Every year, M+A Partners runs a Trainee Programme welcoming graduates and school leavers to the firm across a variety of roles within our Tax, Accounts or Audit teams.

Our programmes are designed to make it possible for new recruits to develop their business skills whilst completing more formal training and studying towards a professional qualification.

Lauren Yates joined us as a Trainee Tax Adviser in 2021, after graduating with a degree in Biochemistry from the UEA.

We asked Lauren to tell us about her experience as a Trainee Tax Adviser and for any advice she may have for those looking to follow in her footsteps.

Q&A with Trainee Tax Adviser, Lauren Yates

What skills do you think are essential in tax advisory?

I think that the most essential skill for a role in tax is being able to communicate effectively. Whether this be with members of the team, HMRC, or clients. Another key skill is your attention to detail. When you’re working in tax you need to make sure that things are exactly right, and you are not making errors in your work. You will need to be able to problem solve and be a team player, as people help each other out where they specialise in a certain area of tax and they will provide training for new members of the team to help build their knowledge.

What does a typical day look like in your role?

Every day is different when it comes to working in tax. What you focus on will depend on the time of year. From April to January, all of the self-assessment tax returns are prepared for the previous tax year before the 31 January deadline. From April to the beginning of July is P11d season. Throughout the year there are company tax returns to be completed and various other planning tasks that members of the team will have you assist with.

What attracted you to the role of Trainee Tax Advisor and how has your role evolved?

After finishing university with a biochemistry degree, I was looking for a role where I could use transferable skills from my degree. I was looking for a position where I could undertake training to further my career. I liked the fact that I would be training to become a chartered tax adviser alongside working. I was also looking for a role where there would always be more to learn so that the role could never get boring and tax certainly provides that.

The role evolves as you gain more experience and can help out with more complex jobs. After being in the role for a while, I gained my own portfolio of clients, meaning that I have more direct contact with clients.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I enjoy learning all about the different kinds of tax and gaining an understanding of the tax system. January is our busiest month with the tax return deadline, but the team spirit of everybody pulling together to help each other out and making sure that we get all the returns submitted before the deadline keeps me motivated and it makes January enjoyable.

How have you found the training experience?

I have found the training experience very positive. M+A is great in that we are given days off to attend study courses and everyone in the team is very supportive. It has been hard and stressful but the training provider M+A gives you everything you could need to pass your exams and they provide support for any questions you may have. Everyone at work is also more than happy to help you with any study questions if you need it.

What was the biggest hurdle when working towards the qualification?

The hardest part is juggling everything. When you work full time, your evenings and weekends are the only time you have for studying. The exams do require a lot of work as they are not easy, so this does mean that you have to make sacrifices in terms of your social life. You just have to remember that it is only temporary and it will be worth it in the long run!

How would you like to progress going forward?

Going forward, I would like to complete my CTA qualification and continue to build on my knowledge in different areas of tax.

Can you share any tips for anyone who is looking to start their career in tax advisory?

Don’t be put off if you have no prior experience or if you feel like your degree has no relevance to the role. As long as you have the transferable skills, you will learn everything you need to know about tax on the job and through studying. You just have to be prepared to work hard and willing to give up your free time to ensure that you pass your exams.

Written by

Our Team