HELP - Tax, from practice to industry?

Tax from practice to industry

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Currently working in a practice, regional firm. I do mixed corporate and personal tax. Corporate wise, I look after turnover wise anything from £100k all the way to £50M+ groups. Nothing really too much international. I have done it for about 7 years now.

I know I am more talented than I give myself credit for because I am often told by others in this firm and other firms I have worked for - but like most in this industry I suffer from imposter syndrome, have I just been lucky for all these years to get away with it!

I am contemplating a move to industry (should I?!). The reasons being:

- I never want to be Partner. It just doesn't appeal to me - I just don’t enjoy the bringing new client, fee side of this work. So immediately that caps my limits.

To be honest I am also so sick and tired of the politics of where I work that I couldn’t imagine ever wanting to be more exposed. I have done a stint in commercial environments before in customer services jobs and I know they aren’t all smooth sailing but the politics there is much easier – atleast there is one CEO instead of 50+ equity and their ego’s needing protecting.

Being a Tax Director for a group does appeal to me. The responsibility, the seeing something through and the purpose of having an a further job position that I want to achieve.

- I pride myself on knowing my clients inside out and remember everything about them. I now have so many that it is a trouble to remember just who is who. Having only 1 company/group to look after would get me back to knowing my clients inside out

- I am also just sick and tired of being pulled pillar to post in terms of knowledge for so many clients. Last week my major client issues were; transfer pricing, CIR, BIK, loans, ERS & QIPS. I am expected to know the answer on the spot and keep any reserch due to budgets to a big fat zero. And all this for so many different clients that my head hurt.

- TBH I am deeply bored (maybe even depressed in my job.) I work in pure compliance. I now no longer enjoy coming to work, I dread it with a passion. I couldn’t imagine more decades of this. A move to industry should bring back some energy.

My only concern is that I am on good money. In essence, I am in a golden cage. And like anyone else in this position, I am nervous, unsure and scared of the unknown.

- Shall I move to industry now?

- Shall I do a stint in the top 4/10 to get exposure to some bigger groups and then move over

- Should I just keep my head down and carry on until I retire moving to another practice in the hope it is where I am that is making me so depressed

Any comments from someone that has done something similar is appreciated

Replies (11)

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By paul.benny
16th Jun 2024 19:08

Talk to recruiters about what you can realistically aim for. Go for interviews - remember the process is about seeing whether you want to work for them as much as whether they want you.

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By Matrix
16th Jun 2024 21:13

I expect you are in a strong position. Tell the recruiter your current salary and expectations. I moved to the financial services industry with no financial services experience. Transfer pricing etc will be useful but being able to communicate tax issues will be the most important.

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Replying to Matrix:
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By AJACK
16th Jun 2024 23:09

Thanks for responding. Was the move to FS in a tax role? I have considered this a few times, FS tax seems to have good pay. It's only the complex products scaring me.

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Replying to AJACK:
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By Matrix
16th Jun 2024 23:37

Yes, the tax department. It pays very well. You won’t know unless you give it a try.

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By AJACK
19th Jun 2024 20:18

Just giving this one last bump up to see if anyone else has any thoughts.

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By Leywood
20th Jun 2024 01:05

This question is asked a lot. Have a search.

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By FCExtraordinaire
20th Jun 2024 09:02

Get your C.V. out to recruiters and get their feedback. State your required salary and that will give you an indication of the market place in the location that you are in.

Even in industry, you will find conflicts and pressure, and surprising how a board can bicker so much on what is the most important item to get done ! You may have only on company (client) but there are many managers making demands still.

Sounds like you are bored of the work - does doing some other type of course or study appeal maybe to broaden your horizons and looks good on a C.V.
But speak to recruiters and whatever age you are, somebody working in practice and moving to industry (I am told) are fairly sought after last time I looked.

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By PaulBP14
20th Jun 2024 11:11

I made a similar move and found that I really enjoyed working for a larger company, as you say yourself it enables you to get really into the detail and understand the business. I always took the trouble to visit all departments and fully understand the business end-to-end. I did have a bad experience with a family company so personally would avoid them - I found I was constantly battling against decisions made round the kitchen table, which of course I wasn't at! My other observation is that industry isn't as cosy as practice, people seem to be more direct (probably because the pressures are higher). Month-end is usually stressful with long hours and weekend work, especially if you have stock-market deadlines, this might not impact you from a tax perspective though. In summary, go for it - I never looked back, for me the positives far outweighed the negatives - I have worked with hundreds of interesting and talented people and learnt so much. I have my own business now but the learnings from my career have certainly aided this pathway

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Replying to PaulBP14:
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By AJACK
22nd Jun 2024 00:03

Thanks Paul

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By LAKE
20th Jun 2024 13:24

If you're not happy, make the move. Life is short. Shorter for some than others. Be happy.

Industry is different to practice. IMO industry has more scope for higher earnings if you don't want to be a practice partner. You can also move from role to role broadening your experience if you wish with the same company if you like the environment.

You have office politics in both arenas I'm afraid. But for me, I have learned. If you're not happy, do something about it.

Good luck.

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By london56
24th Jun 2024 16:06

I made the move and best thing I ever did! Just do it, you dither for too long and will talk yourself out of it.

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