I’ve been arguing all year, with the firms I work with, to approach tax returns like Roald Amundsen approached the race to the South Pole back in 1911.

What mostly happens is accountants adopt the Scott approach instead of the Amundsen approach (Scott was 2nd to the Pole and died on the way back).

With the summer over accountants start to consider more seriously how they are going to get all their tax returns done on time with the least stress and hassle for their team.

Yes it would have been better to plan and start tax returns earlier but there’s still time to build a plan that will make January tax return season easier and less stressful if you adopt an Amundsen approach.

Two strategies – but only one works…

Scott and Amundsen set off to the South Pole within a few days of each other. Amundsen got to the pole 34 days before Scott. Amundsen also got back alive. Scott lost the race and his team died on their way back.

Win and live. Lose and die. Tax return season isn’t quite as dangerous as the South Pole in 1911 but there’s a big lesson to learn from Scott and Amundsen.

One of them made hay while the sun shone – he went as far as he could when the weather was good - Scott. One of them went 15 miles a day come hail, rain or shine - Amundsen.

How’s the race to the South Pole in 1911 relevant to your tax returns?

The chances are you’re looking at how many tax returns you do each month. Amundsen would look at the number done each day or each week (at the very least). Amundsen would do whatever it takes to achieve his daily or weekly tax return goal whatever else was happening across the firm. Amundsen would be fanatically disciplined about this approach. Amundsen would get it done this way.

Scott would fit tax returns around the September filing deadlines he was working on. He would do less when people were on holiday, more when they were back. Scott would chop and change his focus and results from week to week.

This brief little video points the way and the Bitesize Business Breakthrough you’ll find here gives you more insight into how to succeed (like Amundsen) and how to avoid failing (like Scott).

​For more detailed insights into Amundsen and Scott and how you can use these insights in your firm - go here