Job Dreams: Chartered Tax Advisor

ncs 1/05/2019

When we took to Instagram to find out what careers you were interested in, the responses were super diverse. We had everything from Chef to Coder – so we’re going to bring you a completely different career each time. 

Today, our talented professional is Jess, and she’s a Chartered Tax Advisor.

What do you do?

I work within EY’s Financial Services Tax team, specialising in People Advisory services. This means I work with clients to monitor their employees’ travel globally. I analyse their travel to determine whether they’re approaching or have exceeded any domestic or treaty thresholds from an income tax perspective. 

We then work with the client to ensure they are fully compliant. We highlight the potential income tax and social security implications for both parties and then help them find a solution.

Can you tell us what your day-to-day is like?

I tend to focus on the client relationships. I conduct the final reviews of reports and then send them onto the clients. I offer technical advice and highlight potential risks. I also liaise with other countries on their domestic issues, to ensure I’m developing my knowledge.

What do you love most about your job?

I love how there’s lots of variety – every client has a different solution implemented on a different scale. I like solving client issues and helping them to spot trends and risks, ensuring we’re constantly improving processes.

What do you find most challenging?

It’s an ever-changing market. It’s very important to keep up to date with the latest tax rules both in the UK and internationally – I need to be able to spot potential issues when reviewing an employee’s travel. Luckily, there’s lots of team support to ensure we’re in the know.

What did you see yourself doing when you were a kid?

I always loved art. I saw myself going down a creative route, either as an architect or graphic designer. However, growing up I’d often go to work with my dad during school holidays. He was a financial director and I helped out with bookkeeping. I’ve always loved numbers and enjoyed maths. I’ve always felt rather financially savvy, therefore when looking both at career potential and personal interest I decided to pursue a career in taxation.

What challenges did you face in reaching where you are today?

I joined EY on their apprenticeship scheme and I received a lot of push back from my college for choosing not to go to university. It was only with the support of my family that I decided to go for it. I honestly feel it was the best decision I ever made.

It took a lot of hard work. I had three full-on years. I studied for four qualifications, but achieved them all with first-time passes! Once qualified, I went straight onto completing the Chartered Tax Advisor (CTA) qualification. Throughout all of this, I was working full-time.

If you weren’t a Chartered Tax Advisor, what do you think you’d be?

I honestly don’t know, my partner and I often discuss this. I bought my own home a few years ago and we both agreed we would probably invest in property, buying and doing up homes to either rent out or sell on. We both enjoyed the process of buying and decorating our home and I really gained an interest in interior design. 

Where do you see yourself going next?

My aim is to make manager this year and then I hope to continue progressing my career within EY. My sights are most definitely set on reaching partner in the future. I see myself staying within the business traveller sector as it’s so interesting and diverse.

What do you know now that you wish you’d known when you first left school?

I wish I had known more about my industry and apprenticeships – there was such a push for everyone to go to university! 

I wondered whether I was taking a career-limiting risk by taking a business apprenticeship instead. Was not having a degree going to limit my potential? Would it mean I would be less desirable than candidates with a degree?

It turns out I had nothing to worry about. I have three years on-the-job experience ahead of my colleagues who went to university. I started my professional qualifications immediately and therefore became qualified sooner.

What advice would you give to someone interested in joining your industry?

Research is key. There are so many areas within ‘professional financial services’. Tax is so much more than HMRC and personal tax returns!

Do work experience so you get a feel for the role and potential career. Speak to people already in the industry you are looking to join and try big and small companies so you gain broad experience.

What’s the best piece of professional advice you’ve been given?

No one has got where they are by themselves. Surround yourself with a great team who challenge you and in return you will find you progress quicker.

What quote do you live by?

“Anything is possible when you put your mind to it and work hard.”