October 6, 2005
A Q&A session with Dennis Tapia, an accountant, who owns and operates Legal & Tax Services in Vista, CA. Dennis has been in this field for the last 20 years.

Q: Describe your average daily routine. What types of tasks are you expected to complete as part of your job?

A: As a tax preparer I gather data from my clients and input this data into the proper IRS form. I also teach my clients what they can and cannot use as a deduction, make sure they pay the proper tax to the IRS and FTB. As a bookkeeper, I input my clients’ data to show them where they are spending their money, and make sure that their business is producing a positive cash flow. I also balance their checkbooks and provide my clients with financial reports.

Q: What do you like the most about being an accountant?

A: I enjoy helping my clients with their taxes and books. I teach them what to look for and keep in contact with them throughout the year. Most tax preparers only see or talk with clients once a year, I encourage my clients to contact me anytime with there questions or concerns.

Q: What do you dislike, if anything, about being an accountant?

A: So far nothing, I enjoy my job and my clients.

Q: What is your work environment like?

A: Well during tax season from January to April 15 it is very busy and at time stressful. After tax season it dies down a lot and everything is back to normal.

Q: What is your work schedule like?

A: During tax season I have worked 10 up to 15 hours a day. But once tax season is over I normally take a week or two off to relax.

Q: Where did you get the training necessary for your job?

A: I went to Jackson Hewitt where I was trained as a tax preparer. The program took 3 months on a part-time schedule. I learned basic tax preparation for both personal and business taxes and was awarded a certificate at the end of the program. Once you earn your certificate, you must maintain a $5,000.00 bond and take a renewal test each year.

Q: Would you recommend your job as an accountant to another person?

A: I would recommend this to indivuals who like working with numbers, have good math skills and don’t mind filling out lots of forms.

Q: What is the next step in your career?

A: To further my education and become an EA (Enrolled Agent).

View a list of schools in California offering accounting programs.