Are you a whiz at working with numbers? Do you know how to prioritize the expenses that are most important and work to make earned money stretch as far as possible? Do you think that you have what it takes to work with a wide variety of people who have different types of personalities? With the proper education, there are many different employment avenues that you could choose from in this industry. Keep in mind, while an undergraduate degree program will adequately qualify you to work in some positions, a graduate level degree from an accounting school or a licensure examination may be required to become employed in some upper level positions.
In this professional capacity you will need to be extremely organized, able to pay significant attention to details, and have a thorough and extensive knowledge of the different tax forms that can be used by individuals. It is also important to note that in this position you will be required to advise your clients on best financial or taxation practices and decisions. In many situations you will not be required to have a formal education to work in this professional capacity. However, if you plan to work in a self-employed environment you can surely expect some level of formal training to better prepare you and make you a more likely choice from customers. After all, if your potential clients are able to see that you have received formal training, then they will be more likely to trust you to work with their finances. In many situations, a tax preparer that plans to work in a self-employed capacity will benefit from completing some business related courses, also.
In order to be a successful tax preparer you will ultimately need potential clients to choose your services over that of other tax preparation companies. For instance, you can advertise your tax preparation services in local outlets (such as the newspaper, radio stations, or online classifieds) so that potential customers will see what you have to offer. As you develop a business plan you will need to think about the price of your services being competitive, being able to punctually deliver the necessary tax related documents, and being efficient and accurate as you handle an individual’s or a company’s tax returns. It is important to understand that if your work proves satisfactory that many of your clients may request that you perform financial work or tax preparation work throughout the year, instead of just at tax time. Often, this may involve completing payroll tasks, keeping quarterly records of income and expenses, advising your clients regarding purchases that they are considering, and filing quarterly tax reports.
Of course, if the self-employment route does not seem to be working out well for you, then you can definitely pursue employment through large tax preparation corporations or for other individuals who own their own business. However, it is important to understand that working in an avenue of self-employment will definitely allow you the most flexibility in your schedule.