I started my own company in 1998. I remember going to Australia for five weeks at the back end of 1997 and taking the decision to start my own business. My mind was made up on a beautiful beach called Four mile beach outside Port Douglas in Northern Australia (I don't think I have been on a beach since!). The business has grown successfully and has been based on very hard work, some wonderful colleagues and clients.
Describe a typical day?
One of the wonderful things about a career in tax is there is no typical day. The challenges offered are so varied. Today, for example, I was advising individuals who are looking at a possible acquisition of a property in New York and want to know the tax implications and how to structure it, preparing a tax presentation to an executive who is planning retirement and dealing with some Revenue correspondence. Part of the great challenge is finding solutions to questions - reviewing legislation, reference books and Revenue practice to finding the sometimes elusive answer to a tax problem.
What are the main tasks and responsibilities?
I am responsible for ensuring that clients are provided with an excellent service by our organisation.
What are the main challenges?
Tax is constantly changing and it is very challenging. There are difficult concepts and sometimes large amounts of money involved. There is a constant requirement to keep up to date. There are professional development courses run by the Irish Taxation Institute which are invaluable in this regard. Team work is also very important as many minds and second opinions are often invaluable in solving difficult problems.
Getting a technical answer to a difficult question and getting well paid for it.
The things I like best are dealing with so many different people and the variation involved in the work.
What's not so cool?
The tax deadlines...the deadlines..yes October and November are very hard going.
It is a very challenging career with constant change in legislation and practice.
What particular skills do you bring to your workplace?
You need to have a good work ethic and be very committed to invest in tax knowledge.
Clients want advisors who are approachable and can explain technical tax concepts in an understandable way.