tax specialists with calculator

How to Hire Tax Specialists

The busy tax season is upon us again — and now is the perfect time to round out your team with an additional tax specialist and/or CPA. With April 15 fast approaching, the hiring and onboarding process should be as smooth, efficient, and streamlined as possible. Read on for our guide to hiring tax specialists or CPAs for your accounting firm.


Use a Specialized Job Board

To maximize your chances of finding the right tax advisor quickly, target your search on a specialized job board geared to accountants, tax specialists, and CPAs. Those with the right skill sets and credentials are more likely to frequent such job boards.

In addition, your job posting should clearly indicate the qualifications, technical skills, experience level, and credentials you are seeking, as well as a brief description of the benefits, workplace environment, and any other pertinent information.


Zero in on Experience and Credentials

Experience in the industry, particularly during tax season, can be among the best predictors of your new hire’s future success. A CPA should possess the necessary license from the board of accountancy in the state in which they practice. Each state holds different requirements for a CPA’s licensure and continuing education. Check the status of the CPA’s license on the state’s board of accountancy, which will also indicate if the candidate has ever been the target of disciplinary action.

A tax specialist may not necessarily hold the CPA certification but typically has completed a bachelor’s degree in accounting. In today’s climate, it is also essential for tax advisors to be able to work independently and feel comfortable using digital communication and cloud-based systems.

accountants talking


Ask the Right Interview Questions

The interview is a chance to learn more about the candidate’s hard and soft skill sets. Focus on the candidate’s familiarity with accounting processes and technical software. Whether you’re hiring a tax specialist or a CPA, make sure the candidate brings superior organizational, time management, and communication skills.

Pose interview questions about how the candidate has handled a difficult situation with a client, such as discovering a discrepancy in a client’s financials, and look for specific actionable steps the candidate took to resolve the matter. Ask the candidate to share how they organize priorities and manages a heavy workload and tight deadlines. These answers will give you insight into how well the candidate can handle mounting pressure during tax season.


Communicate Often

Because the talent market is competitive right now, move quickly once you find a suitable accounting candidate. The top candidates may have offers from several different accounting firms, so it’s critical to keep the lines of communication open throughout the process.

Once the new hire accepts the offer, reach out immediately with a congratulatory message or phone call welcoming them to the team, and perhaps extend an invitation for lunch or coffee. If that isn’t possible, send information explaining the details of their first day and anything else they need to know to get started.


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Organize Your Onboarding

You’re in the thick of the busiest season of the year — so you want the onboarding to go as quickly and smoothly as possible. Hold a “meet and greet” with the rest of the team to get the new hire acquainted with the other coworkers. This may have to be a virtual event, but do your best to encourage interactions among staff.

It’s important to set clear expectations and goals during this time, such as the need to work later during especially hectic days. Be sure to have the employee’s login information set up for the first day, and a steady stream of assignments ready to tackle during the first week. Catch up with the new hire on a weekly basis to gauge how the work is going and how they are adapting. If you’re all working remotely, set up regular video chats.


Whether you’re hiring tax specialists or CPAs, iHireAccounting can help streamline your search for top talent. Get started searching for your next great hire.

By iHire | February 18, 2021