By: Jamie Waggoner
By now everyone has heard about online education. A lot of people are still skeptical, though, about whether or not you can really learn complex topics in an online course. For example, Pronto Tax School has a a new online training program teaching tax professionals how to perform corporation tax preparation and consulting.
But let’s be real, is it realistic to expect to learn how to prepare corporation tax returns from an online course?
Let’s explore that issue and name out some pros and cons to learning corporation tax preparation through an online course…
Definition of a “Good” Online Course
Firs thing is you need to make sure to fully check out the courses you are about to take online. Online courses vary widely in terms of quality of training you receive, as well as the quantity. You could be looking at two online courses of a similar price that are totally different in terms of what you should expect.
To avoid making a bad choice, ask yourself what you are looking for in an online tax course and what you expect a “good” one to look like.
Define “good” in a way that aligns with your goals and needs.
Particularly with regard to online tax courses, our humble opinion (but based on our experience of training thousands of tax professionals nationwie), is that in order to be truly good for your tax career, the online tax course should have practice tax returns and other ‘hands on’ and interactive type of functions.
The Pronto Tax School Business Tax Verified Training Program: C Corporations, Business Tax Verified Training Program: S Corporations and Business Tax Verified Training Program: LLCs, for example, contain detailed practice tax return videos as well as exclusive live trainings for Members can ask questions of the instructors.
An online course can’t completely replicate the “up close and personal” aspect of an in-person course but there are certain things that can make it “better” if you know you will need some hands-on interactive style training.
Different Learning Styles
Another thing to consider when you’re thinking about learning a complex subject like corporation and LLC tax preparation through an online course would be whether it matches your learning style.
Some people prefer to learn by reading, some by watching videos, others may be audio learners.
Pronto Tax School online course packages allow you to learn in different ways.
Yes you have a PDF textbook, but you also have extensive video training, and even audios that you can listen to in your car or while you’re riding the bus or subway.
When You Need Help
With an online tax course, what do you do when you need help or have a question?
Yes you’ll be wise to consider what support resources you receive when investing in an online course.
Pronto Tax School allows you to get your questions answered by being able to ask the professors directly through the online learning platform.
We also have a private Facebook Tax Preparer Support Group, where Pronto Tax School Members answer questions for each other.
Again, maybe you can’t replicate the feeling of being face to face, but there are some things you can do in an online course to give you the support you need to learn what you need to learn.
Low Cost For Teachers with Real-Life Experience
We always recommend as well looking at the experience of the teachers.
When it comes to learning about taxes, there’s nothing like learning from people who are currently practicing in the field. Taxes change so fast that a professional is typically out of date within 1-2 years of leaving the field.
Some people might go take a corporation and LLC tax course at a community college, which is fine too.
But while community colleges (and four year colleges, for that matter) are great at what they do, in most cases the professors used to do taxes which is a lot different than learning from someone who’s still doing taxes daily.
With the Business Tax Verified Training Program: C Corporations, Business Tax Verified Training Program: S Corporations and Business Tax Verified Training Program: LLCs, as well as the other tax courses that Pronto offers, you are taught by people like CPA Adam Shay and EA Andy Frye who deal with real tax clients every day.
The best things about online courses are, in general, the flexibility you have as a student (do it anytime, on your own schedule) and the lower cost. BUT, there is a lot more that you need than just flexibility and low cost, when you’re learning about complex matters like corporation tax preparation.
Hopefully this blog post gives you some tips for choosing a corporation and/or LLC tax preparation course that gives you a great learning experience!
About the writer:
Jamie Waggoner is a Communication Major at University of North Carolina-Wilmington (UNCW). Jamie’s favorite course at the moment is Integrated Marketing, which shows how smart companies use storytelling and word-of-mouth to develop authentic and compelling relationships with their customers and the general public. Jamie did not realize when she accepted an internship at Pronto Tax School that she would become a tax expert, but hey, life is full of surprises and that’s a good thing.