Wednesday, September 13, 2006

My first H&R Block tax class

So my first class was last night - and this one was actually open and everyone was there. =P There are 7 people in my class, but apparently they sometimes have more than 20. This year there are more open classes, though. It became crystal clear within ten minues of starting that the entire purpose of this class is to recruit new people to prepare taxes for H&R Block. Apparently they lose about 30% of the staff each year, so the classes are necessary to bring in fresh blood. If you get an 80% or better on your final exam, and had no other problems in the class, you're pretty much guaranteed to get hired. We also filled out a little card with our contact information (I left off my phone number) to give to the person whose entire job consists of herding you at every step towards working for them (and continuing to work for them in future years.) You also get paid more every year, and paid more when you take more classes too, so that's encouraging.

We spent the first half of the class hearing about H&R Block's history and hearing stories from the teacher's previous sessions as a tax preparer. (We did not have textbooks at the beginning.) Once our textbooks came, we went over the 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, and the W-2 - just generally what all of the lines mean, what the filing statuses mean, etc. So nothing earth shattering in this class but you have to start somewhere. The class ran over and I had to leave because I had to catch a bus unfortunately so I don't know how long they ended up staying. Should be interesting though. I have some homework for me tonight - although the in class exercises consisted of correctly filling in an address header and 1040EZ, so I don't think it will take long.

16 comments:

lesliet said...

I looked into this a few years ago, as a possible good retirement job. I was rather disappointed when I learned the pay scale; being used to tech-job pay rates, the H&R Block compensation was a lot less than I expected and only a few steps above McDonald's.

RGnotbychoice said...

I am half way thru my class with H&R and it has been interesting to say the least. I love my instructor, but I totally understand your 1st day, as that was our first day schedule. The amount they pay vs. incentives is not very inticing, and when you make bonus of more than $9 per hour, they deduct the hourly rate to only pay you the bonus. Our class did the math and working 20 hours a week you are looking at $700 approx per month!!! You have to bust your buns to make it a decent wage. Don't get me wrong, the information is great. The networking with others in the class is wonderful. I still might apply to work, they ahve a new office two blks from my house!! Good Luck!

Carol said...

I have taken the H & R Block tax course 3 times over the last several years. I usually (depending on the instructors knowledge) enjoyed the classes and refreshed my memory because sometimes there were a couple years between preparing taxes. I knew I was going to move to another area and thought that working for Block would be good because I could go anywhere and have a job so in 2007 I took the class in FL and was very very disappointed since it was geared only to working for Block which meant it was mandatory to learn Block software. This software is directed towards sales of other Block services and learning this software took a lot of time away from actual tax prep. The instructor was a long time Block tax preparer and instructor but gave incorrect info quite often and didn't seem to care. The class only went to a certain point and then if you did not become an employee the remaining classes were on your own (news to me). I explained that I am not a sales type person and only wanted to prepare taxes and suggested that Block have one sales person appointed to present the products available and probably increase the returns prepared as well as the sales of other products. I was told that if it was not presented during the interview the client would not stay to hear the other product information.

The beginning pay has been slightly increased but even giving me credit for the other classes I had taken as well as the total years of actually preparing taxes it only increased the Return commission by 26 cents. It was stated during the first class - how much H & R Block annual revenue is.
It seems they are not a company who wants to pay their employees for making Block revenue what it is today. If the total number of required classes were taught as they used to be and the compensation increased they wouldn't lose so many employees.

I am very disappointed that Block has changed their method of teaching. With the attitude that they don't want to teach people to prepare taxes for someone else and total disregard to considering the one- sided ratio of their income to source of income their result is loss of some prospective dedicated long time employees. It is a loss to the tax industry as a whole but apparently hasn't hurt the good ole' Block continuous bottom line revenue.

CA

Anonymous said...

hi,i have one question.for homework,did u guys read a whole chapter and complete all review exercises or did u read in class,they give deomonstrations,n the rest is for homework?exactly what was ur schedule?

Anonymous said...

is the tax course in h & r block poor that not all of their students be employed at h & r block?

Kira said...

I'm not sure exactly what you mean, but many of the people who took the class with me weren't interested in working there, just in learning about taxes. Anyone who passed the class was welcome to apply for a job and if they were otherwise good workers they probably would get a job.

Anonymous said...

I took the tax course, not only did they teach me the use of the software but I can also hand prepare taxes. If you don't do the work in the workbook you will not learn to do taxes by hand and since the teacher has to teach both hand prepared and computer prepared they can't afford to teach one person how to hand prepare taxes especially when he/she obviously didn't bother to open the workbook and look at the assignments.

Anonymous said...

I took the H&R block course with the impression I would be hired. However that is not the case. I had the passing grade and wasn't hired. And when I contacted the distract manager the following year. I was told I had to retake the course and pay again, with no guarantee of a job. Fool me once but not twice. Very misleading. They only want your money. Its a good learning experience but not worth the money.

Anonymous said...

I am taking the final exam this Saturday after 3 mos. of classes. It is good information, but yest their software will drive you do drink. I am still hoping to get employed with them however, b/c the first year is chalked-up to experience anyway. If I survive the first season, it will be a great way to supplemente my income.

Anonymous said...

I can't get anybody to tell me how much the classes are in the first place. So what could be made after classes is a moot point!

Anonymous said...

The class is $99 and they are registering now.

Anonymous said...

I am wondering that final exam .
Is it very difficult?
I have a class H&R Block now.
Can I get exam sample?

Anonymous said...

How many weeks does the class last and is there a dress code ????

Kira said...

The classes are generally about three months long and there was no dress code at mine.

annc5411 said...

I paid 200.

Anonymous said...

I am slightly over halfway through my course in CA. I simply am taking it as a refresher, and am truly disappointed in the poor quality of course materials--errors throughout, poor instructor with limited knowledge - base --often incorrect, and a computerized grading system with flaws...add to this inadequate facilities and and instructor and district manager who fear sharing their contact info....so, save your $200, and take a tax course at your jr college. You'll be miles ahead!