January 10, 2017 at 2:20 pm #1434677
So from my understanding, CPA firms don't hire until the end of the year (after September from my understanding). I have no tax experience professionally outside of doing some returns for friends and family (my current job is non profit FAR). I'd like to get some tax experience under my belt before I start applying, would this be the right move?
Thanks!January 10, 2017 at 2:46 pm #1434701
I think it's an excellent move…and it's one I also tried to make…
The HR Block trainer I got was one of the most obnoxious, foulest pieces of human stench I've ever encountered. A total stooge who apparently decided that since I had an accounting background, I must be broken. I demanded money back, they refused, I told them I'd start looking for an attorney for a class action suit over their “you pay us for education, but you also sign non-disclosures and non-competes, like an employee” policy and they sent back my cash.
So I'd definitely do this, but not with HR Block.January 10, 2017 at 2:58 pm #1434719
Thanks aaron!January 10, 2017 at 3:09 pm #1434723
I did Jackson Hewitt last year. The training was excellent in my opinion and they were great to work for.
Living the hell of “people of WalMart” for three months was a nightmare…………I'd go back again in a heartbeat if I could be in a JH storefront but never freaking ever again in a shoebox in the middle of the busiest aisle of a walmart in Salem MA……….January 10, 2017 at 3:09 pm #1434726
Why don't you look for an internship? Many firms still looking. And you will get real experience.
Not trying to knock HR Block or those who work there, but I don't think that experience will help you out when applying for a tax job.
You should look into the VITA program. This will give you the same experience, looks a lot better on your resume, and you can do it on your time off.
I hope it all works out for you.January 10, 2017 at 3:24 pm #1434731
When I was in college my school had a VITA (voluntary income tax assistance) program. You get training from the IRS, and you get to help lower income folks prepare their taxes. I would try that.January 10, 2017 at 4:33 pm #1434812
I also recommend VITA. You could sign up via IRS, and IRS will send you information about a local VITA and certification process. I signed up last month and got the information last week.January 10, 2017 at 9:26 pm #1435071
I would also do VITA, I did it and I got free training as well too work with a lot of people happy that i could help….. there were a few bad times but overall I like it. I think volunteer work looks great as it shows you are more “well-rounded” in a sense. I guess better put, it shows you are willing to volunteer as a lot of firms do volunteer work. That said, if you need cash, might as well apply and have something rather then nothing.January 10, 2017 at 11:37 pm #1435178
Most places like H&R and JH even Liberty see people with CPA's and college degrees as over qualified so they tend to mistreat you if you get a chance to sit in or pay for their classes. Good luck, several mentioned VITA, but the internship was the best for me because you can get well rounded experience with different levels of tax not just individual. Vita is a volunteer situation ( no money) but good experience and H&R and those are franchise situations( seasonal), yet limited.January 11, 2017 at 2:59 pm #1435596
I'm not sure that I would bother applying at any of the tax preparation companies as you'll be highly overqualified. I think an internship or the IRS volunteering sounds like a much better use of your time.January 11, 2017 at 3:05 pm #1435599
Well I disagree strongly, at least for some…
Not everyone here is intern age, or in a 4 year program. If your resume is thin on public accounting, a season or two of actual in the trenches tax work could be valuable both as experience and as a resume filler. Is it a VP at DT? No…but, as my wife would say, it sure beats a blank.
I don't know if it's better than the IRS program, but I know it's better than a blank, and, theoretically, you could make a few dollars.
That said…I would definitely not give HR Block the time of day…the people there I encountered were more akin to fast food employees than tax pros.January 11, 2017 at 3:57 pm #1435650
I worked for HR Block for one tax season. My tax instructor was awesome, in fact, I think she was better than my tax instructor I had at the university. Working there on the other hand was absolutely horrid! I will say that the work experience was helpful, you may not see a lot of complicated returns there but you will get time inputting data and interviewing customers. I think every area is different, so it would be up to you of course.January 11, 2017 at 4:08 pm #1435659
@aaronmo – I wasn't dismissing all tax return work, just stating that working for a company other than the big preparers would likely be preferable. Independent CPAs often need help around this time. I'm sure one could put in a few hours a week there and have a solid reference.
Then again, I'm not a CPA (yet – 1 more exam) nor do I work in public, so my opinion is worth what you paid for it.January 11, 2017 at 4:16 pm #1435665
LOL – worth the same as mine! 😉
I don't think you're right…at least it didn't seem that way for me. Around this time a guy not familiar with tax who requires training and preparation is a liability…it was VERY hard to find a small outfit to take me on. IF you can get that, it's DEFINITELY preferable…but a whore outfit is still better than nothing.
I likely had more limited options because of my square peg background.January 15, 2017 at 7:04 am #1441316
I used to work for H&R Block. Now, I have a tax practice on the side because of that experience. It's good training for individual tax. So is the IRS' AFSP. It's hard to do more than that there individual tax for H&R Block. I advanced 5 levels there, but was still in individual tax. My mentor in NMSCPA passed the course. He's a CPA and agreed it was good training, but they wouldn't hire him at the CPA level. He said they didn't need CPA's, at least, in my town when they could get more non-CPA's to pay less. I still need to pass the CPA to be taken seriously to get back into accounting full-time.January 15, 2017 at 7:25 am #1441317
I applied to a bunch of small firms to do part time seasonal work (was looking for experience not the income) and more than one told me to come back after a season of doing mc taxes at block or jh, so it's not as dismissed as experience as some assume. I didn't feel at all mistreated by jh, they actually did bump up my starting pay a bit in recognition of my cpa, which block doesn't do. But education and licenses don't make one “overqualified” for a job that a person can do with a high school education, I've seen plenty of licensed CPA's who can't answer the most basic of tax questions even for their own taxes. My only complaint with jh was charging some college kid $300 for a tax return he easily could have done himself on turbo tax for free.
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