These are the snacks powering CPAs during tax season

Here’s what accountants are munching on to get through this year’s extended tax crunch time.
By Dawn Wotapka

With this year's tax filing extended, accountants face additional days of longer hours before the big deadline. Whether they're working at the office or at home, here are some ways that CPAs and their firms are keeping their bodies — and brains — fed.

Delivered goods when working from home: Some firms with employees at home are sending the goodies there.

"Because this year is different and not everyone is working in the office, we also sent treats to everyone's houses," said Lynn Olanoff, a marketing communications specialist with Concannon Miller, a CPA and business consulting firm with offices in Pennsylvania and Florida. "Everyone got a movie-night-at-home box, complete with movie-themed treats and Redbox [a movie viewing service] codes." 

This comes after several years of fun treats in the office, including a chocolate fountain and a buffet of more than eight varieties of Doritos chips. But one annual staple remains: homemade gourmet cupcakes made by an employee who has a side business making cakes and cupcakes, Olanoff said.

Specialty snacks to ride out the season: At Herbein + Company Inc., a regional CPA firm based in Reading, Pa., the busy season usually involves a combination of breakfast, lunch, and healthy snacks for the staff across eight offices. Some individually wrapped items were still provided, but this year the company also sent its 225 employees a large snack basket from Unique Pretzels, said Beth Bershok, regional marketing director based in the Pittsburgh office. No one will have to ration their supply. "There was plenty to get them through the entire busy season," she promised.

Healthy snacking still a priority: Others are, well, going nuts. "I'm a big fan of a trail mix and anything with mixed nuts to help get me through the burnout of busy season," said Bryce Welker, CPA, the owner of CPA Exam Guy, an exam prep resource for CPA candidates. He avoids the empty calories of sugary snacks in favor of mixed nuts such as raw almonds and walnuts. "Brazil nuts and cashews are high in protein and healthy fatty acids, which not only give your body quality energy but are good for your brain and help with sustained intensive cognitive activity."

Carol Tompkins, a UK-based business development consultant at AccountsPortal, an accounting software provider, has stuck with her usual. "My go-to snack for this, and other busy seasons, is plain yogurt sweetened with honey and a couple of blueberries on top," she said. "I like to alternate between this and a fruit-and-nut combination such as a plum and a couple of pine nuts, or an apple with a small packet of cashew nuts." 

Offering options in-office: UHY LLP is offering healthy and not-so-healthy snacks, said Keith Berg, chief human resources officer of UHY in Farmington Hills, Mich., part of accounting firm network UHY International. There are weekly fresh fruit deliveries and a highly anticipated cookie day involving jumbo cookies from a local bakery.

In all kitchen and coffee areas, snack trays are filled with individually packaged nuts, popcorn, chips, cookies, bars, doughnuts, and granola. Lunches and dinners for all staff come often. "Providing convenient and accessible hearty meals will keep them charged," Berg said. "No one goes hungry."

Dawn Wotapka is a freelance writer based in Georgia. To comment on this article or to suggest an idea for another article, contact Chris Baysden, a JofA associate director, at

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Get Clients Ready for Tax Season

This comprehensive report looks at the changes to the child tax credit, earned income tax credit, and child and dependent care credit caused by the expiration of provisions in the American Rescue Plan Act; the ability e-file more returns in the Form 1040 series; automobile mileage deductions; the alternative minimum tax; gift tax exemptions; strategies for accelerating or postponing income and deductions; and retirement and estate planning.