Every year during their March and April busy season, accounting firms devise fun and entertaining ways — like providing massages and having partners cook breakfast on weekends — to alleviate the pressure of working six and even seven days a week to meet tax filing deadlines for their clients.
On recent weekends, East Brunswick accounting firm Wilkin & Guttenplan P.C. has thrown sumo wrestling, Roaring ’20s and chair race-themed lunches, recording the events and posting the videos on YouTube.
“It takes about a half an hour on a Saturday. It’s just about enough time to make everybody have a few belly laughs, but not take up all their time,” said Ed Guttenplan, managing shareholder at the firm. “It reinforces having fun and not letting the work stresses consume you.”
At accounting firm Traphagen Financial Group, in Oradell, all the male partners, associates and interns stop shaving their beards in January, which originated as a time-saving measure employed by the firm’s founder, V. Peter Traphagen, back in 1970.
On filing deadline day — April 17 this year — the men have their beards shorn in a traditional at 3 p.m. ceremony.
“We’ve got some interns trying in earnest to grow that beard over the last two-and-a-half months,” said Peter’s younger brother, Robert Traphagen, managing partner of the firm.
The women at Traphagen have established the tradition of supporting a charity, last year enlisting the entire firm to walk in the American Heart Association’s Relay for Life, Traphagen said.
Roseland-based J.H. Cohn LLP organizes events connected with another seasonal tradition — opening day of baseball season. Earlier this month, the firm — which employs former Major League Baseball player and manager Joe Torre as spokesman — brought a hot dog truck to one of their offices for its professionals and staff to dine on hot dogs, chips and soda, said Carolyn J. D’Anna, a partner and CPA who leads the firm’s human resources.
“We try morale boosting-types of events throughout the year,” D’Anna said. “We try to think of new ideas to break the monotony up a little bit up during the day.”