As you prepare for the upcoming tax season, you should also begin hiring and training the staff you will need to run your business in the upcoming year. Ideally, running a tax school during the off-season is the best way to find the right employees. By running an income tax school, you can observe students on things like personality, punctuality and aptitude. From your pool of tax students, you can then find the right people to become preparers at your firm.
Even if you decide not to run an income tax school, you need to start hiring and training now. Here are some reasons why.
Teaching tax preparation takes time
Our tax courses take up to 10 weeks to complete plus you must have enough time to find, interview, and vet your list of candidates. Keep in mind, you will need to hire more employees than you think you need simply because you don’t know what the situation will be like by tax time. You don’t want to be scrambling to find people in January because someone didn’t work out or because one of your veteran preparers decides not to return. All of this takes time that you will likely not have in January while you get ready for tax season.
Finding good people who are interested in tax preparation and teaching them to prepare taxes is still the best way we’ve found to staff our growing tax business. Hiring seasoned tax professionals that don’t need training will save time, but you will likely find that they have bad habits that are harder to correct than just training someone the right way.
You need to train staff in other areas
Without an adequate staff of qualified, trained tax preparers, a tax firm cannot grow. Tax training alone is not enough. You need to be sure that each employee understands and is aware of the correct policies and procedures to be followed in your office. Consistency is extremely important. Customer service should also be covered thoroughly during pre-work training.
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 workshop training.
- On the job training under supervision of a veteran preparer.
There is more competition in January
If you wait until January, you might not be able to find qualified preparers and will not have time to train people properly on how to prepare taxes. Scrambling to hire and train people is never a good position to be in. Employees need time to do the course properly so they aren’t racing through it. Waiting means that you might have to condense it so that you can cover everything beforehand.
What if they don’t work out?
If you wait and your new employees are not what you expected, you won’t be in a good position. You need to be fully staffed in-order to run a successful tax business. Being understaffed or staffed with the wrong people will hurt your business and possibly your reputation.
If you wait until the last minute to do something, it either doesn’t get done at all or is done wrong – which usually ends up costing time and money because it’s not done correctly. You have to have time for contingencies because things always pop up at the last minute. The success of your tax season depends on preparation in the off-season. Anything you can do ahead of time will leave more of a comfort zone for things to get done. Hiring and training is one of those things. Your tax preparers are essential to your success because they deal directly with your clientele. Why put off hiring and training such essential people to your business?
If you plan on teaching tax preparation, we have the tools you need. Check out our website here. You can also download our free guide to recruiting and training tax preparers here.