Lorcan, what did you study at college?
I studied Commerce & French in NUIG, specialising in accounting and tax. My third year was an Erasmus which I spent in Marseille. After my degree I completed a Masters in Accounting, also in NUIG.
Yes, I did a summer internship in KPMG, Galway during college and also spent a few weeks in the tax department.
This is where I saw first-hand what a tax career was like and the kind of work tax professionals do on a day to day basis. I really liked that the job was so varied, for example working on a tax computation or researching tax case law. This variety keeps the job interesting.
I was fully decided on a career in tax following that summer!
Well, I applied to KPMG for a training contract through the "milk round" process. This was a 3 year contract during which I completed both my Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) qualification and ACA Chartered Accountant qualification. When I completed my training contract I was promoted to Tax Senior in KPMG.
Well firstly, I chose the Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) qualification as it is the most widely recognised and best regarded tax qualification in Ireland by employers.
I really liked how the syllabus was so practical and relevant to my day to day job – what I was learning at lectures, I was putting in to practice! A large part was that the lecturers were very approachable and helpful.
The Professional Skills Workshops were a great preparation for exams and for work also. They provided an opportunity to work on specific problems in a group environment and to learn from both the tutor and fellow students.
I report directly to the Chief Financial Officer. I am responsible for looking after the corporate tax and VAT obligations of the company, as well as it's domestic and international tax strategy. This means I advise on all aspects of tax law and would regularly be liaising with tax and law firms and the Revenue Commissioners.
It’s so encouraging to see the value that I can add to my workplace as a Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA). The tax advice I give is critical in so many business decisions and I really enjoy being part of that.
Good communication skills! Communicating effectively is critical for a tax professional and the ability to explain complex issues to a tax ‘layman’ is very important. I would also say teamwork skills are key – as a tax professional I am frequently working as part of various teams. I also find that I use my numerical and analytical skills on the projects that I work on.
I would strongly recommend a career in tax if you are thinking about it. Tax professionals are in high demand by employers and can add real value to any business. It is a challenging and rewarding career, which can place you at the heart of business decision making. It can also be an excellent springboard to other careers in finance.