Tax season may be behind us, but sure as the sun, it will come around again. Whether you were rookie or veteran this past tax season, consider investing in continuing education (CE) courses to enhance your knowledge base. Taking the time to brush up on new policies, updates to legislation or other changes will ensure you’re ready when it matters most.
Spend the off-season advancing your tax prep career
You finished your first tax season, so what’s next? Small business courses can put you in a good place before the tax deadline hits. The summer months between peak tax season and the fall extension deadlines are prime time to complete continuing education (CE) courses. You’re liable to have more time to sharpen your skills over the summer, so when the Sept. 15 estimated tax payment deadline and the Oct. 15 extension deadline hits, you’re at the top of your game.
Taking the summer for CE courses also frees up the rest of your year. Between back to school, the winter holidays and the ramp-up as early filers start submitting returns, the preparation you do early will pay dividends. You also can take any additional time to meet with clients to offer additional value-added services and finalize your preparations for the height of the 2023 tax season.
There are plenty of other benefits to completing CE courses beyond being ready for the spring rush.
5 benefits beyond tax season readiness
Stay current with the tax law changes
Taxes are one of life’s inevitabilities, and so are new tax laws and updates to established legislation. Staying on top of all the changes is more than your prerogative as a tax preparation professional – it is a necessity. At the very least, you’ll need to take at least a basic tax law update or seminar. Everyone understands that their taxes will look or require something different every year. Tax preparers at all levels need to stay current because every knowledge gap directly impacts the taxpayers they serve. Staying up to date is the bare minimum you can do for the clients who will depend on you come spring.
Meet CPE/CE requirements
Credentialed tax preparers have CPE/CE credit requirements to maintain those credentials. The same is true if you plan to complete the IRS voluntary Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP). As an RTRP, EA or CPA, you’re also bound by these requirements. You will need to complete continuing education courses because you will lose your credentialed status if you don’t.
Expand your knowledge base and skillset
No matter how much you study or complete required courses, there’s always more to learn. Participating in continuing education is an excellent chance to broaden your knowledge base and open your eyes to new or more effective ways to serve your clients. You might also learn new skills or discover new ways to approach your work that increase your efficiency or otherwise expand what you can offer your clients. The more you can provide to taxpayers, the more goodwill you build and the more opportunities for revenue you create.
Earn new credentials for your resume
Beyond updating your skills or gathering new information, continuing education courses allow you to add a new tax credential to your resume. Earning a new credential is another great way to increase your knowledge and skills while improving your confidence in your work. You’ll also see a new level of trust from your clients, both new and returning. The opportunity to take on more complicated tax returns is yet another benefit, both to your portfolio and to your bottom line.
Stay ahead of the competition
Your competitors are always looking for ways to take their own business to another level, so it’s your job to do the same and stay one step ahead of them. Continuing education helps ensure you have the knowledge, skills and increased efficiency to offer clients the best service they’ll find. Staying on top of the ever-changing tax landscape will let you advise and guide your clients to the most tax savings they deserve, ensuring they’re financially sound and on your list of repeat customers.
Surgent Income Tax School prepares you for all that and more
As a tax preparation professional, there’s so much to know and learn as you enter the industry. Whether you want to learn specific topics or learn a whole new level of tax preparation, Surgent Income Tax School has a solution to meet your needs. You’ll find topics like legislation, skill expansion, as well as courses on specific needs. Surgent Income Tax School offers basic courses for C-corporation, clergy, rental properties and so much more.
You’ll also be a part of a community of more than just new professionals. The Surgent Income Tax School also is for those returning to tax preparation if they need a refresher. The courses are also built for people who want to prepare individual returns and aren’t looking to make a job out of it. There is no prerequisite for the course, nor are there advanced preparation requirements.
Now is the time for continuing education courses through the Surgent Income Tax School. Summer is upon us, and there will be ample opportunity during the next few months to expand your experience and add additional value for your clients. Be prepared for the rest of the year and the tax years ahead. Sign up for all the CPE/CE courses you need with Surgent Income Tax School today.