have been able to advise many clients since March 2020 on government issued relief programs, tax planning strategies related to tax law changes and help navigate decisions for clients experiencing major business and life changes. Client relationships are what drives our success, and we stand true to our tag line “we care about the story behind the numbers.” 

Being transparent, this past tax season was a difficult one for our firm and we are still working through 2021 return backlog. For both clients in which we have completed your return filing and clients in which we have not, thank you for your patience. The season was difficult for a number of reasons – continued tax law complexities and late issued government changes, late form and corrected form issuance from banks, brokerages, and other firms issuing K-1’s, to name a few. We have come to expect those things and are both accustomed to and good at managing them. This year was different; however, in that we also had several team members lose time during March and early April due to illness.  

Peppered into the past two years, our firm has experienced employee turnover in our accounting positions. Many of our business clients have been faced with similar turnover. By now, the term “the Great Resignation” has become part of the vernacular and the elevated rate at which U.S. workers have quit their jobs not only nationwide, but also in our own Shenandoah Valley region, has become a real issue for companies of all sizes and in all industries. Companies now must be even more creative, compassionate, and accommodating to attract and retain employees.  

We are a professional service firm that relies on employing talented human capital to succeed and grow.  As the “Great Resignation” goes, accountants have been leaving their jobs in record numbers and firms nationwide have been strained on capacity. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) recently issued the results of their 2022 Private Companies Practice Section CPA Top Issues Survey, which lists finding qualified staff as the top concern for firms employing greater than eleven professionals.  

 IRS challenges emerge as top concern for firms (JOFA 06.08.22)

As we continue to recruit the best talent in a near impossible labor market, we recognize the importance of taking care of our loyal team members. No one works well when they are burned out, so we are committed to offering the best support and accommodating work arrangements to retain them. As such, we will begin summer office hours this week. Our team will be adding hours to their workdays on Monday-Thursday, and our office will be closed on Fridays through the summer.

Our firm has a 50-year history of commitment to quality and a first-class reputation in our community. In March 2021, we began making strategic shifts in the services we provide to best serve our clients. We recognize that we cannot move returns and other work product through at the same pace we did just five short years ago. We just will not compromise accuracy to do so. As clients and partners, we appreciate your understanding, your continued loyalty and trust, and commitment to us as we navigate through these times. As Paul Harvey once said, “In times like these, it helps to recall there have always been times like these.”  

We will be working on some client transitions this summer to better pair clients with team members to align both personalities and experience. We are also engaging in initiatives to increase our social media presence and electronic client communications so that you can have the most relevant and up-to-date tax and advisory information direct from us. 

In closing, we would be remiss if we didn’t say this – our best hires have been from referrals, friendships, and those familiar with our firm, our values and our culture – if you know of someone who would be a great candidate – please have them check out our website for open positions, or have them submit their resume or contact information to hwmail@hottelandwillis.com.

Thanks for making our 50th tax season a success and your continued trust and confidence in our firm. We look forward to continuing our relationship with you in the years to come.

         

"Keeping our commitment to quality for over 50 years"