Throughout your tax preparation classes, you’ll learn a vast number of rules and procedures related to the profession. It can seem a little overwhelming, but they are necessary to succeed in the workplace. As you learn about tax preparation, there are a number of skills, values, and work styles you’ll need to develop.
Skills and Knowledge
In addition to being familiar with the rules, laws, and calculations involved in tax preparation, employers need individuals who have the following skills and knowledge:
- Reading, language, and comprehension: Tax laws and documents are highly detailed. You will need to be able to comprehend complex documents and apply them exactly.
- Communication: Tax preparation has you working with other people, and that necessarily involves communication. Writing, speaking, and listening are all part of effective communication.
- Mathematics: To calculate income, exemptions, deductions, credits, and adjustments involved in preparing taxes, you will use a variety of formulas that require a solid skill base in mathematics.
- Economics: Ultimately, you deal with money. An understanding of economics, accounting practices, and reporting procedures will go a long way toward ensuring success in this field.
- Technology and clerical skills: Employers will expect tax preparers to be able to use computer programs as part of their work. Word processing skills and the ability to manage files are key to a tax preparer’s occupation.
- Customer service: You will work with people, so strong customer service skills are a must.
As vital as the various skills involved in tax preparation are, there are a number of values that are equally important. A tax preparer should highly value the following:
- Relationships: You will work with others, including coworkers, customers, and supervisors.
- Independence: While the ability to work with others is important, you will have a certain amount of autonomy in your work as well.
- Achievement: Tax preparers are committed to getting results, whether that means minimizing the tax liability of a client or retaining customers through providing a positive experience.
- Working conditions: A tax preparer needs to maintain an orderly, easily navigable workplace.
Employers require tax preparers who have integrity, reliability, analytical thinking skills, an eye for detail, and high stress tolerance. In addition, tax preparers need to be able to work well with others, including coworkers, clients, supervisors, and customers. Given the complex and ever-changing nature of tax law, adaptability and creativity are a definite plus. Tax preparation classes will help you get a solid grasp on these skills and abilities.