Seasonal tax work


M

Matt

I want to becoming a tax prepare for the 2007 season. H&R Block has a course
that starts this October, it's $150. But before I invest the time and money
in this, I want to have a pretty good idea that I'm going to get hired. I
don't need a tax course for myself, I do a 1040EZ! I feel like you're on
your own in the beginning with H&R Block.

Maybe I'm just used to companies throwing an apron on me and training me
from the start.

Matt Collins
 
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M

Mark T.B. Carroll

Matt said:
I want to becoming a tax prepare for the 2007 season. H&R Block has a course
that starts this October, it's $150. But before I invest the time and money
in this, I want to have a pretty good idea that I'm going to get hired. I
don't need a tax course for myself, I do a 1040EZ! I feel like you're on
your own in the beginning with H&R Block.
My wife tried this a few years ago in Columbus, OH. She liked H&R
Block's training course, which followed how to do taxes on the IRS forms
with pen and calculator in hand, etc., but when she started working for
them, she had to put customers' stuff through their computer software
instead, and she found the software ordering and phrasing things rather
differently to what she'd been trained, to an annoying enough extent
that she eventually resigned. She'd have been quite happy to stay
working for them if it had better matched the training course and the
actual IRS forms, but she found the software too awful. (It wasn't a
fear of computers - she uses them a lot.)

Maybe things are better now, though, but it's something you might want
to check into, depending on your ultimate intent.

-- Mark
 
P

Paul Thomas, CPA

Matt said:
I want to becoming a tax prepare for the 2007 season. H&R Block has a
course
that starts this October, it's $150. But before I invest the time and
money
in this, I want to have a pretty good idea that I'm going to get hired. I
don't need a tax course for myself, I do a 1040EZ! I feel like you're on
your own in the beginning with H&R Block.

Block's tax course is quite good. There are several CPA and other tax
preparers who send their new hires to Block's class for nuts and bolts
training.

I don't think it's that cheap around here though, from what I remember.
Haven't seen any ads in this area - yet.

From what I hear, they have a good system of checking your work before it
goes out, and teh problem will land back on your desk (ie: the checkers
don't fix your mistake), so you should be able to learn from that process.


Maybe I'm just used to companies throwing an apron
on me and training me from the start.

Well, it's difficult to train anyone "in the heat of battle", or tax season
for that matter. You'll get the basics (and more) form the Block course,
but you will more than likely get a client with some quirk that you'll have
to research, ask your supervisor, and learn up on to get the job done.
 
A

Arthur Kamlet

Block's tax course is quite good. There are several CPA and other tax
preparers who send their new hires to Block's class for nuts and bolts
training.



I agree that the course - I think 66 hours including several
exams - contain quite a bit of introductory material that is
pretty useful.


Even if someone doesn't go to work for Block, the training is
useful

I don't think it's that cheap around here though, from what I remember.
Haven't seen any ads in this area - yet.

In central Ohio, they claim to charge only for books, no charge
for the classes themselves.



From what I hear, they have a good system of checking your work before it
goes out, and teh problem will land back on your desk (ie: the checkers
don't fix your mistake), so you should be able to learn from that process.

Well, based on my HRB rejects I get, there's a lot of poorly
and incorrectly prepared ones that get let out the door.


Well, it's difficult to train anyone "in the heat of battle", or tax season
for that matter. You'll get the basics (and more) form the Block course,
but you will more than likely get a client with some quirk that you'll have
to research, ask your supervisor, and learn up on to get the job done.

I think the issue raised was that entering information onto paper
forms looks different than entering it into the software.



I have thought about this -- I use TaxWise for my AARP TaxAide
clients, paper forms for my VITA clients, and UltraTax for my
commercial clients. So I guess I'm tri-lingual :^)



I really think you have to understand how the paper forms work,
how schedules and forms flow to other forms and the actual job
of entering onto screens is not too hard to pick up.

UltraTax and TaxWise are not very similar - major look
and feel differences. But once you know how the final paper
answer should look, it is not too hard to use either software.
 
P

Paul Thomas, CPA

Arthur Kamlet said:
I have thought about this -- I use TaxWise for my AARP TaxAide
clients, paper forms for my VITA clients, and UltraTax for my
commercial clients. So I guess I'm tri-lingual :^)



Sure, but if you prepare multi-state returns do you pick up the accent for
that area (south, west coast, northeast, mid-west)?
 
D

Don Priebe

I want to becoming a tax prepare for the 2007 season. H&R Block has a
course
that starts this October, it's $150. But before I invest the time and
money
in this, I want to have a pretty good idea that I'm going to get hired. I
don't need a tax course for myself, I do a 1040EZ! I feel like you're on
your own in the beginning with H&R Block.
I also think that the H&RB tax courses are an excellent way to start in the
business. When I took the beginning course there was a short quiz every
class, with several longer written exams and a comprehensive final. They
hired based on their needs and class standing. They taught you the tax
concepts, preparing returns manually in class. Once hired there was a very
short introduction to their software - skill in using any software comes
from hands on experience. The customer related skills - looking the client
in the eye and asking "And are you the biological father of this child?" -
are developed during the season.

Sign up. You won't get rich with H&RB but you will get some priceless
experience.
 
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A

Arthur Kamlet

Sure, but if you prepare multi-state returns do you pick up the accent for
that area (south, west coast, northeast, mid-west)?

It turns out there's a major dialect line which passes right
through Columbus. Those south of the line speak an Appalachian
accent while those north of the line speak a more Cleveland
accent.



I live right smack dab in the center, but speak a more northeast
accent.




Oh, the TaxWIse we get from the AARP has one great feature I'd
like to see in UltraTax: If you enter the ZIP Code it
automatically fills in the city and state, which you can override
if wrong.
 
P

Paul Thomas, CPA

Arthur Kamlet said:
Oh, the TaxWIse we get from the AARP has one great feature I'd
like to see in UltraTax: If you enter the ZIP Code it
automatically fills in the city and state, which you can override
if wrong.


I changed software last season to Drake, and they have that same feature.
It saves time for sure, and puts a halt to typos in the city/state fields.
 
D

Don Priebe

I changed software last season to Drake, and they have that same feature.
It saves time for sure, and puts a halt to typos in the city/state fields.
I haven't found the "perfect" software yet. Several products have the zip
code database built in. Drake and TaxWise also have an EIN database that is
populated as you enter returns; TaxAct and ATX have recently implemented
this to a lesser extent. ATX has a database of the counties in NY which
then shows the corresponding school districts; TaxAct shows the counties but
a looser control over the school districts; and TaxWise has no database at
all. All three differ in the support they provide for calculating the
optional sales tax itemized deduction. TaxWise and ATX are both targeted at
the small preparer market and were both purchased by CCH recently. Gives you
something to think about in the "off season".
 
D

dudley

Matt said:
I want to becoming a tax prepare for the 2007 season. H&R Block has a course
that starts this October, it's $150. But before I invest the time and money
in this, I want to have a pretty good idea that I'm going to get hired. I
don't need a tax course for myself, I do a 1040EZ! I feel like you're on
your own in the beginning with H&R Block.

Maybe I'm just used to companies throwing an apron on me and training me
from the start.

Matt Collins
 
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D

dudley

Matt said:
I want to becoming a tax prepare for the 2007 season. H&R Block has a course
that starts this October, it's $150. But before I invest the time and money
in this, I want to have a pretty good idea that I'm going to get hired. I
don't need a tax course for myself, I do a 1040EZ! I feel like you're on
your own in the beginning with H&R Block.

Maybe I'm just used to companies throwing an apron on me and training me
from the start.

Matt Collins


HRBlock has a special scholarship coupon out there for the classes
starting in mid Oct.
Call the HRBlock summer office. This would mean that your class would
be free.
 
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