Tax accountants are busy people who also often have the benefit of being self-employed and who have the convenience of creating their schedule. The job role is one of the most valued as tax laws can be complex and difficult for untrained individuals to navigate. If you are interested in becoming a tax accountant, there are a few things you should have covered before signing up for a course. The first and most important requirement is:
Have a Basic Understanding of Math
The math involved in accounting is not overly difficult, but it will require a certain level of basic knowledge. For example, adding and subtracting will be used countless times throughout the duration of your tax accountant course. It is also necessary to have a calculator on hand (most smartphones come with one, or a calculator can be purchased separately), and it’s important for you to understand how to use spreadsheets and spreadsheet software.
Talk To Other Tax Accountant Students
Preparation involves understanding exactly what the course will demand of you. One of the best ways to prepare for a tax course is to visit the school (whether that be virtually through the web or physically in person) and arrange to go on a tour. This will allow you to speak with not only the instructor who may be teaching the course, but you will be able to chat with other students about the course. Ask questions like:
- If they would recommend the course, and why
- If they like how the instructor presents the material
- How much practice time they are given versus how much time is spent learning theory
The course you are considering should be taught by an instructor with real world experience, and the course should offer a good blend of both theory and practice. The more hands-on learning you receive while in the course, the more comfortable you will feel slipping into the role of a tax accountant.
Clear Up Your Schedule
Another key piece to preparing for a tax course is to make time for the course and the coursework. The benefit of taking an online course is that you have the flexibility of doing the coursework whenever it works for you. But, do not let this benefit turn into a detriment. Many students take that flexibility for granted and continually push back completing their coursework. Ultimately, they fail the course. Be realistic about what you can handle and plan to do the coursework at the same time or times every week.
Consider Your Career Goals
A large part of preparing for a tax course is to choose one that will match your career goals. Depending on what you choose to pursue, or if you plan on continuing your education, it may be necessary for you to take an accounting course from an accredited institution. The tax course you are considering may only provide you with a basic understanding of tax law. Or, the course may be designed to meet the education requirements laid out by the Tax Practitioners Board and, therefore, allow you to register as a tax agent.