Tips for First-Year Tax Accountants to be Successful

by | May 23, 2018 | Culture, Tax, Career

You’ve chosen a great career that, from everything we can see, will always be around. Regardless of technology advances, clients want someone to talk to, to ask questions, to help plan ahead and so on.

With over 25 years as a tax accountant, I’ve seen it all. As I now reflect on earlier times, I’d like to share my two cents about challenges faced by new grads entering the field and how to launch a successful career. Think of it as a roadmap for how to be the best you can be. So, here goes what I would tell my younger self if given the opportunity.

When first starting a career in the tax world, be eager to learn new things, work hard and get to know your colleagues. Having a sense of eagerness will transcend into a lot of other positive experiences.

Be willing to absorb as much information as you can on a continual basis. Figure out what you have a passion for, and get deep into the subject matter. This involves embracing constant change and incredible complexity like it’s fun!

You’ll quickly find out that tax accounting is not only about the numbers, but also about people and relationships. Be sure to tell folks what you do, and be proud of it. Always carry business cards—you never know when you may have the opportunity to plant a seed that can be reaped later on. All personal contacts can potentially pay dividends; maybe not immediately, but several years down the road.

Don’t be too quick to put yourself in a box. It’s best to have an open mind about the different types of tax accounting (individual, corporate, etc.) you can practice before settling on one area. Get a broad foundation to leverage from, and be ready for any/all opportunities that may arise.

Peer relationships with your colleagues are something to definitely nurture. Try to develop lasting relationships by being genuine and sincere. Even when busy, grab a few people to talk with and become their go-to person as a way to be helpful, while also maintaining contact. These relationships should stand the test of time, since you or they will inevitably end up somewhere else and today’s networking can lead to future prospects.

This has to do with reputation, which starts to accumulate on day one. While a solid reputation takes time to build, it’s also fragile and needs continual care to safeguard. Here’s a formula that’s worked for me: Come across as the person who can get the job done, and then do a good job. Keep it up, and it will get you noticed.Try this or come up with your own way of being that earns you respect from colleagues and clients, keeping in mind that consistency and reliability are valued traits in any business setting.

Come into new situations with the right mentality, a positive attitude. Tell yourself that you can do this, even when facing periods of long hours and particularly challenging work. It’s all about gaining experience or, as they say, paying your dues. So, volunteer for the tough projects…you’ll learn a lot and be glad you did.

In closing, I’ve told people many a time that I’m rarely the smartest guy in the room, but I’ve tried to come across as the guy who works hard and does a good job. My philosophy that dependable, hard work goes a long way has paid off nicely with a success record I am very proud of. And, if you implement some (or better yet, all) of these tips, you will be off to a wonderful career in tax accounting.

You may also like:

Accounting for Mental Health: Tips for Professionals and Firms

Being in a client-serving industry, accountants face high stress levels, long hours, and the demand to serve clients well, especially during busy seasons. Additionally, staying current with regulatory updates and new accounting standards, preparing for certification...

Improving Efficiency with the Tax Preparation Coordinator Role

At Weinstein Spira, like many accounting firms, we face periods of significant amounts of work due to compression near tax filing deadlines. To address this, our firm has invested valuable time and effort to identify a solution: the Tax Preparation Coordinator (TPC)...

How Core Values Shape Our Firm

Core values are the fundamental beliefs and principles that guide an organization. They serve as the compass, shaping the organization’s culture, decision-making processes, and interactions. These values provide a shared framework for employees, fostering a cohesive...

My Experience in the Rotation Program: Audit and Tax

Many accounting students, ready to embark on careers in public accounting, face an important decision between specializing in tax or audit. Firms often hire based on internal needs, yet some, like Weinstein Spira, offer a rotation program that empowers candidates to...

Top 5 Internship Etiquette Tips

Internships serve as valuable stepping stones for students and recent graduates to bridge the gap between academics and the professional world. While technical skills are essential, mastering the art of workplace etiquette is equally important for a successful...

Latest Posts