Reflections on a First Tax Season

Ben Harris, founder of Numberman LLC

Ben Harris, founder of Numberman LLC

This last tax season was a breeze with the help of Numberman LLC’s “new” employee and accountant, Riza Llanes. We were able to maintain the usual stellar service to our many bookkeeping clients and complete taxes for all our continuing, plus many new, tax clients.

As Numberman LLC grows we appreciate the customers who were with us from the beginning and the new ones as well!

Now that we are through the hectic season, I asked Riza to share her reflections on her first tax season. It turns out Numberman LLC not only has a smart and hardworking accountant, but a witty one as well. Enjoy!

Thoughts About My First Tax Season

When I was in school I would never have imagined myself as a tax preparer. It sounded so…well boring to be perfectly frank, but that was before I learned what it really takes to prepare other peoples taxes.

Before I can talk about that let me tell you what my life was like before I was hired at Numberman LLC.

Honestly I was a little aimless, wandering through my life. I had just quit a dead-end job after leaving another dead-end job and picked up another seasonal job to help make ends meet at the time. It was a vicious cycle that could have only ended when I decided that enough was enough, and I changed something about it.

Back to School

I was given an opportunity to take my career in another direction, and I took it. But first I had to get my license. Going to H&R Block to take their tax prep classes was definitely a challenge. It had been some years since I took a class. I was working full time and it was kind of exhausting at first to work eight or more hours a day and then go to a three hour class where the subject was very dry (to say the least) and fast paced. The class was an eighty hour class that lasted for about three months. That’s three hours of class time, three days a week, for three months, learning about all the tax laws that I some how crammed into my brain.


The Block (as I’d like to refer to H&R Block) was nice enough. The education was solid although a bit tailored to employment there. I think it took some perseverance and a little bit of studying and reading some very dry material that at the time only made a little bit of sense to me. Maybe actually a bit more studying. The class was set up so that only a couple of exams really counted. If you didn’t pass it, then you couldn’t take the state board exam test because you need their proof that you passed a qualifying class to be able to sit for the exam. Well, I passed the class and then the state board exam to become an Oregon Licensed Tax Preparer.

Where was I going with this? Oh yeah. It was hard but not impossible. Challenging, but in the end it was definitely worth the experience.

Reflections on a first tax season

I thought it would have been a lot harder than it actually was for me. What a relief that it wasn’t, but that doesn’t mean that there weren’t any challenges.

It took some time and practice to know what tax document went where. I still have a lot to learn about tax laws and the software program that we use, but I did learn a lot from just this first season alone. I also found that research is needed to be able to do the job well.

I was not prepared for the volume of people that would contact us to help them. While we simply did not have enough time to work with every one that contacted us, I am thankful that before the tax season started we had utilized a new CRM (customer relation management) program to help us manage our clients. It was very helpful to know what needs to be done in order for our clients to get the help that they are paying for.

It feels good to help

It felt (and still feels) good to be able to help people out. The concept of taxes and filling out all those forms and schedules can be very daunting in many ways, and that’s why people procrastinate in doing them or look for professional help even. Knowing that I can (and did) help alleviate some of their anxieties and fears about taxes is rewarding in its own right. It’s been my pleasure to help our clients out.

Benjamin Franklin wrote “… in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Thanks for letting us take care of the taxes part.

Riza Llanes, Accountant, Numberman LLC

Riza Llanes and Oshi

Riza Llanes, pictured with Oshi, shares her reflections on a first tax season

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