Before graduating in December, I had worked as a work/study at a large accounting firm; however, I was not on the tax side of things. I had worked two tax seasons at that firm, and I always heard about the hours they worked – thinking, “eh, it can’t be THAT bad.” My mindset of that completely altered after I experienced a tax season firsthand.  I felt that my first tax season was a success. I learned a lot, and I am very thankful that the team here at Abacus was patient with me along the way.

Learning tax in college is quite different from practice. Yes, you do learn the fundamentals and the different terminology, but taxation is very technical. Getting a degree does not mean that your learning stops – especially in a growing firm with various industries. Every night that I went home, I would review and study the things that I had learned that day – attempting to reduce some of the questions I had regarding tax. I think one of the most important things that I learned going through my first tax season is to take a deep breath and to relax when things do get a little hectic; also, take time out of your busy schedule to take a walk or clear your head in some way. For me, exercising was the best way to clear my head. I made sure to get plenty of exercise throughout the week and made sure to get plenty of rest. I also learned that it is best to try and have all of your work done before deadline day, that way you are not scrambling around on the day of the deadline trying to request documents from clients and reaching out to your team asking for help (although they would be happy to help).

Going forward, I am going to take what I learned and apply it to upcoming tax seasons. I enjoyed my first tax season here at Abacus because, even as a new hire fresh out of college, I was still able to work hands-on with some of the clients for whom I prepared tax returns. I feel like, in larger firms, many new hires and even two-year associates do not have the opportunity to do that. Getting to interact with clients face-to-face so early on will hopefully help me advance into my career as an accountant at a faster rate – learning both soft and hard skills. I am very thankful that I chose Abacus coming out of college, and I hope that my second tax season will be as successful as the first.

If you’d like to learn more about what we can do for your business during tax season—or anytime during the year, contact Abacus CPAs at 417-823-7171 or Better Guidance. Smarter Decisions.


Josh Woods