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retail tax service employees - advice from BEEN THERE

IMO, the most difficult part of operating a successful retail tax franchise is obtaining, creating, AND keeping good employees. A new franchisee will tend to be approached for employment by preparers who might have trained with the big boys (H&R, Jackson Hewitt) but weren't good enough to be kept for the entire tax season, or rehired for the following season. You'll also get prospects who think they know everything, because they've been doing kitchen-table tax returns for their family, friends and neighbors; these will want to keep their old clients at home and not bring them into your new shop. Getting brand new but teachable prospects through a Tax School is iffy, especially in smaller markets. Since the preparers are part-time and you will be paying them only slightly above minimum wage in order to conform to your Franchisors model, they generally won't give your staffing needs first priority when the kids are sick, or have a school day, or when the snow is upwards of 2 inches deep. Be sure to do a background check - the more extensive the better, although your state's free Dept of Corrections (DOC) website is at least a start. One employee ratted on another is how I learned of a felony to be found on the DOC website. Even if someone admits to a felony and you think they have good references for a second chance, the risk of you looking negligent if anything should happen is too great to hire an ex-con to work around financial and tax data, not even or especially a ex-con relative. Consider bonding EVERY employee, because a tax or accounting shop is the perfect place for identify theft (yes, I know from sad experience).

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