Drake Software blog for tax pros, covering tax, IRS news, and more

Online Courses for Tax Preparation

Online Courses for Tax Preparation

In an increasingly competitive industry, tax preparers must stay updated in their understanding of the latest regulations and enhance their skills. Online courses for tax preparation have emerged as an invaluable resource, offering flexibility and convenience while providing the knowledge and expertise needed to navigate complex tax situations. Choosing the right online course is paramount to ensuring a fruitful learning experience that aligns with your career goals as a tax professional.  

As a tax preparer, you understand the value of continuous learning to remain competitive in an ever-changing industry. Online education enables the expansion of knowledge, acquirement of new skills, and specialization in areas that align with your career aspirations. With an abundance of online courses available, navigating the online learning landscape can be overwhelming. There are several important factors to consider when finding the right fit for an online provider, such as researching course providers and platforms, comparing course content and structure, and evaluating the cost and value. In making an informed decision, you can transform your career and propel your growth as a tax preparer through online learning.  

Learning Objectives and Needs 

The first area of consideration when seeking online courses for tax preparation is your scope of interest, needs, and ideal learning objectives. For example, you may be interested in supplementing your understanding of individual taxation, corporate taxation, international tax laws, or specialized areas like estate planning or nonprofit taxation. Identifying your personal areas of interest will help you narrow down the course options that cater to those corresponding subjects, ensuring that you receive specialized and relevant training. 

Determining your skill level is another important aspect to consider. You may be a beginner, seeking to build a solid foundation of tax knowledge; alternatively, you might be an experienced tax professional pursuing advanced courses to deepen your expertise. Understanding your current skill level will guide you towards courses that align with your proficiency, ensuring that you neither choose courses that are too basic nor overly complex. Online courses often provide descriptions or recommended prerequisites, enabling you to gauge the appropriate level of difficulty. 

Additionally, consider your learning style and preferences. Online courses offer various learning approaches to cater to different needs. For those who prefer a self-paced learning experience, courses that provide flexibility in scheduling and allow you to learn at your own speed might be the ideal choice. On the other hand, if you thrive in a structured environment with clear deadlines and regular progress assessments, courses that follow a fixed schedule and provide a more guided approach could be better suited for you. Reflect on your preferred learning style to find a course that complements your individual needs and maximizes your learning potential. 

Course Content 

When selecting an online course for tax preparation, it's essential to compare course content to ensure it matches your learning goals. Assessing the depth and comprehensiveness of the curriculum is vital; a well-rounded tax course should cover key topics such as tax regulations, deductions, credits, and tax forms. Additionally, it should delve into more specialized areas based on your interests, such as business taxation, real estate taxation, or self-employment taxes. Take the time to review the course syllabus or description to ensure that the content aligns with your desired areas of focus and provides the level of detail you expect. 

Another aspect to consider is the use of multimedia resources, case studies, and practical examples. Engaging and interactive course materials can greatly enhance your experience and quality of education.  Look for courses that incorporate videos, interactive exercises, and real-world case studies that simulate actual tax scenarios. These resources not only facilitate a deeper understanding of the subject matter but also provide valuable hands-on practice, allowing you to apply what you've learned in a practical context. 

Cost and Value 

When selecting an online course for tax preparation, it's important to carefully consider the cost and value of the course. While the price is a factor to consider, it should not be the sole determining factor in your decision-making process. Start by evaluating the payment options available for the course. Some courses may offer a one-time payment option, while others provide flexible installment plans or subscription-based models. Assess your budget and financial situation to determine what payment structure works best for you. 

In addition to the base tuition fees, it's essential to assess any additional costs that may be involved. These can include the cost of textbooks, supplementary materials, or access to specialized software or research databases. Take these factors into account when comparing the overall cost of different courses. Keep in mind that while a course with a higher price tag may offer additional resources or support, it may not always be necessary for your specific learning objectives. 

To truly evaluate the value of a course, consider the return on investment in terms of career advancement and improved skills. Research the reputation of the course provider and the recognition or certifications offered upon completion. Recognized certifications can enhance your professional credentials and set you apart in the job market. Additionally, consider the quality of the course content, the expertise of the instructors, and the level of support and resources provided by the platform. Balancing the cost with the overall value and potential benefits will help you make a well-informed decision. 

Researching Course Providers and Platforms 

When embarking on your search for online courses as a tax preparer, it is essential to conduct thorough research on course providers and platforms. Taking the time to evaluate and compare various options will help ensure that you choose a reputable and high-quality course that meets your specific needs. 

Be sure to review the provider’s accreditation and affiliations with recognized tax organizations. Accreditation adds credibility to the course and signifies that it meets certain standards of quality. Additionally, affiliations with respected tax organizations demonstrate that the course provider is well-regarded within the tax community and aligns with industry best practices. 

Similarly, evaluating reviews and testimonials from past participants can provide valuable insights into the quality and effectiveness of the courses. Reading about the experiences of others who have taken the course can help you gauge its relevance, usefulness, and overall satisfaction levels. Platforms often have review systems in place, allowing participants to share their feedback, which can be a valuable resource in making your decision. 

Knowledgeable and experienced instructors can also greatly enhance your learning experience and provide valuable insights. Look for courses where instructors have relevant qualifications, such as advanced degrees in taxation or extensive experience working as tax professionals or educators. Their expertise will ensure that the course content is accurate, up-to-date, and taught by industry experts. 

Finally, explore the offered student support services and resources provided by the platform. Adequate support can enhance your learning experience and help you overcome any challenges you may encounter during the course. Look for platforms that offer resources such as online forums, discussion boards, or access to instructors for clarification or additional guidance. These support services can contribute to a more engaging and rewarding learning journey. 

Online Courses with Drake 

At Drake Software, we offer a range of online courses tailored specifically for tax preparers. Our online courses provide tax professionals with comprehensive training and up-to-date knowledge to excel in their tax preparation endeavors. We have webcasts that correspond with our accounting software, including introductory courses on accounting payroll courses, bookkeeping, and resources for how to navigate Drake portals. Many of these webcasts are available in both English and Spanish to help reach a greater audience. 

Another learning resource we offer at Drake as online courses for tax preparation is DrakeCPE. These continuing education resources for tax preparers come in the form of self-study education, webinars, live classes, and more. From year-to-year updates and IRS regulations to industry best practices and filing tips, we offer a range of over fifty courses that are sure to meet your needs for relevant knowledge as a tax preparer. Additionally, Drake is an IRS-qualified sponsor of continuing professional education, so these courses can help you meet your annual CPE requirements. Read more about IRS CPE requirements for tax preparers on our blog here. 

We are proud that Drake customers have come to depend on us for their CPE as seen most recently in the 2023 CPA Advisor Readers’ Choice Awards. Our goal is to offer what you need, when you need it! Our teams support you however they can, which helps enhance the learning experience of our valued clients and allows you as a tax professional to address any questions or concerns you may have along the way. 


Choosing the right online course for tax preparers is a crucial step towards professional growth and success in the ever-evolving tax industry. By assessing your learning objectives and needs, researching course providers and platforms, comparing course content and structure, and considering the cost and value, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your career goals. 

Online courses provide tax professionals with the flexibility, convenience, and expertise needed to stay updated with the latest tax regulations and enhance their skills. Whether you're looking to specialize in a specific area of tax, deepen your knowledge of tax software, or expand your understanding of tax planning strategies, there is a wide range of online courses available to cater to your needs. At Drake Software, we seek to offer every online course you might need to thrive as a tax preparer and utilize our comprehensive software for the utmost success.

Drake Software Blog Team

The Drake Software Blog Team is proud to cover the latest in tax-industry-related news, from tax law and IRS updates to technology and business strategies. If you have questions about an article or just want to reach out to our staff, email comments@taxingsubjects.com.