Working from home brings unique challenge for CPA

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — April 15 is normally tax deadline day for tax payers and the end of a very busy season for tax preparers, But this year, it was neither of those things, as the IRS extended the tax deadline to July 15, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For certified public accountants like Katie Ferris, the pandemic has significantly changed her daily routine. The CPA went from a schedule that typically included only a few moments a day with her children to one that requires balancing her attention between them and the still-heavy workload.

“In some respects, it’s nice. It’s nice to be able to eat meals with the family and to see them and step out and see the things that they want to show me,” Ferris said. “On the other hand, it’s challenging when you’re trying to have calls and meetings or video calls and the kids come in to see what’s going on.”

That’s a challenge many parents who are working from home now face. But for Ferris, it’s in stark contrast to this same time last year when she would leave for work early in the morning, come home in time to tuck her children into bed, and then get back to work.

Ferris also said the federal CARES act has created a lot of extra work for accountants. She has not heard anything about delays in processing tax returns, but says despite the extended deadline, it is in a taxpayer’s best interest to file as soon as possible and to do so electronically, since so many IRS offices are closed.