Whether your tax team needs outside assistance or you’re finally hiring dedicated internal resources to focus on property taxes, it’s critical to find someone knowledgeable who fits with your team. The right person will not only have property tax knowledge, but also be able to help you make good business decisions concerning this niche tax area.
Jordan Perri, tax director at Allyn International, has hired many tax professionals throughout his management career. In this article, he identifies three things you can do to identify and onboard excellent candidates, setting you both up for success.
How To Hire & Onboard Property Tax Experts
1. Understand your tax context.
Before searching the job market for the “best and brightest,” you first need to have an idea of what kind of candidate is best for your business. Perri recommends answering a few questions to help conceptualize your tax context:
- What are your current property tax obligations?
- What are your typical property tax costs?
- How complex are your compliance needs?
- What industry do you operate in?
Perri notes that property tax costs are a particularly important area to consider, as hiring a dedicated resource for this tax area may not even be financially sound. He says experienced property tax experts can easily command salaries “well into six figures.” So if your property tax costs are comparable or lower than those salaries, consider more affordable options. (Here are two other ways to address a lack of in-house manpower.)
“Not every organization needs several property tax experts with 20 years of experience and a list of credentials,” Perri explains. “Maybe your property tax situation only demands a single mid-level professional with property tax experience in your industry—and you may only need them part-time. If your property taxes are simple, perhaps you could just hire a tax generalist with property tax knowledge instead of a specialist.”
Want to ensure your search for the perfect property tax analyst bears fruit? Download this free hiring guide.
2. Identify candidates with key qualities of excellence.
How can you tell whether property tax experts are actually…well, experts? Perri follows the advice of Dave Ramsey, a finance expert and public speaker, who says any financial consultant or advisor you hire should have the “heart of a teacher.”
Perri’s interpretation of this advice is that the candidate should want to help you understand the scenario you’re dealing with well enough to make a sound decision on the matter, even if you don’t have the same level of knowledge. He says a good rule of thumb is that the professional is able to explain a complicated scenario in less than 60 seconds.
“Tax decisions are business decisions at the end of the day, so you need to hire a property tax professional who understands this and will be able to make even complex property tax scenarios digestible at a high level, quickly,” Perri explains. “You still won’t be able to do the job yourself, but you will be confident that they’re doing the job competently.”
In addition to property tax knowledge, Perri also looks for candidates to have:
- Resilience. “Candidates should be able to work in high-pressure, ambiguous situations,” says Perri.
- Awareness. “There’s always a problem hidden in tax rules, internal data, and unforeseen circumstances,” Perri explains. “Good property tax experts will keep an open mind about this reality and be on the lookout for complications before they arise.”
- Empathy. “Property tax touches multiple business functions, and this requires communicating with other teams,” says Perri. “The candidate must have empathy to connect with other people who will not have the same motivation about collecting tax information.”
3. Onboard new team members in an organized yet flexible manner.
Your organization will likely have its own unique onboarding process, but Perri has a few recommendations to consider:
- Have a clear onboarding schedule. “It’s important for you, your team, and the new hire to be on the same page about expectations–i.e., what’s going to happen and when,” Perri explains.
- Make the appropriate resources available. “Even the best property tax experts will need guidance, introductions, and contact details,” says Perri. “Be sure they have what (and who) they need to start off right.”
- Be flexible about process changes. “The new hire is bringing unique knowledge and experience to your tax team, which may inspire or necessitate changes to your tax processes,” Perri explains. “Remain open to making these changes or additions, especially if you aren’t a property tax expert yourself.”
Support your new property tax experts with the right technology.
Even veteran property tax experts can use a helping hand with the complex tax cycle. CrowdReason offers property tax software that saves time—and could help you make the necessary and long-lasting process improvements that translate to greater efficiency.
With our solutions, you can:
- Automatically extract property tax data (due dates, addresses, and amounts due) from your tax bills with greater than 99% accuracy using MetaTaskerPT, and import it into your own enterprise tax system or TotalPropertyTax (TPT).
- Track deadlines and prioritize work more easily with an integrated calendar feature.
- Keep all your documents connected to your various property tax accounts so you have important documents readily available for reference.
- Create dashboards based on work done, so you always know at a glance how much work is completed vs. remaining.
- Automate tax bill payment.
Come join the crowd of happy clients who are taking charge of their property taxes with our tax automation software. Schedule a demo today.