Tax accountants work at accounting firms that offer tax accounting services. The major accounting firms, known as the Big Four, that employ tax accountants are Deloitte, Ernst & Young, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, and KPMG. Tax accountants also work for large and medium public and private companies. They may also work as independent contractors, running their own businesses. Nearly 1.3 million accountants, including tax accountants, are employed full time in the United States, according to the Department of Labor.
Entry-level tax accountant jobs focus on helping clients prepare their tax returns. Recent graduates with a bachelor's degree in accounting or related major often get started in their career through an internship or part-time job in an accounting firm. Find opportunities through your school's career services office and also by contacting accounting firms directly. Professional associations offer career development support and job referrals for tax accountants. For example, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants offers numerous career-search tools for accounting students and professionals, https://www.aicpa.org/career.html. Tax accountants also find job listings through online employment Web sites like Robert Half, CareerBuilder, Indeed, Monster, Glassdoor, among many others, and through LinkedIn.
Tax accountants with three or more years of experience and certification advance to assume more responsibilities. This may be as a senior-level tax accountant or in a supervisory position, overseeing other accountants' work and handling more complex projects. In large accounting firms, tax accountants with years of experience and a proven track record in the business may advance to become financial officers and partners in the firms. Many accountants improve their job prospects by going back to school for advanced degrees.
Tips for Entry
Get an internship or part-time job in a tax accounting firm to learn more about this type of work. Ask your school's career services office for help; also use LinkedIn to find opportunities, https://www.linkedin.com/jobs/tax-intern-jobs.
Read the American Institute of Public Accountants' publications on tax accounting to stay up to date on accounting practices, tax regulations, and news: https://future.aicpa.org/cpe-learning/publication.
Get involved in the AICPA's Young CPA Network to meet other aspiring accountants and learn from those working in the profession. Find information at https://www.aicpa.org/interestareas/youngcpanetwork.html.
Attend industry events and conferences for opportunities to speak with tax accountants and learn more about the latest developments and news in the tax accounting business. Search these Web sites for events near you: https://www.nstp.org/events and https://www.aicpa.org/cpe-learning/conferences.html.