Take a Deep Breath

Later this week we might see our colleagues who do corporate and partnership tax filings finally come up for a deep breath of air. The press always talks about the April 15th deadline for taxes, but those of us in the profession know the real deadline for tax filings are September 15 for corporations and October 15 for individuals. A week ago when I was relaxing on Labor Day, I thought about how certain holidays get lost on many CPAs. I bet many of our colleagues working on corporate taxes didn’t get a full three-day weekend over Labor Day, but then again many of us working for public corporations didn’t get a three day weekend over July 4th either.

I think CPAs miss out on a few holidays because they take their professional duties seriously and they know that meeting a deadline is not just some arbitrary target, but is a critical aspect of performing our work with professional rigor. Of course the financial penalties and legal ramifications of not meeting deadlines might also have something to do with our obsession of meeting them as well. Maybe that is why so many CPAs take Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s so seriously. Those holidays are nicely situated. They occur after the tax season is over, outside of most companies quarter-end cycle, but before the new year-end close and next tax season begin.

Memorial Day is also nicely situated – after the first set of tax deadlines and in the middle of the quarter for most companies. It even stays out of the way of month-end close occurring at the end of a month rather than the beginning of the month. But for CPAs, I think just four holidays is not enough, so I thought I should recommend a few more for CPAs to consider.

  1. Tax freedom day – I think a day specifically linked to taxes would be a great CPA holiday and with taxes taking a bigger and bigger bite out of what we earn, tax freedom day now occurs after April 15 (it was April 24 this year) so the timing works for most CPAs.
  2. Luca Pacioli day – It would seem appropriate to celebrate the birthday of the father of accounting; after all he is the reason our profession exists at all. The problem is that while we know he was born in 1445, the exact month and day are not known. So I’m for making up a day that fits with CPA’s schedules and in a month that does not have many holidays. How about the last Friday in June?
  3. AICPA Day – The American Association of Public Accountants was formed on December 22nd, 1886. This organization eventually became what we know as the AICPA. I think a holiday for the birthday of our profession in the US is very appropriate and it occurs at a great time of year – now we have three holidays in two weeks rather than just 2.
  4. CPA Exam day – the first CPA exam given by the New York Board of examiners was held on December 15 and 16, 1896. Some might have concerns that celebrating an event that has led to the torture of countless CPAs might be in bad taste, but I say CPAs are used to celebrating the end of the exam so we might as well celebrate the beginning of it as well. I do have to wonder though about yet another key date in the CPA profession occurring in December. I guess it was the only time CPAs could find to do something besides their day job.

So what days do you think we should add to the list of CPA holidays?


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