Can you tell us about your path from college to a career in tax?
After college, I joined EY as an assurance associate. However, I always liked studying tax - I found it interesting and loved how varied it is. Tax has a big impact on the economy and even small changes can have a big impact on everyone. I love being a part of this. In my third year in audit, a tax position came up in EY and I approached my counsellor for a move to the tax department.
I love working in the tax department in EY Waterford. The work is enjoyable and interesting. On a day to day basis, I work on numerous clients from different industries. As a Manager in the corporation tax department, I help prepare tax returns for both small and large entities, review first years’ work, collate information on specific tax legislation and draft letters and reports to go out to clients. I also help auditors with the audit of tax and ensure the tax accounts are correctly reflected in the financial statements, which I enjoy as I still get to use my accounting knowledge.
Even as a trainee I have been given plenty of responsibility. There is no shortage of interesting work to get involved in. My managers are very approachable and always willing to help. Having worked in the tax department for 4 years now, I have received a lot of coaching and this experience has been invaluable.
I decided to pursue the CTA qualification as it opens the door to a vast range of exciting career opportunities, in every sector of business and finance. I loved how CTA offered distance learning which particularly appealed to me as Dublin was the closest lectures which is a two hour drive for me. This allowed me to study at the weekend and avoid unnecessary travel. As the lectures were recorded it gave me the flexibility to view them in my own time, which I found especially appealing with having to juggle both work and study.
The skills I learned when studying for the CTA exams have been invaluable. It has definitely helped me in my role, I liked how I was immediately able to apply what I learned in lectures to my day job.
The qualification is a mix of both interim papers and exams. The exam questions are focused on real life scenarios, and the interim papers help you prepare for report writing which is an integral part of the job as a tax adviser. The Professional Skills assignments presented real-life scenarios whereby we had to apply tax knowledge to answer a client’s concerns, mirroring real life.
There is no other professional tax qualification that provides students with the same support, structure, guidance and quality of education throughout the training process. It is an excellent qualification which offers so many opportunities.
If you are considering a career in tax, I would advise doing an internship, this really helps you understand what the job entails and is a great experience. There is so many opportunities in tax, and an internship helps you decide what area you would like to specialise in. It also allows you to learn about the experiences of others and the different paths they have taken.