Career Choices in Tax – Rutherford Cross and the CIOT

At Rutherford Cross we speak to part and newly-qualified tax professionals on a daily basis and are aware of how difficult it can be to decide in which direction to take your career after qualification.

As a result, at the end of last year we teamed up with the Chartered Institute of Taxation to host an informal discussion evening looking at Career Choices in Tax

The aim of the event, led by Anne Oliver, Head of Tax at Skyscanner, and Ross Stupart, Corporate Tax Partner at RSM, was to allow these experienced tax professionals to share examples of their own career journeys with our audience.

Anne Oliver, Head of Tax, Skyscanner

Inspired to become a CA from an early age Anne started her career at PWC but motivated by the desire to be more involved in a business, she decided to move into an inhouse role, and joined Scottish & Newcastle, before eventually joining Skyscanner in 2014.

Why Skyscanner?

  • Variety of tax exposure for all entities – very challenging which Anne enjoys
  • Constantly evolving business
  • Feels like a key part of the business and has a voice in business decisions
  • Can really add value to an exciting business

Anne’s thoughts on how to achieve career progression within a tax role:

  • Take the opportunity to develop unique skills and differentiate yourself with special knowledge
  • Seek involvement in M&A and different business functions such as Transfer Pricing – gives you an edge over core finance as tax straddles so many areas of the business
  • Skyscanner have always allowed people to progress when taking advantage of flexile working to allow for work life balance. Challenge any company who does not allow for flexible working!

Ross Stupart, Corporate Tax Partner at RSM

Despite his promising start as a footballer, Ross decided to pursue a career in tax, beginning his career at Grant Thornton before moving to KPMG.  After a stint at Lloyds Bank, Ross returned to KPMG before joining RSM as a Partner.

Why RSM?

  • Interesting client base of owner managed businesses, entrepreneurs
  • Huge variety – no two days are the same. There are 4500 businesses in Scotland with more than 15 employees and they are all potential clients.
  • Allows for work life and personal life balance

Ross’ thoughts on career progression within a tax role:

  • Exposure to different countries / selling parts of businesses
  • Allows for global movements
  • Tax touches everything in a business – a business can’t do anything without tax signing it off

The above touches on some of the information that was discussed on the night.  Both Anne and Ross shared a wealth of career advice and experience at the event, discussing their motivations for pursuing a career in tax, and their tips for getting ahead in your career.  They both agreed that:

  • Tax will help you to understand the scope of a business as it will touch all areas
  • Hustle for the best work and throw yourself at opportunities
  • Push back on inflexible working environments so that your career will continue to develop alongside your personal life
  • Don’t let others take credit for your work – take ownership – blame and credit

For more information about this event and other Rutherford Cross ‘Planning Your Career Journey’ events, contact [email protected].