Why You Should Recruit and Train Tax Preparers in House

Is your tax business growing?

Did you have tax preparers leave or retire after the season?

Could you use some help next tax season?

If you answered yes to any of these you’re probably looking to hire tax preparers next season. Before you put the word out that you’re hiring “experienced tax preparers” read this blog post! At Peoples Tax, our sister company, we discovered long ago that recruiting and training tax preparers in house was actually better than hiring experienced tax preparers. In fact, that’s how The Income Tax School got started!

You’re probably wondering, why spend all that time teaching and developing new tax preparers when you could just hire someone who already knows what they’re doing?

Most national tax firms actually offer income tax classes to recruit and train tax preparers. In fact, operating an income tax school has become recognized as a best practice. Here are some reasons why.

1. You get to train them on your own terms

Sometimes when you hire experienced professionals you get their bad habits as well. So why not start with a blank slate and train preparers exactly how you want them to approach taxes? This way, you can hire someone who is people oriented rather than numbers oriented and get the chance to develop them into a customer service focused tax preparer. Yes, being good with numbers is important, but as a tax preparer you are performing a service. Having the ability to develop strong relationships is what keeps clients coming back year after year.

2. You have a bigger pool of people to hire from  

Clients want to come to the same tax preparer year after year. Yet it’s hard to retain employees when you can only offer part time work. That’s why finding the people who only need seasonal work and training them to prepare taxes is a great solution. It also increases your hiring pool! We’ve found the best long-term prospects to be:

  • Homemakers with children in school.
  • Early retirees who like to travel and spend time with their grandchildren during the summer.
  • Moonlighting professionals.
  • College seniors and graduate students who need experience.

Look for people who see tax preparation as a rewarding career because they like to help others.

3. Operating a tax school will provide a revenue stream in the off-season.

You don’t have to take a leap of faith and hire someone blindly, operating a tax school where students pay tuition to attain the knowledge needed is a great way to vet students. Set-up a basic income tax course that students can take for a fee with the potential for coming on board once they’ve completed the course. This way, you earn revenue on your time and materials, you get the ability to observe students in class, and you can choose which students to bring on board.

4. Retention increases when you develop people

Growth, development and opportunity are all important to employees. Training and developing tax preparers will increase loyalty and retention because you’ve invested in that person’s future.

Where to recruit

There are several places you can advertise your tax school to gain prospects. Here are some places we’ve found to be effective.

  • Employee Outplacement Services
  • Women and Senior Support Groups
  • The military
  • Colleges and Career Schools
  • Your clients
  • Employee referrals

Essentials for Training

In order to operate your own tax school, you will need:

  1. A qualified instructor
  2. A course curriculum
  3. Instructional materials
  4. A classroom
  5. A plan to recruit students

Finding and keeping good tax preparers is essential to building and growing a quality tax service. Qualified seasonal tax preparers are scarce and competition for experienced tax preparers is stiff. Experienced tax professionals command a high price and may not become your best long-term employees. In order to maintain client relationships, you need preparers who will be with you for years to come. A proven best practice is running a tax school in the off season to recruit and train entry level preparers and then develop them into experienced professionals.

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