• Role: Corporate Tax Associate
  • Location: Birmingham
  • University: -Other UK-
  • Degree: School Leaver
Jake Cross from RSM

Jake Cross

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How did you get your job at RSM?

When I was approaching the end of Year 13 at school studying for my A-Levels, I had to make a choice between University and an Apprenticeship. I applied for both degree courses at several universities and apprenticeships with different employers, but ultimately decided that learning via an apprenticeship route would get me to where I wanted to be quicker and without the lifetime debt!

Why did you choose RSM?

I chose RSM as I felt that the team was the right size to really feel valued and I also wanted the opportunity to work with a variety of clients, from large corporate groups to owner-managed businesses to not-for profit organisations. I initially joined as ‘Tax Assistant’ which meant I also had the opportunity to work in our Private Client team, and occasionally our VAT team – thus giving me a decent exposure to different types of tax.

What’s it like working at RSM?

I really enjoy working here at RSM. I get to interact on a near daily-basis with our Audit and Accounts departments which has helped to improve my communication skills. Also, I have witnessed the variety of work which I had previously anticipated when applying for the job initially. Everybody is approachable and willing to help you as much as they possibly can which really helped when I was first settling in.

What are your main duties/roles in your current position?

Now that I have been at RSM for 4 years, my role has moved from more of a ‘preparer’ role to a ‘reviewer’ role. My main duties are:

  • Preparation and reviewing corporation tax computations and returns for my client portfolio
  • Research into technical aspects of the role using the tax legislation (essentially ‘tax law’)
  • Helping to develop the more junior members of the team
  • Assisting the department managers with advisory-based projects (such as research and development tax relief claims)
  • Day-to-day correspondence with clients
  • Liaising with HMRC

What skills have you found to be particularly useful in this sector/profession?

Good communication skills are really helpful for working in this role. There are always letters, e-mails and phone calls to make to clients, other departments internally and HMRC. My communication skills have definitely improved since joining RSM due to the frequent exposure to such scenarios.

Time-keeping is an essential skill. There are various deadlines throughout the year, both internal and external. These could be when tax returns need to be submitted by, when any tax liability needs to be paid and the preparation of tax figures may be required as part of an international reporting requirement.

A strong work ethic is also needed as the levels of work can fluctuate, whether this is having a lot of work to complete in a short space of time or simply due to the technical nature of some work.

How do you see yourself progressing from your current position in the next 2-3 years?

Within the next 2-3 years, I am hoping to have finished my CTA qualification and working towards achieving manager grade. I had to work hard across the previous 3-4 years to complete both my ATT and Apprenticeship qualifications, but ultimately that has led to me being promoted from ‘Assistant’ to ‘Associate’, along with the knowledge learnt on the job.

Once I have finished all of my qualifications, I would also be interest in completing an international secondment to one of our worldwide RSM offices, such as USA or Australia.

What challenges have you come across and what support have you received?

Studying at the same time as working and also trying to have a personal/social life is a difficult equilibrium to achieve. There have been some key deadlines whilst I have been out of the office so it was important that I was on top of things well in advance to ensure that I could get the work done or to get it to a point that somebody else could complete it.

RSM allows students to attend college during the week, rather than be at work, and we have an ‘Exam Training Manager’ within our team which means that any queries can be resolved regarding the studying aspect of the role.

Do you have any advice for anyone wanting to work at RSM?

It is important to make sure that research is completed to make sure you know how you’ll fit in at RSM, what value you can add and the culture of the team. If these points are carefully considered, I’m sure your application could go as far as you want it to and you’ll fit in.

I would also like to add that it is rewarding to be involved in such a great team and working with some great clients. My assistance in advisory projects has led to our clients receiving hundreds of thousands of pounds in tax repayments which really highlights how important the work is and how much of a valued member of the team I am.

Describe RSM in 3 words

Collaborative, supportive, knowledgeable

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