“60% of college graduates are moving back in with mom and dad within the first 12 months of graduation because they can’t find a job in their field.” I heard this interesting statistic the other day as I drove into the office. I wish I could remember the source, but it caused me to stop and think for a minute. A college degree doesn’t guarantee financial security like it once did. Whether you have a college or university education or not, what I heard on the radio is very consistent with a survey taken by the folks at Universal Accounting Center earlier this year. This survey includes people who have a formal education and those who don’t.100 graduates of the Professional Bookkeepers Program or Professional Tax Preparers Program surveyed 12 months after graduation:74% were working in the accounting or tax field, had been promoted to a management position, or owned their own accounting or tax preparation practice.
The “right” investment in yourself will create the income and lifestyle that you and your family deserve.
Tax preparation has really evolved over the years. Today, a Professional Tax Preparer is armed with more than just a scratch-pad and a pencil. As the tax code increases in complexity, the need for specially trained and qualified Tax Preparers becomes more and more apparent. As a result, your education should take advantage of and reflect the impact that new technology has had on the industry and the profession.
5 Things Every Good Tax Preparation Education Must Have
1. Classroom or Distance Learning. At first glance, many would consider a classroom setting the most effective environment to learn in. For most of us, demands on our time require that school work around our lives, not the other way around. Have you ever tried to “rewind” a classroom lecture when you don’t understand a concept? Of course, you can sometimes ask questions, but with so many students in one class, often there just isn’t time to get to every question. Besides, we are often nervous to ask what others might think are “dumb” questions. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to “rewind” and “review” topics to improve your confidence that you had a thorough understanding? DVD-based training makes that possible at a level that can’t be duplicated in a classroom. What if you miss a class because it doesn’t work with your schedule, can you make it up? Or do you fall behind? Unfortunately, most classroom courses don’t offer make-up classes for students who have conflicts. You’re either there… or you’re not. When considering a distance learning program, a combination of video (DVD or VHS) and written material provides the most effective combination which not only replicates but improves upon the classroom experience. Believe it or not, most distance learning programs out there that teach Tax Preparation provide you with a written textbook. And that’s it.2. Is a complete education important to you? To succeed it must be. Many programs available only teach you one aspect of tax preparation and the least profitable one at that. You’ll typically learn about how the tax code affects individuals. But what about business taxes, where the real money is? A Tax Preparation education that only teaches you about half of the system, is only half of education. Admittedly, there are a few programs that offer, for an additional fee, further education in business taxes, but it’s not their specialty. In looking for the “right” education, you need to get it from someone that will teach you mastery of personal taxes, and knows business taxes inside and out. Because that’s what you’ll need to start your own Professional Tax Preparation business. CPAs focus on business taxes. Why? Because that’s where the money is.3. Learn by doing most Tax Preparation training materials focus on tax theory. Often, the difference between having some understanding and really mastering is in the doing. There is no better way to understand what it’s all about to prepare taxes than by hands-on learning. I wouldn’t trust a doctor or surgeon whose only experience came from reading a book or two …would you? By preparing sample returns, learning how to prepare taxes becomes much like learning how to ride a bike. It will not only become easier, but it will become automatic. The “right” education will include more than just “tax theory”.4. Who will answer my questions? With the best Video or Textbook training, there will still be questions. Will your Distance Learning course provide a way for those questions to be answered?
- Is there telephone support?
- Is there e-mail support?
After your coursework is completed and you’re working with clients, will they still support you? When you have questions, will they leave you to find the answers for yourself? We won’t. The “right” education will not only answer your questions via phone or e-mail while you’re taking the course but provides the advice of qualified tax professionals to advise you through your first year as a Professional Tax Preparer. Even after you finish the course, your school should be there to support you so that you’re never left alone.5. Is your education guaranteed? When you attend a college, university, or trade school, what guarantee do they provide that the training you receive will increase your income or create the lifestyle that you want? None. The “perfect” education will provide a guarantee that the information and instruction that you receive will create the kind of income and lifestyle that you are looking for. The “right” education will include a guarantee. Something that says, “We stand behind what we do, what we teach, and what your education will mean.”
“Education is learning what you didn’t know you didn’t even know.”-Daniel J. Boorstin
With the “right” information you can choose the “right” education. If you’d like to learn more about what it takes to become a Professional Tax Preparer or what’s involved in choosing the perfect tax preparation education, you’re only a couple of mouse clicks away. Just follow the link below and find out what’s available for you in the exciting and rewarding business of Professional Tax Preparation. I want to learn more about a career in Professional Tax Preparation.