I joined Buzzacott as a graduate after completing my degree in Biochemistry at Imperial College London. I often joke with colleagues and clients that it was a bit of a 180’ going from a lab based science degree to a London office working in finance but it’s not all contrasts. I found my science background gave me a good foundation in the analytical and mathematical skills that helped with both the advisory and more technical aspects of my role. I was very lucky to join Buzzacott’s Expatriate Tax Services team where we advise on both US and UK taxes. The dynamic of working with two very different tax systems keeps everything interesting and I’m hoping will lead to international opportunities during my career.
I joined Buzzacott on a three year training contract during which time I sat my ATT and Enrolled Agents (US) exams whilst also getting to grips with client based work including tax return preparation. Towards the end of my training contract I chose to complete the CTA exams to become a UK Chartered Tax Adviser. I believe the skills I learnt as part of this qualification really helped me in my work, particularly with advice work for clients which I love doing. One of the things that motivates me is building long-term meaningful relationships with clients and helping them through the complex world of US-UK tax considerations.
Talk to as many people as you can. Most people are more than happy to talk about their experiences and offer advice or guidance. Accountancy, tax and finance is such a broad sector, don’t be afraid to investigate different niche markets. I can’t say I always pictured myself in Expatriate Tax but I am grateful to have found myself here and I don’t think I would have without some open conversations with my mum (mum knows best!) and team members when I completed work experience placements. Know what drives and motivates you, knowing that I could work a 40 year career and still never know all there is to know in my field is something that helps keep things interesting for me personally!
I think it has affected each client and our relationship differently. With video-calls becoming more the norm I have definitely had more contact with certain clients, particularly those who aren’t local to London for whom an in person meeting wasn’t always quick and easy to arrange. However, I do feel that more elderly or less tech-savvy clients have suffered from the lack of personal contact and so it was important to me to ensure that they still felt supported by us whether that’s picking up the phone when we would normally be able to meet or keeping in touch regularly over email.
I have definitely missed a good team social, zoom quizzes just aren’t the same as a meet up with colleagues. Conversely, I actually really enjoyed a lot of the virtual networking events that I have attended and found it easier to talk with more new people. The increased flexibility of lunch time virtual networking webinars or afternoon sessions also meant I have been able to attend more events than a busy work and social calendar from pre-covid would allow.
When you log off, log off. I am a strong believer in not allowing work notifications to infiltrate my evenings, weekends or time off and this helps keep work and home life separate and ensure I can go back to my desk feeling refreshed rather than permanently worn down by the constant email and chat notifications. Oh, and regular dog cuddles help with even the most stressful deadlines!
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