Interview with an Admin: Tax season through the eyes of an administrative assistant

What’s it like to be an Administrative assistant at New Vision CPA Group, working for a Radical CPA?   I asked our admin all about her job.

Lisa Nawrocki, the administrative assistant at New Vision CPA Group, has watched the accounting industry change throughout her 28 years as an administrative assistant.  She just recently celebrated her first anniversary at the firm. When Nawrocki first started as an administrative assistant, her job responsibilities mainly involved data entry and assembling tax returns. Now, those tasks are more automated, so her job really consists of interacting with clients.

JP: How is New Vision different than the firm that you just left?

LN: Everything’s online, and it’s a lot less paperwork. It’s also a lot smaller but way more tech savvy.

JP: Is that easier or harder for you?

LN: Much easier.

JP: What do you like about managing the e-file process?

LN: I watch for the tax returns the and e-file forms to come in and then I submit them and then I watch for when they’re accepted and then I close out the project.

JP: Do you use Workstream to manage your project so you know what work to do?

LN: I do. I have two separate folders. I set up one for ones that I’m waiting for e-file forms and one that are waiting for acceptance.

JP: With remote workers does that make it easier for you to do the tax returns instead of someone putting them on your desk to assemble?

LN: No, but I like not having a big huge pile on my desk.  It’s much easier to have it just on my computer than just have a pile of stuff on my desk.

Getting comfortable with the technology

Nawrocki said she had a better experience learning new technologies at New Vision than at other firms she worked at. She also said she appreciates that the firm is willing to listen to her ideas and introduce new technology that makes her job easier.

JP: Was it hard to learn the technologies?

LN: Learning here was wonderful compared to other places I’ve been.

JP: What is your favorite technology?

LN: Dymo label maker!  You didn’t have that when I came here and I made you get it.  That is the best having an employer who’s open to bringing in new technologies that maybe they haven’t heard of before.   When I came here and you were very open to my ideas and ways to make my position easier.

A new type of tax season

Nawrocki enjoys every part about being an administrative assistant.

“I love everything about my job, I’ve been doing it for 28 years,” Nawrocki said. “I like the fast pace, I like my bosses, I like always feeling like I’m helping someone out and making their job less stressful and easier.”

In the past, Nawrocki was often asked to work late hours which made it difficult for her to balance work with the rest of her life. She said it’s easier to balance work now because of the increased technology and New Vision’s mindset.

JP: You’ve worked for lots of tax partners over the years, what was the most extreme thing that a tax partner asked you to do?

LN: Work till two o’clock in the morning.

JP: So working until two o’clock in the morning is not an unusual thing in your old firm?

LN: Yeah, it is usual or well I mean during tax season, it is.

JP: Was this an ordinary occurrence at the other firms that you worked at?

LN: I would typically work until anywhere between 10 to 12 in the office the 2:00 a.m. was pushing extensions and that I did at home.

JP: How is it different working for New Vision from a quality of life perspective?

LN: Much better, less stressed, less tired I can balance my work and my family life.

JP: Do you think that the technology that New Vision uses such as CCH Axcess helps facilitate that or do you think it’s more of a partner mindset?

LN: I would say a partner mindset.

JP: Do you think that firms have a better chance of retaining talent if they don’t make their employees work till 2:00 a.m.?

LN: Absolutely!

JP: Are you looking forward to tax seaon? 

LN: I actually am I always look forward to tax season especially now at New Vision.

Learn more about the role of the administrative assistant in accounting firm operations. Download the ebook: Firm Operations & Administration: Building a Strong Foundation for Successful Firms.

AUTHOR

Jody Padar, CPA, MST

CEO & Principal, New Vision CPA Group

All stories by: Jody Padar, CPA, MST