Hi, my name is Anna Holohan and I work with Deloitte.
Hi Anna, can you tell us about your college degree and your career decision making process?
I completed a Business and Law Degree at UCD and a Masters of Accounting at UCD Smurfit. Studying a broad degree meant that there were lots of options available. When I studied Revenue law I found that tax had a good mixture of both business and law and that appealed to me.
I found the summer internship route to be really beneficial. It gave me the opportunity to see what a role in tax involved, on a day to day basis. During the internship, I found corporation tax to be a diverse, challenging and interesting area to work in.
The law aspect of my degree equipped me with the ability to read and interpret legislation – a key skill in tax, and I also developed an analytical and questioning mind. While I often complained about the level of group projects we undertook at college, I have found the teamwork skills I learned to be an asset in working in a large corporate tax group where teamwork is part of my daily job.
Can you give us an idea what a typical day for you is like?
A typical day for me involves undertaking compliance work for clients. I prepare tax returns, draft advice for clients, and answer queries from clients. My day also involves some ad-hoc work such as assisting with a project, proposal or piece of advice. This work is normally undertaken as part of a team with a partner, director, manager and trainees.
Each business has its own individual circumstances therefore the tax advice we prepare for these businesses will differ. This ensures that every day brings a new challenge and a new learning experience.
Before joining Deloitte, I did wonder if I would spend my days photocopying and filing, however, I have found that even as a trainee I have been given plenty of responsibility. There is no shortage of interesting work to get involved in and there is excellent support with someone always available to answer any queries or concerns I have.
I really like the atmosphere of a large firm and there really is great camaraderie in the office. Working as part of a large tax team is appealing too. I get to work with some of the top tax minds in Ireland and this provides endless learning opportunities.
Occasionally there can be an important deadline to meet that requires extra hours in the office but this is the exception rather than the norm.
Can you give us an insight in to studying for the Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) qualification?
I decided to pursue the Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) qualification on joining Deloitte. I had undertaken some lectures with the Irish Tax Institute as part of my Masters and found the Irish Tax Institute to be extremely well organised and professional. I knew that I would have excellent support pursuing my tax qualification.
The Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) course appealed to me, as it offered me the chance to attend weekend lectures and also offered online lectures meaning I could balance my work and study commitments.
I have found the quality of the lectures to be very high with the lectures offering interesting insights and their own experiences. I also benefited greatly from the Professional Skills Workshops and assignments. The Professional Skills assignments presented real-life scenarios whereby we had to apply tax knowledge to answer a client’s concerns. This skill is invaluable for my day-to-day job. My research skills and business writing skills were also enhanced through this process.
Already, I am seeing the benefits of studying for my Part 2 exams, as they have helped me develop the skill of applying the tax knowledge to real business scenarios. Each day, as I learn further how to interpret and apply the tax legislation, I am seeing how fundamental good tax advice is. It is exciting to see the pivotal role tax can have on decisions such as the location of companies and the types of activities the companies will engage in.
What advice would you give any college students who are considering a career in tax?
I would advise any college student considering a career in tax to undertake a summer internship or placement in a firm offering tax services. I found this an excellent way to understand what a job in tax would actually involve. Researching careers in tax online also shows the endless and exciting opportunities that a tax qualification can offer. I have found the more I have learned about tax, the more I understand how varied roles in tax can be.
I like that tax legislation is always changing, as it ensures I never get bored. It keeps me interested in my job. Seeing the impact good tax advice can have on clients encourages me to work diligently.
What are the career opportunities in your sector?
There are lots of opportunities in tax and especially in corporation tax. There are so many positions available within professional services firms such as Deloitte, the Irish Revenue, in the internal tax departments of large companies, etc. I know that I can build a successful career based on my Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) qualification.
Have you worked abroad?
While I haven’t yet had the opportunity to work abroad, I do get to see the international aspects of tax in my job. There are plenty of opportunities to work with international businesses that are located in Ireland or have operations in Ireland.
To find out more about a career in Deloitte, visit their website.