Tax season is a particularly busy time for accountants, but spending some time to plan ahead now - and take some courses teaching the new laws - can help you keep above water. Beyond going to classes, there are other things you can start now to prepare for tax season.
Summertime is when we spend days on family vacations and enjoying some time off. And for accountants and CPAs, it's a necessary time to help recharge one's career batteries. But even while tax season is on the distant horizon, now is the perfect time to start brushing up on tax law and preparing for the season. Tax law is ever-changing, and accountants who specialize in taxes need to ensure that they stay current.
"Understanding the forms is one thing they can do," says Barbara Wente, director of education for the Minnesota Society of CPAs (MNCPA). "They can go back to understand the groundwork."
The MNCPA (www.mncpa.org) offers a number of courses to help teach changes in tax law. Classes include such hands-on courses as preparing the 1040 form, workshops for partnerships and LLCs, preparing the 1120S form and preparing corporate tax forms.
"Many of these are two-day programs," adds Wente.
In addition to the basic 1040 course, the MNCPA also offers an advanced course that goes into more depth into preparing the form.
The courses are mostly held between October and January.
The MNCPA also offers an annual federal tax update course that is held around the state.
This fall the organization will hold its major conference at the Minneapolis Convention Center, focusing on changes to the tax laws. This year marks the 55th year of the event, and it will be held Nov. 16-17.
During the conference, there are four separate educational sessions running concurrently, with plenty of opportunity to learn new things and brush up on existing topics.
"The topics are based on what is hot," notes Wente.
Beyond The Classroom
Now is a good time to continue networking with other tax professionals and potential clients. If you are going to work with clients who have special tax needs, now is a good time to reach out to staffing services to find those professionals who can help you.
Also, now is a good time to reach out to clients and ask them to start getting ready. Rather than face a dump truck full of paper in April, a little planning and preparation now can make the filing process easier and smoother for you.
Tax season is typically considered the busy season for accountants. But with some preparation now, it won't feel as daunting, because you will be prepared.
Robert Elsenpeter is a freelance writer from Blaine.