Career Story: CPA And Tax Accountant

CPA And Tax Accountant

Job Title: CPA And Tax Accountant

Type of Company: A regional accounting firm offering audit, tax, internal audit and compliance services. The tax compliance area of the firm serves both businesses and individuals.

Education: BS, Business Administration - Accounting

Previous Experience: I worked at a CPA firm in the audit department for 4 years. I then went to work as accounting manager at a public company in Boston, working my way up to controller. I then wanted to scale back my hours to start a family and went to work in my current role as tax accountant in a CPA firm

Job Tasks: I prepare corporate tax returns and partnership tax returns for many small businesses. To do this, I must request the appropriate data from the client. This involves obtaining the client's accounting records and supporting documentation. I then must review the data and prepare the tax calculations and tax returns. In addition, I assist in estimating tax liability for the owners and shareholders of those small businesses on a quarterly basis. I also offer assistance to clients on questions that relate to their tax returns. I also prepare some individual tax returns.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of this job is the flexibility. I set my own hours and work from home. I am very intellectually challenged by this job and I am learning all the time. The clients are extremely grateful for the help they receive and feel relieved to have a tax expert to assist them with their filings.

Job Tips: If an accounting student were to ask me advice, the number one thing I would tell him would be, "Get your CPA license." It is not required in many accounting jobs, but it will be very hard to climb the corporate ladder in an accounting firm without it. It also offers tremendous flexibility and carries a certain credibility. A CPA license will also allow you to migrate into other business management roles if desired. To obtain a CPA license, you must complete 4-5 years of college education and take a multi-part exam. Additionally, there is a "years of service" component. The regulations vary by state.

Additional Thoughts: To be successful in this career you have to be detail-oriented, reliable and accountable for the quality of your work. It is also important to be able to manage your schedule and time. There are a tremendous number of deadlines to meet in my work. Research is also a big part of tax accounting.

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