One of the great things about a career in tax is that it gives you choice.
For tax advisors, there is only one option - the Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) qualification. The Irish Tax Institue's Tax Technician qualification is a practical, flexible, modular programme covering the fundamentals of all areas of tax.
This is a sector where you never stop learning - legislation changes such as the Budget each year, to changes in EU law, can change key aspects of tax system affecting different clients in various ways. A CTA must always be up to speed on such changes.
Once you have decided that you are interested in a career in tax, you can still successfully qualify with our Tax Technician, Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) or our Diploma in Tax qualifications.
Lorcan Kelly is a Tax Consultant with Irish Distillers Pernod Ricard. He studied Commerce and French in NUIG and also completed a Masters in Accounting. Lorcan is responsible for managing the Corporate Tax and VAT obligations of the group, as well as its domestic and international tax strategy and planning.
What were the main 'career decision' milestones in your life so far?
I did a summer internship in the audit department of KPMG Galway during college and also managed to spend a few weeks in the tax department. This is where I saw first-hand what a tax career entails and the kind of work tax professionals do, on a day to day basis. I was fully decided on a career in tax after this summer.
How did you go about getting your current job?
Describe a typical day?
Each working day is very different and that keeps the role interesting and challenging.
8 30 am: Arrive to the office and catch up on any emails I may have received the previous evening.
9 30 am – 10 30 am: Conference call with our legal director and Pernod Ricard USA on the US tax consequences of a new project.
10 30 - 11 am: Assist the financial accountant with the tax accounting for a group company’s financial statements.
11 am – Midday: Meeting with Financial Controller and CFO on the liquidation of a group company and the tax implications.
Midday – 1pm: Call with our professional VAT advisers in preparation for an upcoming VAT audit.
2 pm – 4 pm: Working on Corporate Tax computations and researching a VAT query I received from a colleague in the marketing department.
4 – 5 pm: Call with the Paris tax team on the Irish Tax implications of a group restructuring project and prepare slides for the next morning’s month end meeting.
So you see the day varies between desk based work / research and calls, meetings etc.
What are the main tasks and responsibilities?
I have sole responsibility for managing the Corporate Tax and VAT obligations of the group, as well as its domestic and international tax strategy and planning. I advise on all aspects of tax law and liaise with tax and law firms and the Revenue Commissioners. Other additional responsibilities include, pension accounting and management and reporting of overhead costs.
What are the main challenges?
What's not so cool?
What particular skills do you bring to your workplace?
What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?
What is your education to date?
What aspects of your education have proven most important for your job?
I really developed my communication skills – communicating effectively with the various stakeholders in the business is critical for a tax professional and the ability to explain complex issues to a tax ‘layman’ is very important. Also, teamwork was really important at college– as a tax professional I am frequently working as part of various teams.
What have been the most rewarding events in your career so far?
What personal qualities do you have that helps you in your career?
Does your job allow you to have a lifestyle you are happy with?
Thankfully in my current job, I am able to balance my work life commitments. When I trained with KPMG, they gave me more than adequate study leave when I was pursuing the Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) qualification which was great. It can be difficult to go to lectures some evenings after work and at the weekends but if you can’t make it they’re also available online to catch up on in your own time.
What advice would you give to someone considering this job?
I would strongly recommend a career in tax to any students who are considering it. Tax professionals are in high demand from employers and can add real value to any business. It is a challenging and rewarding career which can place you at the heart of business decision making. It can also be an excellent springboard to other careers in finance.
Just recently a new Chief Financial Officer was appointed to Irish Distillers who was formerly the Pernod Ricard Group tax director! Also do your research about the Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) qualification – from my own experience, the course is very practical and relevant to my day to day job. It provides a structured framework for achieving the knowledge of tax law and skills required to be a Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA).
What are the three most important personal characteristics required for the job?
Have you undertaken, or do you plan to undertake any further training as part of your job?
What kinds of work experience would provide a good background for this position?