It’s almost that time… No not the new year, tax time! Hopefully you’ve all had a restful, relaxing holiday season and are ready for the start of the tax season. Don’t leave your New Year’s resolutions to personal growth, make some for professional growth as well! Here are some resolutions (more like action items) to take on in the new year.
1. Resolve to learn more (and thus earn more)
Build on your tax knowledge in 2016 and learn to perform more complicated tax returns, become a Chartered Tax Professional, or go after the highest credential you can earn in this industry, an Enrolled Agent. Learning advanced tax law and tax preparation is a great way to grow your clientele base. With this advanced tax knowledge you will be able to prepare more complicated returns, which will allow you to earn more money. Plus, people will seek you out as their tax professional because you can handle all types of tax situations.
2. Resolve to embrace customer service
We’ve said this before… tax preparation is not all about numbers, it’s about serving people. The better you are at customer service, the more your clients will rave about you. Getting better at customer service should be a focus every tax season. There’s always more you can do: make your tax office more inviting, going over telephone answering procedures, getting better at conflict resolution… Here are some articles that might help you find new ways to serve your clients better.
3. Resolve to implement policies and procedures
The way your business should be run should not merely exist in your head. Do you have set policies and procedures? How about an Operations Manual? Your operations manual is the foundation for operating your tax business on a day-to-day basis. Operations manuals serve as a way to communicate company culture and philosophy, a training handbook, a reference tool, and a risk management tool.
Even if your business consists of just you, take the time to write down all of your procedures as you go so that you have the beginnings of an operations manual when it’s time to hire a staff.
4. Resolve to take the AFTR
If you are not already an Enrolled Agent, set yourself apart from Unqualified Competitors and Secure Your Representation Rights by going through the IRS Annual Filing Season Program. The IRS Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP) is an annual voluntary IRS program for return preparers. It consists of an Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR) course with a comprehension test, plus 15 hours of CE annually. All tax return preparers who successfully complete the AFSP will be listed on the IRS Federal Tax Return Preparers Directory. This list is being marketed to taxpayers through a public education campaign. The campaign encourages taxpayers to select return preparers carefully and seek those with professional credentials or other select qualifications. The list or directory is there to help taxpayers determine who is qualified to prepare their taxes.
5. Resolve to Be Your Own Boss
If you don’t already have your own firm going, make that a 2016 goal. It’s easier than you think! The Income Tax School has all you need to get you there.
Try any or all of these resolutions in 2016 and we promise a more prosperous, rewarding tax season! Happy New Year tax pros and students!