Tax Managers 4th in Best Jobs List

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In recent years, demand has increased significantly for many positions in the accounting field. Reflecting this trend, the careers site Glassdoor named tax managers fourth in its Best Jobs in America list. Learn about how an online masters in accounting can help, why tax managers are in demand and what kind of experiences to expect in this profession.

Why Tax Managers Are in Demand

With Glassdoor reporting that more than 3,300 tax manager jobs are currently available, it is clear that this job is in demand. Also reflecting a growing need in this field, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects 11 percent growth in the accounting industry, which is faster than average for all occupations.

Several factors are responsible for the rapid growth in this field. Continued economic recovery means that the American job market continues to grow, and more and more companies need specialized employees to prepare and examine their financial documents.

In addition, the federal tax code becomes more complicated with each revision, especially in the years following the 2008 financial crisis. This means that many businesses need experienced professionals with high-level knowledge to handle their tax returns and public filings. Since neither tax codes nor financial regulations indicate signs of becoming less stringent, tax managers should continue to find their profession in demand.

What to Expect as a Tax Manager

The reason that tax managers took the fourth-place position on Glassdoor’s list is that this job demonstrates top ratings using the site’s methodology. Along with a high number of job openings, candidates can expect high earning potential and excellent job satisfaction in this role.

Glassdoor reports that the median base salary for tax managers is $110,000. That means you can expect healthy compensation for this position, which requires both advanced education and significant responsibility. The site also indicates that tax managers report a job satisfaction level of four out of five, which suggests that this tends to be a rewarding position.

Professionals in this position handle a business’s tax reporting and ensure that it complies with all applicable laws at the federal, state, and local levels. Tax managers collect data and paperwork, prepare and file tax documents, and maximize available deductions. Most tax managers are responsible for claiming the most deductions legally possible for a company in order to optimize profits and prevent overpayment. However, tax managers must also ensure that the documents they file are accurate in order to prevent audits.

Many tax managers also handle complex financial transactions during instances of corporate restructuring. For example, during mergers, these professionals must ensure that they report and document the company’s tax responsibilities accurately. Tax managers may also spend significant time reviewing tax laws and educating themselves about changes to the tax code.

How to Become a Tax Manager

To become a tax manager, it can be helpful to pursue a graduate degree. In addition to a bachelor’s in accounting or a related financial field, this position often demands a Master of Science in Accounting. Pursuing an online master’s degree in accounting may prove to be a smart choice for many aspiring tax managers, as you can complete the program in as little as  two years. Since an online program does not require residency and provides flexible scheduling, you may be able to maintain your current job and continue to gain experience in the field as you work toward your degree.

Along with a master’s degree, you will also need a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license. You can obtain this through your state’s Board of Accountancy, which typically requires you to take a national exam and fulfill state requirements. Since most CPA licenses require 150 semester hours of relevant college-level coursework, many aspiring tax managers receive their certification upon completing a master’s degree.

To succeed as a tax manager, you will likely need strong analytical skills, excellent math skills, a clear sense of organization, and close attention to detail. You may also need to demonstrate proficiency with accounting software such as QuickBooks.

In addition to academic work and professional certification, tax managers must have years of experience in the field. Most begin as entry-level public accountants before advancing to mid-level positions and senior roles. After several years in the field, public accountants may have the opportunity to put their experience to work as tax managers.

Where to Work as a Tax Manager

Since tax managers have backgrounds in accounting, it should come as no surprise that many of these professionals work in the accounting industry. There, they work for small and large public accounting or financial services firms that provide financial and tax management services to a range of clients. Some tax managers may have the opportunity to work for affluent or high-profile clients who seek to maximize deductions while accurately reporting income.

In these positions, tax managers may work for several clients at once. They may coordinate tax planning with other members of the client’s financial team, or they may work closely with other financial colleagues at their own firms. This tends to require strong communication and interpersonal skills as well as the ability to multitask or shift between projects quickly.

Not all tax managers find employment in the accounting industry, however. Many specialize in the needs of other industries, where they apply their understanding of the tax code and reporting requirements. For instance, tax managers may work in the manufacturing, pharmaceutical, health care, or real estate industries.

In these industry-specific positions, they typically work on smaller financial and compliance teams within larger companies. There, they provide high-level advice regarding optimizing tax and financial strategy. They may also manage and train small teams of accounting professionals to ensure that all of the company’s accounting needs are met.

No matter where your financial career takes you, a New England College – Master of Science in Accounting Online degree could provide the academic background you need to achieve your goals. With the right knowledge, experience, and opportunity, you could join this quickly growing field.

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