Share this content

Moving from audit to tax

Didn't find your answer?

Has anyone recently moved from the audit department into tax and would be willing to share their experience?

I’m currently about to take my final three ACA exams and am desperate to leave audit as soon as I can. I work in a large firm, yet I don’t find the work challenging enough. In fact, I find it mostly mind numbing and not adding value to anyone. Moreover, the constant away jobs and commuting to client sites has taken its toll on my wellbeing. 

I’ve always enjoyed tax during my studies (think I’m the only person that actually enjoyed revising for BPT) and think it would be much more of a suited career path for me. However, I’m not sure how to go about the change. There are a few options that I could think of, however am not sure what effect they would have on my future career:

1) stick it out until I qualify and try to move internally 

2) try to move as soon as I’m exam qualified - not sure how likely employers would be willing to take me without much previous exposure to tax. I’m also wary of the fact that my salary would have to go down significantly

3) move into a role in practice that would involve exposure to tax, do that for let’s say a year and then move back to practice - I’m not sure how desirable/adequate that experience would be to the potential employers

I would be really grateful if I could hear from someone who went through a similar experience/works in the tax practice. 

Cheers

Replies (9)

Please login or register to join the discussion.

avatar
By paul.benny
01st Aug 2019 10:18

The most straightforward thing is to move within your existing firm. Like accounting, real tax work is very different to what you cover in your studies and I think you would struggle to get a move into tax without any practical experience in a tax department.

Have you discussed with your line manager/HR or whoever? A secondment rather than a permanent move might be more attractive all round.

Thanks (0)
Replying to paul.benny:
avatar
By 1 2
01st Aug 2019 10:27

FWIW whilst I had a real struggle securing my ACA training contract, I found it an absolute doddle to move to tax in a different firm afterwards. Applied for two roles, two interviews, two job offers.

Thanks (0)
Replying to paul.benny:
avatar
By sosm
01st Aug 2019 10:27

Thought that might be the case.
I’ve spoken to my manager and managed a short term secondment, however it’s only for just over a month.

Thanks (1)
Replying to sosm:
avatar
By paul.benny
01st Aug 2019 10:53

Sounds like a good start - lets both sides see whether the move might work.

Good luck.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By 1 2
01st Aug 2019 10:26

I basically did this (albeit maybe 12-13 years ago). 3 years in audit/accounts whilst doing my ACA, then moved to specialise in corporate tax, doing my CTA.

I would recommend you fully qualify first. Makes life far easier when you can honestly say you've got that qualification, rather than a "well I sort of will be qualified at this future point".

Being honest, whilst I also enjoyed the tax part of ACA (and also found the CTA useful), I did not enjoy working in corporate tax. This may partly be that it was also part of a move to a bigger firm, and their central office...so yes there were more zeros on the end of all the numbers I was looking at, but it felt like a step down. At the old role I was trusted to do stuff. At the new one I was basically a data entry clark, wasn't even allowed to send basic emails to clients without manager sign off. I found it very depressing.

There is a lot less travel, which is good and bad. It's comfortable/easy working in the same place day in day out, but does get more boring more quickly.

Thanks (0)
Scooby
By gainsborough
01st Aug 2019 10:32

sosm, the last two firms I worked at used to "borrow" people from the audit team to help with the busy tax period (especially the busier November to end January period. It was mainly so they had some basic tax knowledge to answer or refer on client queries during audit, but a few decided to stay in tax.

Like Paul says, a secondment in your current firm would be ideal and you would get a chance to see if you liked tax in practice before making any permanent moves.

Thanks (0)
avatar
By LostinSuspense
01st Aug 2019 11:02

I recommend finishing your exams first before deciding upon your options. Moving when exam qualified is easier, otherwise it 'could' look like you tried audit but couldn't pass the exams so switched to tax as a backup. Sometimes the grass is not greener and you may find you enjoyed working audit more?

If a secondment is offered, then take it. Make yourself available for consideration during the busy tax period. Showing willingness in your existing firm to be a team player and expand your knowledge will look good in the longer term if you move. The worst case would then be you have proven capability in both audit and tax.

Thanks (0)
7om
By Tom 7000
02nd Aug 2019 10:30

This is compulsory:
1. Qualify - satisfying the T and Cs in your training contract
2. Get your training record signed off
3. Ensure you have the bit agreed so one day you can be an RI... you never know...
3. Go to the carribean to celebrate.
4. Do whatever makes you happiest....

Thanks (0)
avatar
By vinylnobbynobbs
02nd Aug 2019 16:32

I am not an accountant but a tax person man and boy so I would recommend the wonderful world of tax. Accountancy has always looked less exciting than tax and a lot less fun!
Joking aside I would advise you to qualify..

Thanks (0)
Share this content