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I head the Regional Tax Practice Team at Pro-Tax Recruitment and recruit at all levels of seniority in all tax disciplines into accountancy practices across the UK.
I am an experienced specialist recruiter focused on sourcing tax professionals from Tax Assistant to Tax Partner level throughout the UK. Working with the Uk’s most highly regarded practices including the Big 4, Top 50 and boutique regional firms, I have a background in successfully recruiting for all areas of Tax such as Corporate Tax, Personal Tax, Indirect Tax, VAT, R&D Tax, Expatriate Tax, M&A, and Employment Tax.
With a conscientious approach to recruitment, I pride myself on building and sustaining key relationships with some of the most well-respected Tax professionals in the country, as well as some of the UK’s most promising new tax professionals.
After graduating from University I gained exposure to several areas of the Financial Services including Insurance, Asset Finance, Accounts and Pensions working with top UK Blue Chip corporations.
Keeping fit is a strong passion of mine and I enjoy attending advanced gym classes as well as competing in long-distance running. When given the chance, I love partaking in more adventurous sports and having grown up in Cornwall am a keen surfer. If I was not in recruitment, I would be a costume designer for film and theatre, I am a self-taught dressmaker from the age of 8.
'What a year it's been?!' has probably been the most uttered phrase of the last 3 months...but in all seriousness what a year it has been and what a profound effect the last 10 months have had on our mental health. When the news landed on the 21st October 2020 that the nation would be heading into a second lockdown, at Pro-Recruitment our hearts sank. Determined not to downward spiral, we discussed as an organisation what we could do collectively to give us focus and to help our mental wellbeing. Ever the courtroom jester, our Director Kevin Racher suggested we each try and run 100k throughout lockdown 2.0. Shockingly the hands slowly but surely started to go up in favour of this (completely ludicrous) idea, after all 100k wouldn't be so bad over 4 weeks right? The challenge was given even greater purpose by the suggestion we do it in aid of our corporate charity CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably), and see if we could raise 'a couple of hundred quid maybe?' All of a sudden things got very real... On the 5th November, 9 of us; myself, Rebecca English, Maisie Horrell, Kevin Racher, Ashleigh Polakiewicz, Dominic Watt, Chris Davey, Tom Eagle and George Tatnell set off on our own personal challenge and collective mindset - all differing in ages, backgrounds, locations and running abilities! Having had my first child earlier this year I wasn't too sure how much more of a battering my poor postpartum body could take! Week 1 This went surprisingly well with lots of encouragement and some frankly terrifying 'motivational' videos from George Tatnell... we were getting into the spirit of it! Some of us were seasoned runners, whilst others took on this huge personal goal (Maisie Horrell even took her family out running with her) and we all spurred each other on and achieved some really good distances in the first week. Week 2 The mood began to change. The mountain we were all climbing became VERY real and that 100k mark seemed so far away! We continued to share motivating messages, pictures and video updates spurring each other on. We gained a new appreciation for the areas we lived in, Ashleigh Polakiewicz witnessing the sun rise on a sleepy Canary Wharf was breath-taking. Me running past a herd of muntjac deer who looked on curiously in a local woodland I never knew existed! Bex discovering mud, stiles and yet more mud aren't the best running companions. There were moments when as fatigue started to seriously set in, we all started to question why we had committed to this. STILL the donations were pouring in as were the incredible messages from our supporters urging us to 'just keep going'! Week 3 Disaster hit! One of our experienced runners Rebecca English suffered an injury announcing she may not get to finish (she ended on 106.7km! With the help of Margeaux her beautiful canine running buddy). Our little Aussie sprinter Ashleigh Polakiewicz suffered a knee injury and Kevin Racher...well...continued to complain he was 'too old for this'. With others having to scale back their distances for a short period the rest of the team picked up their game to make up! Luckily Tom Eagle was on hand to offer some 'carb loading advice' from his trips to the golden arches. Week 4 The finish line was in sight! Our South African powerhouse Chris Davey, breezed over his 100k finish with a mere 25km run to end! Despite her injury Rebecca English pushed through, completing her last run in a seriously speedy time. Kevin Racher smashed through his target whilst very nearly getting hit by a van and continuing to complain he was still 'too old for this'. Being a competitive bunch the rest of us pushed on, and whether we ran, limped or crawled we got over our finish lines! During those 4 weeks we all learnt a little bit more about each other, and as determined as we were individually to smash our targets, we all rediscovered the importance of checking in on each other as a group to see how we were feeling, picking each other up when needed. CALM is such a frighteningly relevant charity to 2020, and sadly they've been busier than ever. Our challenge raised £876 which will go such a long way to helping reduce the number of suicides in the UK, so thank you to all our supporters for your incredibly generous donations. To the Pro 100k club I am so proud of you all! What's the next challenge then? What have you been doing during the recent lockdown? Send your suggestions to me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Are you a Finance, Tax, Legal or HR professional commuting over two hours every day? According to the TUC, the service sector has seen the biggest increase in travel time over the last decade, with 130% more workers travelling for two or more hours a day than in 2004. Serious disruption at Paddington, a week of strikes on South Western Railway coupled with major signal failures has spelt misery for thousands this month. Leading many sector service professionals to question whether their commute is worth it? This blog will take a quick look at the pros and cons of making long commutes and what alternatives are out there. Money Let's be honest, money is the reason a lot of people commute to London. According to the office for national statistics, jobs in London topped the regional list for median earnings for full-time employees by place of work, at £713 per week. This is £124 more per week more than the next highest. Salary bands for jobs in London are often higher, but, there a few things you should consider. It is well known that rent and house prices in London are far higher than anywhere else in the UK. You get less for your money and pay a premium for the privilege. Whilst rent prices are often lower outside of the city you have to consider the cost of commuting into London. According to the BBC, a full-time worker on the median wage for London will spend an average of 11p in every £1 of their salary on an annual pass, after tax. Prices are set to rise by 3.2% next year too. While jobs in London are often a popular choice among professionals, it is worth looking at opportunities outside of London. For example, a Tax Director working for one of the Big 4 firms in London can earn anywhere from £110,000 to £200,000. If you compare that with one of the Big 4's regional offices, Tax Directors can command anywhere between £95,000 and £140,000. We recommend that you speak with a regional recruiter, whether it be Finance, Tax Legal or HR, you never know, there could be something a lot closer to home! Timing According to the government's transport statistics report, people working in London have the longest average commute. With the average rail commute taking 59 minutes compared with the average driving commute taking 30 minutes in the UK, how much of your time is lost getting to and from work? As the saying goes “Time is Money” and while there are many compelling arguments in favour of counting time spent commuting as work time, this has yet to come to fruition. Working locally gives you the flexibility to drive to work and cut down on the time spent in transit. That means more free time to spend with the family, exercising or even finishing off your CV. Again there are a few things that you need to consider about commuting via car. Firstly, do the local roads become carnage at 8 am and 6 pm? Also, will finding that elusive parking space add to your morning stress? Ref: Department of Transport. Transport Statistics Great Britain 2017 The commute to London isn’t straightforward either. House prices in commuter towns are still pretty high, even more so when they’re in walking distance of a rail station. If you’re not fortunate enough to live close to a station how will that impact your commute? Will you need to drive, get a lift or even take a bus? These all add time and money to your commute and a missed connection is the worst way to start a working day. When you do finally arrive in Central London, how far from the office are you? If you’re lucky you can walk or make use of one of the many cycle hire schemes the capital has. Otherwise is it another packed bus or tube ride? One upside of a long commute is the opportunity for a bit of personal time, you can make the most of your transit time in however you see best. According to a study conducted by Dr David Bissell of Australian National University participants said commuting time was the only time they got to themselves during the week, and so used it to dream, relax and meditate. Conclusion With everyone’s situation being different, there's no clear answer as to the best solution. Different routines work for different people, however, you can always make an informed decision if you know the facts. Essentially, it is a toss-up between time vs money. Does the money you earn at work justify the time you spend commuting? Gain an understanding of salary differences for jobs in London compared to where you live and then look at the financial impact that both options have on your life. Take into account commute options and you can start to build a picture of which option works best for you. Don’t forget to take into consideration flexible working options that may be available to you which could ease your commuting situation. There are clearly a few options here and depending on influences such as salary and expense, the following could work for you: Live regionally but work in London - rent is a lot cheaper and your salary will still be at a premium, although travel costs may be significant Live and work in London - save money on travel but use a lot of that top end salary on higher rent prices Live and work regionally - generally earn considerably less but benefit from cheaper housing prices. The problem is that with less public transport, comes the need to potentially own a car, another sizeable cost. Pro-Recruitment is a recruitment agency in London and our consultants specialise in Tax jobs, Finance jobs, Legal jobs and HR jobs. Our recruiters are able to offer expert advice on jobs in London and nationwide as well as CV advice. Contact us today on 02072696333 for a discussion on your next career move.
With a summer loaded with sport fast approaching we have the football world cup to look forward to, our annual obsession with Wimbledon, the playoff final, the return of test match cricket and much much more! For the sports fans amongst us this can be an expensive time of year with office sweepstakes aplenty, only today we had our world cup sweepstake sent round by a particularly keen member of staff. So if you’re hoping to draw Andy Murray for Wimbledon or England for the world cup (surely this is our year….) it may be useful to see how sweepstake earnings are taxed across the world! - USA: In the US, sweepstake earnings have to be declared as supplementary income, if the prize is worth more than $5,000 (generous sweepstake) the sponsor has to withhold 25% of the prize for federal taxes! …. I can’t see the stakes being quite so high in my office - The UK is far more generous however, sweepstakes are deemed to pay all earnings in the form of a ‘prize’ so would not fall foul of any tax - Canada: Although bordering the USA, Canada are also far more relaxed, no fees or taxes are due on any sweepstake prize money - Sweden: By far the strictest, Sweden actually prohibits sweepstakes where they are considered as lotteries allowing only games of ‘skill’ - Italy: Take the prize for most compliance involved with all sweepstakes needing to be registered and bonded before carried out! To all of those waiting to make their draw best of luck! I’m secretly hoping I don’t pick England at ours! For more information about this article, or to speak to Jennifer about your recruiting needs or Tax jobs in London or Nationwide, contact her on 02072696346 or email@example.com.
You’ve secured the interview, researched the company and dusted off your slickest suit ready to impress, but have you planned your journey? With readily available apps and technology tools at our fingertips, we no longer need to go through the hassle of google mapping, printing a map or even doing a trial run prior to the big interview date. With that said so many of us are still failing to prepare! These are some of the most disastrous journeys to interviews our team have encountered: Fore! Back in the day when I was but a wide-eyed graduate eager to step into the 9-5 working world, I registered with a local agency who secured me my first ever interview for a notable financial services organisation in their Hampshire office. Leaving the house that morning in the slickest suit I could afford, a Filofax (I know right?!) and importantly the map the agency had supplied (this was way before smartphones!) I set out determined to impress with a spring in my step. 45 minutes into my journey I learnt I had made a grave mistake as the map had lead me through a wood complete with a bog-like marsh, finally leading me onto a golf course! I finally got to the interview 20 minutes late caked in mud with foliage in my hair. I didn’t get the job…. You Spin Me Round-Round My colleague once worked with a candidate who’d had a bad run of luck with interviews, however when an opportunity arose with a Top Accountancy Firm in their Leeds office he jumped at the chance and secured an interview instantly. Determined to put his best foot forward the candidate researched the firm and set out that morning confident his luck was set to change. However, he hadn’t quite anticipated the complexities of driving through a city centre and managed to drive around the roundabout nearest to the office 8 times before admitting defeat calling my colleague and sighing ‘I can see the office, but I just can’t get to it….’ Call the Doctor!! A candidate I represented recently secured an early morning interview with a boutique firm and keen to be on tip-top form ate his breakfast on the train journey there. Arriving on the dot he went straight through to meet the MD mentally rehearsing some of his most impressive prepared lines. Walking into the boardroom he went straight in to shake the MD’s hand only be met by a completely aghast bewildered expression on the MD’s face. After an awkward introduction, the candidate dived straight into the interview finally coming to the end of the hour confidently asking if the MD had any questions. ‘Well yes...’ replied the MD ‘Are you alright? Do you need any medical attention?’ In his haste of wolfing down his breakfast en-route, the candidate had managed to spill most of his red smoothie on his shirt which appeared as a huge spreading blood stain… I’m Just too Tyred Sometimes it just doesn’t matter how much you prepare yourself, disaster can creep up at any moment. One candidate who had his sights set on working for a particularly big name in finance and keen to explore options regionally, secured an interview within their Poole office. With the added plus that he could flexibly work from his home in Stratford (East London), it seemed to be the perfect role. The candidate set out early that summer morning with ample time to complete the 150-mile journey; petrol tank full and excited for his interview. Halfway through temperatures had risen to 33 degrees and perspiration was starting to become an issue. All of a sudden, he heard a loud bang to discover his tyre had exploded. An hour later waiting on the hard shoulder for the recovery services he was near to giving up and turning around. However, in the face of adversity, his tenacity and determination to make it to the interview saw him continue his journey, eventually getting there 45 minutes late. Following a very flustered and unsettled interview, it was enough to put the candidate off the role, and perhaps going to Poole too soon again. It just goes to show fail to prepare and you really can prepare to fail. For more tips on how to put your best foot forward at any level interview please take a look at some of our other articles here. Best of Luck!!
Are you a Tax Manager, Tax Director or tax professional? Do you think you know all there is to know about tax? Well, with Christmas around the corner and the festive party season underway, what could be more appropriate than Christmas tax trivia and facts? Who knows, it may even be a topic of conversation around your Christmas dinner table this year… Let the Trivia begin! Christmas shop: · The average home will splash out £809.97 at Christmas; on food and drink, travel, decorations and presents, with the latter accounting for 58.5% of the budget. · Tax accounts for more than half of the total cost of the average family’s Christmas alcohol shop, a study by the wine and spirits industry has found. While alcohol duties are typically higher per head in Finland, Ireland and Germany, British consumers pay more alcohol tax than the citizens of most other European Union member states. Decorations: · The cost of decorating your office is tax deductible as running costs of the office. Candle Taxes: · From 1709 to 1831 Great Britain had a candle tax and forbade people to make their own candles without a licence. This tax condemned generations to rushlights (candles made from dipping rushes in animal fat) or darkness, not just at Christmas but throughout the year. You could light both ends at once but rush lights burnt quickly - hence the term ‘burning the candle at both ends’. The unpopular tax helped to ensure that the means of candle production was controlled. Snowballs: · A VAT tribunal found that a Snowball (the marshmallow variety you eat) is, in fact, a cake, so just like Jaffa cakes, Snowballs are zero-rated for VAT. The Christmas day service: · 13% of families in the UK always attend church on Christmas Day, a number of countries in Europe have a church tax including Austria, Iceland and Germany Christmas turkeys: · 10 million – The number of Turkeys cooked in the UK every Christmas. It is often traditional for some employers to provide their employees with a small gift of a Christmas turkey, a bottle of wine or box of chocolates. The tax rules are that if employees earn at the rate of £8,500 per annum their benefits must, therefore, be declared on form P11D and they are taxed at the cost to their employer. Christmas Day tax filing: · While millions of people are exchanging presents, feasting on turkey, and nodding off in front of the television, 1,600 people are expected to take time out from the yuletide festivities and do their tax return online. Hopefully, this stockingful of tax facts and trivia have been of interest and that you enjoy the festive season to come! For more information about this article, or to speak to Jennifer about your recruiting needs or Tax jobs in London or Nationwide, contact her on firstname.lastname@example.org
Unless you’ve been living on Mars for the last two years you will be aware there have been and will continue to be some big upheavals within HMRC UK wide. In 2015 it was announced that 170 offices will be consolidated to just 13 ‘city-based hubs’ by 2020 leaving their employees the option to either relocate to the nearest hub or start looking elsewhere in the local market. The decision by HMRC has been met with criticism by the influential House of Commons PAC (Public Accounts Committee ) whose worry is that “We do not believe that it will save as much money as HMRC has predicted and we are concerned that it has not thought through all the negative costs to the wider economy of its approach and the impact on local employment.” The recent 2017 closure of the Derby office has been described as a ‘catastrophe’ and have left many facing the prospect of an arduous commute not to mention a massive blow economically for Derby as another public service is cut. With the recent closures of the Inverness and Aberdeen offices, the Regional Tax Team here at Pro-Tax have been inundated with CVs from HMRC employees eagerly enquiring on roles in both locations. When approaching our network of Partners in these areas the response we’ve received is ‘we’re recruiting but how can their experience translate?!’ So what does this mean for those who have been affected by the office closures and what is the general view of HMRC employees making the transition to practice or industry? Looking back over the last 20 years the archetypal ‘perfect tax candidate’ has changed dramatically to what they look like now. The majority of well-respected Tax Partners across the UK traditionally trained within the revenue, whereas now it would be almost unthinkable for an aspiring tax graduate to not apply to a Big 4 or Top 10 and evolve their careers from there. Some of the most common objections to looking at people from a HMRC background tend to be ‘are they just on a helpline?’ ‘do they understand technical tax?’ ‘How will they actually make the transition into a practice environment?’ Given that there are so many avenues to explore career wise within HMRC compared to 20 years ago, the skillsets now on offer from HMRC employees are staggering. A candidate I recently placed from HMRC to a Big 4 was only four years into his career within the revenue when he approached the midlands market and eventually had three job offers from the Big 4 and Top 10 eventually accepting a Big 4 offer with a 10k increase. Earlier this year a candidate in the North West who had trained at HMRC and had just over 10 years’ experience working with International and UK FTSE listed companies, dipped his toe in the water to see what the market was looking like and was swiftly approached by six of the Top 10 and three of the Big 4 in Manchester. Whilst in some practice minds there is an inferiority complex regarding HMRC trained employees, the response from a lot of the UK Tax Partners we work with has been wholly positive. Many of the Partners we work with encourage the ‘exposure to large and multinational clients HMRC trained employees can bring’ or that it is of huge benefit to have someone on board that has experience from the ‘other side of the fence and gets how we work as they have already liaised with us and our clients!’ In a lot of cases, it has simply been down to the quality of training within the revenue and the exposure to such a wide plethora of clients and high-quality work that in a lot of practices is simply unavailable. With the tax recruitment market still heavily reliant on candidate activity with many Tax Partners having to tweak their requirements to fulfill the true aspects of the role, does this mean a bigger shift in the amount of practices taking on HMRC employees? What do you think?