Joining Practice Talk this week to talk about her typical day in practice is Stephanie Parker, who was recently appointed as a director at haysmacintyre.
Parker heads up the firm’s trusts team, bringing her experience in managing tax issues surrounding offshore trusts.
Entering the profession straight from school after A Levels, Parker started at a regional practice where she developed her interest in tax. Finding her specialty in trusts has seen her invited by the Office of Tax Simplification to sit on the Consultative Committee for its Inheritance Tax Review and hold the position of chair of the Kent STEP for a number of years.
AccountingWEB asked Parker to talk us through her typical working day in practice:
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What does a typical day look like for you?
I’m up at 6am so I can travel into London from Tunbridge, Kent. My daughter gets the train a couple of stops with me so it is nice to have a catch up with her before she gets off to go to school.
I then start checking emails to see if anything has come in overnight that needs urgent attention. Once I've done that I am a big fan of Audible, and so I have a listening book going.
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What's the first thing on your to-do list once you get to the office?
Once I’ve organised any emails that have come in, I'll put together a list at the start of the day prioritising things that absolutely must get done, things that if there is time I will move on to, and there is always a list of things I would like to do whenever the time is available.
Do you have any set routines or working rituals you stick to throughout the day?
I usually split my time up. If there is any difficult technical work, I prefer to do that in the morning when my brain is still firing. I leave the afternoon for strategic planning such as thinking how the team is working together and if there are different ways we could be using technology and get everything running efficiently. My brain works better on that stuff in the afternoon.
Are you someone who eats lunch at their desk?
I always make sure that I at least leave the building and see the sky – even if it is for a few minutes. It's usually a quick walk and then I'm back at the desk. I'll be out for 20 minutes or so. But I like to keep the working day defined. It's important to get as much done in the working day as possible.
When you clock off you have that strict barrier so you're not checking emails?
I use the commute home as a nice transition to decompress. It's that demarcation between home and work. When I then get home in the evening I try not to look at emails unless there is something big going on or if I am really waiting for an email. When I get to the door about 7pm that's family time.
I will check them over the weekend, but that's on a Sunday afternoon when I'm getting my head back into what the next week will look like. So I will check to see if something big has happened that will change the week ahead.
No life in practice is complete without the obligatory calculator question. So can you remember your first calculator?
I remember my first calculator at work. We had standard issued little silver Casio calculators. I did notice that they're being sold on eBay as vintage now. I've never found one as good, so I might get one. I would feel lost without one and a phone is never quite as good.
About Richard Hattersley
Richard is AccountingWEB's Practice Editor. If you have any comments or suggestions for us get in touch.