Hire and Retain a Strong Tax Professional Team and Protect Your Clients & Business
Another tax season is around the corner. It’s an exciting and bustling time for tax firms, but one challenge arises each year: bringing in the right new hire tax professional. It’s difficult to know whether they will be a good fit or if they will leave before the busy tax season tapers off.
According to a Bloomberg Tax article in March 2022, one primary reason retaining a talented tax preparer is difficult is competitive salaries in the industry marketplace. The ongoing high demand for accountants and tax professionals has left firms scrambling to hire full-time professionals for the season.
You might find yourself in this position, too.
And once your tax firm hires someone, you might discover they’re leaving your business to make more money for another firm or even starting their own business six months later.
It’s disappointing, time-consuming, and expensive, as you and tax leaders across the country are experiencing.
But there are some strategies you can take when launching your search for your next full or part-time tax professional to help keep your clients safe, satisfied, and free of any tax errors by a tax professional.
3 Ways to Ensure You Have a Full Team of Tax Preparers for the Busy Tax Season
While you might hire a new tax professional to manage your existing and prospective individual filing clients for the busy tax season, you need these professionals to stay with your company to serve your year-round business clients and the ever-growing freelancing and contracting population.
Here are three ways you can make your job more attractive to keep your talented tax pros for the long term.
1. Write the Perfect Job Description
Let your prospective tax preparers know their daily and long-term duties with your tax firm. Write a concise yet informative job description. Inform candidates about their duties, which might include:
- Working with individual or small businesses to gather and prepare tax documentation
- Finding tax credits and tax deductions to lower tax bills and increase refunds
- Giving clients the option to choose the itemized or standard deduction
- Filing clients’ tax returns to the appropriate agency, such as the IRS and local and state governments
- Building and fortifying tax client trust as a valued team member and serving as someone clients look to for sound advice from a tax professional
Your job description also gives you a chance to let applicants know whether you plan to hire for the season or if you want to stay on as a permanent part of your business. In either case, you can give them information about your company culture, values, and goals.
2. Conduct an Engaging and Welcoming Interview
Once you’ve whittled down your stack of tax preparer resumes, it’s time to start the interview process.
The pandemic changed how many businesses interview, using more phone calls and Zoom or other video platforms. But, if it’s possible, you might use those interview tools in the first round, then invite candidates into your office to give them a tour and let them meet managers and other employees.
It’s a nice opportunity to keep reinforcing your company culture and values, having them in the office, and seeing everyone in action.
Prepare your interview questions that focus on assessing your candidate’s hard skills and qualifications and soft skills.
Allow your candidate plenty of time to finish their answers, and welcome open exchanges and questions to better understand their personality and what engages and motivates them.
3. Offer Tax Professional Candidates an Attractive Compensation Package
When you find the ideal candidate to work as a tax preparer in your firm, prepare to offer them an attractive compensation and benefits package. Think about what you can afford versus what you stand to lose if you don’t secure professionals who want to stay with your firm for the duration.
Here are some powerful perks that tax preparers can appreciate:
- A competitive salary in your market that edges out other firms in the area
- PTO and sick days
- A robust health and life insurance package
- A healthy work/life balance
Positive work environments have been especially appealing to candidates over the past few years. It is important to note that a good work/life balance has shown direct correlations to employee satisfaction. Encourage employees to take time off, give them tools to reduce stress, and offer programs like remote and hybrid work model options. It might be a deciding factor to sign on and stay with your business for several years.
Prepare to Hire and Retain a Strong Tax Professional Team for This Tax Season Forward
Keeping your clients’ taxes managed and filed by trusted, authoritative professionals, fully protected with a tax errors and omissions policy, is vital to your tax firm’s long-term health and growth.
Try these strategies to avoid losing valuable tax professionals mid-season this year.