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Finding my way here
In the runup to leaving university, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life: “The world’s your lobster” as the saying on Only Fools and Horses goes. I knew I enjoyed working with numbers and was interested in how companies worked, so doing the ACA qualification and working in assurance seemed to be a logical start to a career.
Whilst doing the ACA I realised that I enjoyed the world of tax. Before I knew it the ACA qualification was finished and I’d signed up for another year of study and five more exams. This fired the starting gun for a change in career path.
The transition into the tax team started in 2019. I started to get involved in first reviews of assurance team tax computations before they were reviewed by the tax consultancy team and also helped draft tax reports for clients.
- Joined BKL in September 2015 after graduating in Economics from UCL
- Progressed to assistant manager in the assurance team
- ACA qualification between 2015 and 2018; CTA qualification between 2019 and 2020
- Joined the tax consultancy team as a manager in 2021
- Became a senior manager in 2023
Challenges and success
I’m a strong believer that if you want to achieve something, then you’ve got to put yourself out there to make it known and also put in the hard work to get there. I realised quickly at BKL that those who work hard would be rewarded.
During my time with the assurance team, the atmosphere was a supportive one: there was no such thing as a stupid question and everyone wanted to help you learn. The challenge of juggling work and study helped me learn how I deal with pressure and stress: something which will stay with me throughout my whole career.
The transition to the tax consultancy team between 2019 and 2021 was tough. Picking up additional tax work where I could meant that working hours grew longer whilst I was fitting in study in the evenings and at weekends. The work become more varied and interesting and the steep learning curve began to get less steep.
With no set path to move into the tax consultancy team, I adopted a “roll your sleeves up and just get involved” type attitude. I tried not to pass up any opportunities to learn something new or get involved in a new project. Much of the first few months was spent reviewing tax computations, undertaking tax due diligence work and drafting clearances to HMRC (for reorganisations).
The team were very welcoming, forgiving and supportive. They made the time to explain technical points so I understood them and to show me where I had gone wrong in analysis.
Over time, my confidence and technical knowledge grew. The biggest risk in tax consultancy is the unknown unknown: a piece of tax legislation you have no idea exists coming back to bite you further down the line! I’m now taking client meetings, planning structured tax advice and writing reports giving the advice to clients.
In May 2022 I won Rising Star at the Tolley’s Taxation Awards. I see this as the beginning of my career in the tax world – there’s no point being a rising star if you don’t eventually light up the sky, right?!
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