By Stacie Clifford Kitts, CPA
I have said this before; the life of a tax preparer is not full of exciting workdays. Although I do derive satisfaction from a job well done like when an audit closes in favor of my client or when I complete a well thought out tax plan, the day to day activities of a tax professional which often consists of mulling over financial information or reading lengthy contracts doesn’t really qualify as an extreme sport – does it.
Obviously, if you are a drama junkie looking for an adrenalin rush, you are not going to find it in the tax preparation industry.
That is, unless you are a tax “professional” who has found a way to spice it up by creating a certain amount of drama and drawing attention by writing a blog post like this one, Who is a Professional where the author implies that many hard working people all over the world are not “professionals” and do not belong to a profession because they are not regulated like lawyers or CPAs.
Yeppers – how bored do you suppose this guy was to come up with that? Although his post really seems to be directed at unenrolled tax preparers, the post manages to be insulting to – well – just about anybody who has worked hard to obtain a position but did it without a college degree or a state license.
This blog post certainly succeeded in its attempt to stir up the tax blogosphere though. And I admit I have been slightly entertained watching the volley of posts being tossed around.
My take – as Robert Flach quotes me at his blog “His basic premise that you must be regulated to be a member of a profession is silly.”
If you are interested in catching up on the latest, “Throw Down” be sure to check out these related posts:
I am a Professional! And Who is a professional – The Final Word by Robert Flach
A little Professionalism, if you please by Bruce McFarland
For a complete unabridged account, be sure to read the blog comments at each of these posts.
Stacie,Thanks for the link.I found your post from The Wandering Tax Pro's blog.If you read my posts carefully, you will see that I didn't disparage the competence, honesty or qualifications of a single soul.The same cannot be said for some of those who took offense to my observations. They have called me a "pompous ass", a "cafone", a "low class individual" an "ass" and a "fool."That's solely because I rendered an opinion with which they disagree. Not because I personally attacked them in any way.I repeatedly pointed out that many unenrolled preparers – especially those who care about taxes enough to blog about them – may be more competent, honest and scrupulous than many CPAs, attorneys and enrolled agents.Incidentally, it was by no means bordeom that compelled me to write the post Who is a Professional?I wrote it because I think the definition of the word profession is important because of all of the talk about a new IRS regime to license, regulate and sanction unenrolled tax preparers.For me, the debate about regulation begs the question "who is a professional" or, if you prefer, "what is a profession?"In any case, the point I was trying to make was that for the word profession to mean anything at all, it must operate to exclude those folks who have not met the particular profession's educational, licensing and regulatory requirements.For instance, would you call a non-CPA who had 30 years of experience rendering opinions on the financial statements of his corporate clients a professional accountant? I don't think so.If I am wrong, then you wasted a lot of money, time and effort on obtaining your accounting degree, passing the CPA exam and obtaining the required continuing education every year.It would have been completely futile, don't you think, if others could self-declare themselves to be members of the profession without having to make all of those sacrifices? And don't you agree that some people, no matter how much experience they have in a particular line of work, are not professionals unless they meet the standards of the profession?I favor IRS regulation of tax preparers so that the public can differentiate between professional tax preparers and non-professional ones.Finally, the fact that someone is not a "professional" doesn't make them unprofessional, incompetent, dishonest, lazy, unscrupulous. It simply means that they have not met the established standards of a professional regulatory body.
Dear PeterThank you for your comments.I have responded at my blog.Stacie