Do you have a head for numbers and a keen eye for detail?
If you are searching for a new job, working as a tax accountant could be perfect for you. This role mainly involves helping companies and clients with their tax and financial statements. However, you need to have a deep understanding of tax laws to do this job. Not everyone has the required focus to spend hours at a time working with taxation documents.
So, let’s take a look at a day in the life of a tax accountant and find out more about what this role entails.
Tax Accountant Job Description
A typical job description should begin by providing details of the company and the clients you would work with. It should describe the working environment as well as the base salary and typical working hours. There should also be information on the company culture and the types of accounting software you would use.
The job description should outline the main duties and responsibilities that go with the job. It should outline the educational background and taxation experience that applicants need to have. There could also be information about other skills and attributes that the hiring manager is looking for in the ideal applicant.
The Work Environment
Most accountants work forty hours a week from Monday to Friday. However, it is often necessary to put in longer hours during the tax season. The work usually takes place in an office environment utilizing software programs like Excel and QuickBooks.
While tax accountants occasionally meet with clients, they spend most of their time working independently. Many tax accountants choose to work from a home office at least part of the time. People who work in large companies may also be required to collaborate with other members of the finance team.
Duties And Responsibilities
The job description should provide an overview of the duties and responsibilities you will be charged with. It is important to make sure that you can meet the requirements of the job. Here are the main tasks you are likely to complete regularly.
Examining financial statements
When you take on new clients, you will need to gain a clear picture of their financial situation. This involves reviewing all of the most relevant financial statements to gain an accurate view of their finances. It is essential to make sure that all documents are in alignment with the relevant tax laws and regulations.
Creating budget plans
One of your main duties is to help your clients to find ways to save money. This can include drawing up a budget for them based on their available finances and needs. You will show clients how to follow and budget, increase their income and improve their profitability.
Organizing financial records
This role also involves helping clients to organize their various financial records. You will keep copies of these records on files so that they can be accessed easily when needed.
Preparing tax returns forms a significant part of this job. To do this, you have to calculate the taxes that your clients owe to the IRS. You will keep your clients informed of any balance they owe to help your clients avoid penalties.
Inspecting accounting systems
You may be required to review an accounting system that is used by a company. The goal is to make sure the tax system is as effective and efficient as possible. This makes it possible to identify and correct any errors or issues before they become larger problems.
Communicating with clients
It is important to keep your clients informed of their tax return process. This includes explaining the whole process and providing regular updates. You need to let clients know about any action they need to take well in advance.
Skills And Attributes
When applying for a job as a tax accountant, you need to highlight the right skills and attributes. You should read the job description carefully and make a note of the skills that are mentioned.
So, here are some of the most desirable skills for this role.
It is necessary to be able to explain complex tax laws and other information clearly. This involves having strong written and verbal communication skills. It is also necessary to have active listening skills to understand the specific needs of clients.
This role involves working with large volumes of data regularly. You need to be comfortable dealing with numbers and making calculations. It is important to be able to make calculations quickly and accurately.
You are likely to have a large number of tasks to complete, especially during tax season. You need to be able to prioritize tasks so that everything is completed on time. Excelling in time management is an important skill that prevents you from becoming overwhelmed.
You will need to be able to come up with creative solutions to various issues. If the goal is saving your client money, you need to know which tools to use to achieve this. You must be able to weigh up the pros and cons of different options to choose the best ones for your clients.
Attention to detail
The tiniest mistakes in tax returns can cause a big problem for your clients. Therefore, attention to detail is a very important skill for accountants to have. You need to be willing to check every detail several times to make sure it is correct.
You are likely to work for several different clients at the same time. It is essential to keep all of their important documents organized and separate.
Knowledge of tax law
You need to have detailed knowledge of all tax laws and regulations that may apply to your clients. You need to stay up to date with all the latest local, state, and federal regulations at all times.
Accounting best practices
You need to be able to chart forward paths that are based on raw data. To do this, you have to be able to draw on the established best accounting practices. This includes financial reporting, account analysis, auditing, and payroll taxation.
Most companies use special accounting software such as Quickbooks. It is important to be familiar with different types of accounting software as well as different cloud-based tech tools. This will help you to perform a wide range of accounting tasks more quickly and efficiently.
When clients ask you for advice on how to reduce their taxes, you need to provide the best solutions. To do this, you need to have detailed knowledge of asset management.
Collaboration and teamwork
You will often work closely with representatives from the IRS and other financial experts. It is important to keep the needs and wishes of your clients firmly in mind at all times. Your clients need to know that you will go the extra mile to help them in the best way possible.
Education And Training
You need to hold a bachelor’s degree in accounting or a related field to work as a tax accountant. If you are applying for an advanced position, you may be required to hold a master’s degree. After graduating, it is best to sit and pass a certified public accountant exam to get an edge on the competition.
Tax Accountant Areas Of Expertise
There are several different areas of accounting that you can specialize in. Choosing an accounting specialization will help you to secure a higher salary. Here are some of the main types of tax accounting specializations and what they involve.
This specialization qualifies you to advise clients on how to legally reduce their tax burdens. You need to have a deep understanding of how different financial options affect taxation. To offer advisory services, you usually need to earn a professional certification, such as a certified financial planner.
Gaining a special accounting certification will give you access to more advanced job opportunities. Holding one of these certifications shows employers that you have completed advanced training.
Some of the best certifications for tax accountants include being a certified public accountant, being certified in financial forensics designations, and a certified management accountant.
You can earn this specialization through on-the-job training and additional education. This will allow you to work as a tax auditor for a government organization or accounting firm. Formal certifications that are typically required for this specialization include certified internal auditor or certified fraud examiner.
Becoming an enrolled agent allows you to offer your clients a broader spectrum of services. This allows you to argue cases before government tax authorities and represent clients in dispute resolution negotiations.
Additional Opportunities In Finance
Next, we move on to our career guides, such as our Tax Accountant Interview Questions, our Staff Accountant Job Description, Accounting Assistant Job Description, and our Senior Accountant Job Description, or how about our Tax Preparer Job Description and Tax Auditor Job Description to see what the positions entail.
But that’s not all, as we also have our Financial Controller Job Description, or if payroll is your specialization, check our Payroll Accountant Job Description, our Payroll Clerk Job Description, along with our Payroll Coordinator Job Description, and Payroll Specialist Job Description to see if you’d be interested.
Being a tax accountant can be a great job for people who enjoy working independently.
The average salary for this job is around $61,000 per year. However, people who have specialist skills and experience can earn much more than that. Gaining an advanced certification is a great way to boost your earning potential.
Specializing in a particular area of tax accountancy can also give you access to a higher-paying job. If you have experience and a good head for business, you could also decide to become your own boss.
All the very best in your new career as a Tax Accountant!