Hi, I’m Louise Nicholson, and I work in EY Cayman Islands.
Louise – tell us about school and college
I went to school in Copsewood College, Pallaskenry in Limerick. It was during my time in Copsewood, with the encouragement of one particular teacher whom I greatly admired that I decided to do a degree in the area of business. So after my leaving cert, I went on to study law and accounting in UL.
The modules in taxation were always my favourite and I felt tax was one of the few areas that I could use my background in both law and business.
How did you find studying for the Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) qualification?
I found the lectures and other exam preparation support provided to us by the Irish Tax Institute excellent. For me some of the other key advantages were the option to sit both the Part 2 and Part 3 exams in the same year and also the choice of locations to sit the exams in. I always found coming home to a home cooked meal a big advantage after a tough day of exams!!
How do you find working in a tax position abroad?
Well last year, I decided to take a break from Irish tax and look internationally for a new experience. The place that appealed to me most was the Cayman Islands - the quality of life, the weather and the small town feel were some of the key things that attracted me to the Island.
Now I am working in the tax department in EY where at the moment the majority of my work is in the financial services industry working mainly on US taxation. There are also some consulting opportunities primarily around FATCA (and other similar measures), the introduction of VAT in the Bahamas and other general ad hoc tax queries that come to us from clients and other EY offices in relation to the potential exposure to the various taxes in the BBBC region (Bahamas, Bermuda, BVI and Cayman). Our tax team is going through a growth phase and we expect to see an increase in the number of consulting queries coming to us in the near future.
Needless to say I absolutely love the experience so far although it has been a steep learning curve for me given my background was neither in financial services or US taxation! For me, despite the lack of relevant experience, the fact that I was offered the opportunity to work in such a role shows how highly regarded the Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) qualification is held internationally.
To find out more about a career in EY, visit their website.