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I’m a 2nd year tax senior at Big4. I’m put on an engagement acting as a manager. I never managed engagements before. Any suggestions/advices to be successful? Thank you !

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Set clear expectations with the team and map back deadlines. I was put on a rough compliance engagement years ago. When it became mine we mapped out the timeline for prep, detail and second review, and delivery of all returns and workpapers. It helped the staff understand why they needed to push so hard at the front of the project when they saw how I was going to be crushed at the end (7 preparers, 3 retailers, one of me). It also gave them a timeline to expect things from me, so they weren't surprised by short turn arounds. Also, I like to tell people when I wanted to review something, instead of when they needed to get it to me. The subtle shift from "please do this by 5 on tuesday" to "I want to review this Wednesday morning" gave people a better feeling of control over when to do the work (i.e can work late if they prefer) and how it impacts me if late.

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Think about all the things you and your peers gripe about and plan for those upfront. Think through timing from client perspective - both getting you what you need and delivery. Think through staffing and having the right set of technical skills on the team. With a new or inexperienced manager, you need strong, solid staff so try to make that happen if possible and don’t be intimidated by it.

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