3 Tips for Hiring of Tax Preparers
By Tim Frye
When you are a small business owner, you already have enough worries. When you have a small business that provides income tax service, not only do you have worries, you have much more idol time to worry. Tax season presents such a peculiar perspective to the small business owner. We always like to compare it to the show “Deadliest Catch. You can catch all the crab you want, but you may not catch any. And even when you do it is merely seasonal. Sooner that crab money is going to run out and you are going to have some heavy operational costs amalgamating and it ain”t crab season. Tax season is no different. You can have your biggest year ever, but that year was really only four months long and now you got to wait until the next tax season to see those kinds of counts again. In other words, the income tax business for the little guy can be a tremendously challenging endeavor.
One of the biggest and most fundamental challenges of running a tax office is hiring the right people. Yeah, I know what you’re thinking. Hiring is part of any company, and it is fundamental to all, not just the tax office. Incorrect.
The great tax preparer who is willing to bust their hind end, learn a system that can be troubling and intricate to the say the least, and work 12 to 14 hour days cooped in an office for 100 days straight can be hard to find. The tax employee is an enigmatic character.
So the hiring process must be that much more meticulous and specific. This article will seek to help you define the tax preparer hiring process and it’s most fundamental specifics:
1) Honesty and Morality
We believe here at Pronto that a person’s character is what matters most when it comes to hiring an employee tax preparer. Without a strong foundation of honestly and morality, the employee is not very useful and eventually the relationship will self-destruct.
We get it. You can’t always tell if anyone is immediately honest and pious the second you meet them. We would suggest, instead of focusing on those requisite accomplishments on their resume, first seek to find out exactly who this person is. Look at their hobbies; see what they like to do. As a famous teacher once said, the only time an employee is fully honest on their resume is when they are articulating what they do with their free time. This will give you a window into their true nature and can help you decipher the level of honesty and character they possess.
Tax preparation is a business in which you want your employees to be as honest as possible. They are going to be dealing with large amounts of cash (hopefully), and are not always going to be closely watched. Many small business ma and pap tax offices operate on the honor system.
Pronto Income has operated on the honor system when it comes to employees reporting what they billed at the end of each day, and the employees have been left to their own conscious in these matters since 1965. Being a third generational tax outfit, we have had some of the most honest and upstanding employees you could ever meet, with many having been around for more than twenty year tenures to work for one man. Kent Frye. So when we give advice such as this, it is not from thin air. We have lived and breathed this policy for over 6 decades now and aren’t changing it any time soon.
2. Hire a Tax Preparer with Experience with Your Tax Program
The second fundamental asset of a great tax preparer is that the person is familiar with your tax program. If you want to be running the ship as smooth as possible, don’t think just hiring a tax preparer with many years of experience filing tax returns is enough. You should look for someone who knows your program like the back of their hand.
Tax programs can are a dime a dozen, and they all differ greatly in their set up and execution of the filing of a tax return. Let’s say you have been using Lacerte for the last twenty years like Pronto has. Well, due to the prevalence of the program, you may be able to find a great tax preparer with years of experience using this program. Teaching a program to a new hire takes days and weeks, and normally years for that matter. This is eating up valuable time you cannot afford to lose. You won’t believe the head start you can get when you hire an employee who already knows your system and can deal with the ins and outs of your in-house tax program.
Hiring someone with your tax program experience can literally save you thousands, and the employee will be able to jump right into the operation without having those pesky program growing pains. And guess what happens when your employees have trouble with the program and have to learn from their mistakes. Your clients pay the price and in turn your bottom line takes the ultimate hit.
There are a plethora of preparers out there that are looking for a great opportunity with an up-and-coming company who pays fair commission rates to their employees. Now is the time to get started and find you a great, honest employee with experience with your tax program.
3. Find Someone Independently Motivated
The tax game is a funny one. It is one season. Tax times financial benefits usually only span that designated four months, and after that you may be on your own. So when going through the hiring process, you must keep a keen eye out for the independent, autonomous, and self-driven preparer out there.
You need to find someone who is has the drive and is independent enough to work very hard for four months for you then hit the road and find other ways to pay the rent. Then come back to you refreshed and ready to go next tax season.
Are you looking to hire employees for your tax business? Go to prontotaxclass.com and live chat, email, or call us. We have students graduating every day who have gone through rigorous amounts of training in their tax prep course and are hungry to find jobs!