What Is a Senior Tax Accountant and How to Become One
As a senior tax accountant, you collect, review, and process accounting and tax documents to prepare tax returns, state pages, and tax provision schedules, estimate quarterly payments, and file extensions. You gather financial information and file federal, state, and local tax returns for businesses and individuals. You also assist the tax manager in responding to IRS and other notices received by clients. Other duties include coaching junior tax accountants and being aware of all compliance issues and deadlines for extensions, tax estimates, required filings, and more. You must research more complex tax concepts and strategies to improve each client’s tax strategy and communicate your findings and ideas with them.
The qualifications needed to become a senior tax accountant include a bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance and five to seven years of professional tax experience. A CPA Certification with a master’s degree in taxation is very desirable in the job market. Your experience should also demonstrate knowledge of increasingly complex tax matters and supervisory responsibilities. You should have experience working with QuickBooks or other accounting software. You must have excellent project management skills, strong written and verbal communication skills, and the ability to work effectively on a team. Some employers require you to have knowledge of partnership taxation and experience working with high-net-worth individuals. You are often expected to participate in professional and industry groups to network, promote services, and grow professionally.
The career path of a senior tax accountant begins with working as an entry-level staff accountant, staff auditor, or tax staff doing basic tasks such as financial audits, researching tax questions, and more. After several years, you can advance to a senior accountant position and then up to a management position where you provide consulting and review clients systems. After obtaining three to six years of experience, you can become a senior auditor, tax senior, or a consulting senior. With over six years of experience, there are positions as an audit manager, tax manager, or consulting manager. At the very top of this career path are the partner and senior partner positions.