Abigail made partner at Gibbons Mannington & Phipps at 26 and is now a general practice partner in a three office Chartered Accountancy Practice based in the South East. A qualified Chartered Accountant with the ICAEW (ACA) and Chartered Tax Advisor (CTA), Abigail provides technical advice to clients on Income Tax, CGT, IHT and Corporate Tax as well as providing accounting services to individuals, trusts and businesses.
I love my job, and I love tax. Tax law changes every year, you always have to keep up to date to understand the rules, learn what planning opportunities such changes bring etc. Clients always want to know the tax position, what is tax efficient, or the tax effect of a particular transaction they’re considering. My job is to advise them, calculate the necessary and report their taxes to HM Revenue and Customs.
As a partner, it’s my job to keep up to date with legislation changes and technical updates, in addition to advising clients. I also manage staff and review their work, maintain client relationships, manage our own firm’s finances and compliance (we are a business ourselves after all) and go out and meet new contacts with the intention of winning new work.
The majority of our clients are local to us. We look after small businesses, larger corporates, charities and individuals, who range from simple pensioners to high net worth individuals. As a result I get a real variety to my client’s and work that is not always possible in more specialist areas of the sector.
To do this job you need to be understanding and sympathetic to clients. You need to be able to understand technical detail and be able to explain it in layman terms, clearly to clients who want to understand their position. You also need to have an eye for detail; the smallest aspect can have a bigger impact on tax than you would expect, so getting your clients to open up and tell you all the detail is key.
2005: Left college with an A level in Accountancy and started as an AAT trainee in the accounts department for a private company that owned petrol forecourts.
2006: Obtained an audit traineeship at Creaseys LLP, a larger practice firm in Tunbridge Wells.
2007: Qualified as AAT and started my ICAEW training for my ACA qualification. I always asked to be seconded to other departments to get experience in all aspects of accounting and tax. After a couple of years I realised that audit was not for me, although I enjoyed accounts, but that I really liked tax.
2008: Moved permanently within Creaseys LLP to their tax department, where I looked after high net worth individuals and owner managed business taxation affairs.
2009: Passed all exams for ACA, but as my training contract was three years, I was time barred from qualifying for a year so I decided to ‘squeeze’ in the CTA exams whilst I waited for my ACA qualification.
2010: Qualified CTA and got my ACA qualification within a month of each other.
2011: I was promoted to manager and selected as one of the Tax Journals’ ’40 under 40’ – their top 40 tax professionals in the UK to watch out for aged under 40. I was 23 at the time.
2012: I was approached by my existing firm, Gibbons Mannington & Phipps (GMP) and joined them as a manager.
2014: Became a partner at GMP aged 26. I am thrilled to be a part of a more rural practice, knowing my clients, being a local business woman.