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  • Name: Lucy Filer
  • Job Title: Finance Intern
  • Location: Guildford
  • University: Southampton
  • Degree: BSc Mathematics
  • Areas of Specialism: Tax

After working in the Business Tax department at Moore Stephens for over 18 months, I am now more motivated than ever to pursue a successful career as a business tax advisor.

Why did you choose a job in business tax?

After doing some research, I realised that the ACA qualification would be a solid foundation for any career in business and finance. I was also enthusiastic to become a member of a prestigious and internationally recognised professional body. After I heard tax described as ‘law with numbers’, I decided that a job in business tax would be the ideal route to the ACA qualification for me. This was because I excelled in maths at school and university and I enjoyed a week of work experience at a law firm. I only applied to mid-tier accountancy firms because I wanted to gain exposure to a diverse client base, varying in terms of both size and business sector. Since joining Moore Stephens, I have worked with a wide range of clients, including international shipping companies, ancient trade associations and charities.

What is your current role?

Once I had been working at Moore Stephens for a year, I was given responsibility for a portfolio of approximately 50 clients. My job primarily involves preparing corporation tax returns and advising on tax payments due. I have attended a number of client meetings and I am now the main contact for the clients in my portfolio. Preparing a tax return requires a methodical and thorough approach. However, the ability to successfully manage a portfolio of clients is most important in this role so a business tax advisor must have exceptional organisational, time management and interpersonal skills. This is because I am often required to meet conflicting deadlines and adapt to changing priorities. I also spend a lot of my time liaising with clients and colleagues in the audit department of my firm in order to obtain the information required to complete the tax return.

What is it that you enjoy most about your current role?

I get the greatest job satisfaction from the feeling that I am progressing with every week that passes. I am very aware that my technical knowledge is constantly improving and I am becoming more familiar with the clients in my portfolio. I am continually developing positive working relationships with my colleagues and as a result I am being given more and more responsibility.

What has been the biggest challenge of your career so far?

I found this role quite overwhelming at first because the initial learning curve is very steep. On my first day at Moore Stephens, I had very little knowledge about how a company’s corporation tax liability is calculated. However, I found my colleagues to be extremely helpful and I was encouraged to take my time and ask for assistance.

How do you manage studying for a professional qualification alongside working?

It is a challenge to find the motivation to study after a day at college or in the office. However, there are normally only a couple of months between starting tuition at college and sitting the exam, so I remind myself that this is only short term. I try to revise alongside my colleagues who are sitting the same exams so we can encourage each other.

Do you have any advice for anyone else wanting to enter a career in business tax?

Applying for graduate roles is a lengthy and time consuming process, but it is definitely worth it in the end. I have made some really good friends since I joined Moore Stephens and I look forward to coming into work. My self-confidence has grown considerably over the last 18 months and I am now feeling more motivated than ever to prosper at work.

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