We had a chat with Sarah to find out more about her tax role at RSM. Find out her insights into what the challenges and highlights of a career in tax are and her top tips for anyone looking to apply to RSM.
What do you do?
My day to day role is based around preparing corporation tax returns for my client portfolio – basically calculating the correct amount of tax that companies need to pay. That being said, a career in tax is a lot less focused around numbers than you might think. The most important part of my role is communication with clients – making sure that their questions are answered in a clear and precise way, and in turn that we receive the exact information that we need from them.
I’m also involved in a variety of advisory projects, such as Research and Development reports and share valuations. Advisory work often involves a greater breadth of tax law, and may concern individuals as well as companies.
For both compliance and advisory work, I’m required to research certain topics and form a conclusion on the correct treatment. This is a key skill in corporate tax and one that my day to day role has helped me to build upon.
What’s been the highlight so far?
The highlight so far has been my involvement in the preparation of a Research and Development report which resulted in our client receiving a corporation tax repayment of around one million pounds. This showed me how valuable our advice can be to clients.
What’s been your biggest challenge so far?
Studying for the ACA alongside working can be challenging during busy periods in the office, particularly getting all of my work completed or ready to be handed over before a period of study leave. Having good time management and organisation makes this challenge easier, as well as finding ways to motivate yourself to revise.
What’s surprised you most about working at RSM?
I’ve been most surprised by the dynamic of the team that I joined, namely at how well the team interacts both inside and outside of work. We’re a very social team that’s always planning the next activity. It’s shattered the ‘grey suit’ stereotype that I expected going into accountancy.
What’s next for you at RSM?
I aim to become ACA qualified in the upcoming summer. Afterwards, I’m considering sitting my Chartered Tax Advisor exams and potentially a secondment in the States.
What’s your top tip for someone looking to apply to RSM?
Do your research – that is research the firm and its culture, the department you’re considering joining, and the people you would be working with. Use that research to tailor your application and show that you’ve thought about how you and RSM would be suited.
Describe RSM in 3 words
Supportive, down-to-earth, social.