Ask Joe   
An image of a person filling out tax paperwork
Accounting: Tax Preparers (SOC CODE: 13-2082.00)

Job Description Overview

Prepare tax returns for individuals or small businesses.

Related Careers

  • Tax Preparers
  • Tax Examiners and Collectors, and Revenue Agents
  • Medical Equipment Preparers
  • Production Workers, All Other
  • Auditors
  • Assessors
  • Lawyers
  • Food Preparation Workers
  • Inspectors, Testers, Sorters, Samplers, and Weighers
  • Chief Executives

Sample Job Duties

  • Interview clients to obtain additional information on taxable income and deductible expenses and allowances.
  • Use all appropriate adjustments, deductions, and credits to keep clients' taxes to a minimum.
  • Prepare or assist in preparing simple to complex tax returns for individuals or small businesses.
  • Compute taxes owed or overpaid, using adding machines or personal computers, and complete entries on forms, following tax form instructions and tax tables.
  • Furnish taxpayers with sufficient information and advice to ensure correct tax form completion.
  • Check data input or verify totals on forms prepared by others to detect errors in arithmetic, data entry, or procedures.
  • Consult tax law handbooks or bulletins to determine procedures for preparation of atypical returns.
  • Calculate form preparation fees according to return complexity and processing time required.
  • Explain federal and state tax laws to individuals and companies.
  • Answer questions and provide future tax planning to clients.

    What Classes Do I Need to Take?

    • Accounting: AS Degree

      Business Division
      Degree S0502

      The Accounting Program provides many opportunities for students to design a plan for their individual goals through certificate and degree achievements. The associate degree in accounting is intended to prepare students for employment following graduation. The student will learn basic accounting skills combined with an in-depth training in a variety of accounting concepts, preparing the student for entry-level positions, professional advancement in their current job or transfer to a university to pursue a bachelor’s degree in accounting.

      Earning an Accounting Associate of Science degree will provide the knowledge and skills necessary for accounting jobs in general accounting, cost accounting, payroll, inventory management, asset management, accounts receivable, accounts payable, budgets and forecasting, financial analysis, etc. Students who wish to transfer and obtain a bachelor’s degree should consult with a counselor or advisor to discuss transferability of courses.

      This degree requires the completion of General Education coursework plus the following:

      Required Courses

      Course Prefix Course Name Units
      BUSA 7Principles of Accounting - Financial5
      BUSA 8Principles of Accounting - Managerial5
      BUSA 52Intermediate Accounting I3
      BUSA 52BIntermediate Accounting II3
      BUSA 75QuickBooks for Accounting3
      BUSA 76Excel for Accounting3
      BUSM 20Principles of Business3
      Required Electives
      Choose one course from the following:3-4
      BUSA 21
      Cost Accounting
      BUSA 58
      Federal Income Tax Law
      BUSA 71
      Personal Financial Planning
      Total Units28-29
    • Accounting: Certificate

      Business Division
      Certificate N0459
      The Accounting Certificate provides basic accounting skills combined with in-depth training in a variety of accounting concepts, preparing the student for entry-level positions and/or professional advancement in a wide selection of accounting jobs. These jobs include general accounting, cost accounting, payroll, inventory management, asset management, accounts receivable, accounts payable, budgets and forecast, forecast, financial analysis, etc. 

      Required Courses

      Course Prefix Course Name Units
      BUSA 7Principles of Accounting - Financial5
      BUSA 8Principles of Accounting - Managerial5
      BUSA 52Intermediate Accounting I3
      BUSA 52BIntermediate Accounting II3
      BUSA 75QuickBooks for Accounting3
      BUSA 76Excel for Accounting3
      BUSM 20Principles of Business3
      Required Electives
      Choose one course from the following:3-4
      BUSA 21
      Cost Accounting
      BUSA 58
      Federal Income Tax Law
      BUSA 71
      Personal Financial Planning
      Total Units28-29
    • Accounting: Bookkeeping

      Business Division
      Certificate E0504

      The Accounting - Bookkeeping Certificate provides basic accounting skills and knowledge, preparing the student for entry-level positions as an accounting clerk in areas such as bookkeeping, accounts receivable, accounts payable, inventory tracing/reporting, bank reconciliation, expense reporting, and account analysis.

      Required Courses

      Course Prefix Course Name Units
      BUSA 7Principles of Accounting - Financial5
      or BUSA 72 Bookkeeping - Accounting
      BUSA 75QuickBooks for Accounting3
      BUSA 76Excel for Accounting3
      Total Units11
    • Accounting: Computerized

      Business Division
      Certificate N0460

      The Accounting - Computerized Certificate provides basic accounting skills and knowledge combined with additional training in computer applications common to the accounting industry. This certificate program prepares the student for an entry-level position as an accounting clerk that requires computer skills in areas such as utilization of accounting software, accounts receivable, accounts payable, inventory tracing/reporting, bank reconciliation, expense reporting, and account analysis.

      Required Courses

      Course Prefix Course Name Units
      BUSA 7Principles of Accounting - Financial5
      or BUSA 72 Bookkeeping - Accounting
      BUSA 75QuickBooks for Accounting3
      BUSA 76Excel for Accounting3
      CISB 15Microcomputer Applications3.5
      Choose a minimum of 6 units from the following:6-7
      CISB 11
      Computer Information Systems
      CISB 21
      Microsoft Excel
      CISB 31
      Microsoft Word
      CISB 51
      Microsoft PowerPoint
      CISD 11
      & 11L
      Database Management - Microsoft Access
      and Database Management - Microsoft Access Laboratory
      Total Units20.5-21.5
    • Accounting: Financial Planning

      Business Division
      Certificate N0461

      The Accounting - Financial Planning Certificate provides basic accounting skills and knowledge combined with specialized training in financial planning, preparing the student for entry-level positions and/or professional advancement in their current accounting jobs. Students completing this certificate will be able to assist companies within the areas of budget analysis, tax reporting, financial and investment planning and analysis.

      Required Courses

      Course Prefix Course Name Units
      BUSA 7Principles of Accounting - Financial5
      BUSA 8Principles of Accounting - Managerial5
      BUSA 58Federal Income Tax Law4
      BUSA 71Personal Financial Planning3
      BUSA 76Excel for Accounting3
      Total Units20
    • Accounting: Managerial

      Business Division
      Certificate N0462

      The Accounting - Managerial Certificate provides basic accounting skills and knowledge combined with specialized training in managerial accounting, preparing the student for entry-level positions in accounting and/or professional advancement in their current accounting jobs. Students completing this certificate will be able to perform duties in the areas of cost analysis, variance analysis, budget preparation, expense reporting, account analysis, and preparation of various internal reports to assist management in their decision making.

      Required Courses

      Course Prefix Course Name Units
      BUSA 7Principles of Accounting - Financial5
      BUSA 8Principles of Accounting - Managerial5
      BUSA 21Cost Accounting4
      BUSA 76Excel for Accounting3
      Required Electives
      Choose one course from the following:3-4
      BUSA 52
      Intermediate Accounting I
      BUSA 52B
      Intermediate Accounting II
      BUSA 58
      Federal Income Tax Law
      Total Units20-21
    • Accounting: Payroll

      Business Division
      Certificate E0505

      The Accounting - Payroll Certificate provides basic accounting skills and knowledge combined with specialized training in payroll, preparing the student for entry-level clerical positions within the payroll segment of accounting. Common duties performed include payroll tax reporting, payroll accounting systems maintenance, and posting payroll transactions to journals/ledgers.

      Required Courses

      Course Prefix Course Name Units
      BUSA 7Principles of Accounting - Financial5
      or BUSA 72 Bookkeeping - Accounting
      BUSA 70Payroll and Tax Accounting3
      BUSA 75QuickBooks for Accounting3
      BUSA 76Excel for Accounting3
      Total Units14
    Explore Your Interests
    Graphic for Holland Personality Test

    Take the O*Net Interest Profiler today and identify careers that you may wish to explore.

    Meet with a counselor to learn more about the additional requirements needed to earn this associate degree.

    Start Now


    Take The Next Step