Tips for Training Staff Before Tax Season

 

If you are hiring and training new staff for the upcoming tax season, there are several things you should incorporate into training to ensure you and your staff are well prepared for the new tax season.

Training Tax Preparers

If you are currently training new staff how to prepare taxes, good for you.  Finding good people who are interested in tax preparation and teaching them to prepare taxes is the best way to staff your growing tax business.  Make sure new students are learning to prepare by hand to ensure they learn the tax laws and are not dependent on tax software.  You should also make sure they are asking questions and providing feedback to confirm their comprehension, and the person doing the instruction is available for help.

Utilize the tax season delay

The delay in the start of the tax season is going to be rough on early revenue, but all is not lost.  Utilize the extra time to ensure your staff is properly trained.

New tax laws

Just like any other field, the tax industry changes.  As a business owner and a tax preparer it is your job to keep up with those changes and ensure that your staff is as informed as you are.  Hold a session with your tax preparers before the start of the season on laws that have changed and deductions that have ended to ensure accurate returns for your clients.  Check out our 3-hour seminars available for teaching your staff in-house.

Tax software training

If you’ve updated your tax software or have new preparers on board, you will need to train them on how to properly use the software to ensure accuracy and efficiency.

Office procedures

Before tax season, you should go over any new policies or procedures your office might have developed.  Hopefully at the end of last season you took some time to reflect on shortcomings or opportunities to work on for the current season.  You also may have sent out a customer survey.  Reviewing those items with your staff is a great way to help the team grow and get better.  At the review, you may want to set some goals for this season.  If you have new preparers, take time to train them on all office procedures, IRS Due Diligence and customer service based on your tax office operations manual.  If you don’t have an operations manual, consider purchasing ours at modifying it to meet your business needs.

Utilize veteran staff members

If you have new preparers in your office this season, make sure they have a designated person they can go to for help or questions.  Sometimes it’s daunting for new staff to acclimate to the new environment and know who to ask for help. Make it easier by designating a few veteran staff members as the “go to” preparers for questions or help.

Overview

Before tax season starts, your staff should be trained in the following areas:

  • Learning to prepare federal and local income taxes properly and efficiently.
  • Pre-work training in your firm’s policies and procedures and customer service.
  • Computer tax software training.
  • On the job training under supervision of a veteran preparer.
  • New tax laws

For more help with tax office policies, procedures and manuals, check out our Tax Practice Management Tools or our Tax Business Articles.

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