MHA | Five minutes with Maisie, Tax Junior

Five minutes with Maisie, Tax Junior

Posted on: May 4th 2022 · read

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Meet Tax Junior, Maisie from our Birmingham office.

In this career spotlight interview, Maisie shares her experiences joining as a graduate and why she chose a career in tax.

Can you share your experience at MHA MacIntyre Hudson – what has been your career highlight with us so far?

The past 8 months working at MHA have been above and beyond what I hoped for. I’ve been tasked with a wide range of projects and gained an insight into many different aspects of tax in a short space of time, enabling me to build a plan for my career development.

Making it through my first tax season has been my career highlight so far. It was hard work, but I found myself thriving and actively seeking out more work to assist my colleagues, whilst also enhancing my knowledge.

As a Tax trainee, can you share your insight into a career in tax – did it dispel any myths for you personally?

Some may feel a career in tax could be boring or monotonous, and whilst there are some necessary admin aspects that aren’t exactly exhilarating, I can honestly say that no day is the same. Each client has different elements to their tax return that keeps me constantly engaged and excited to learn new skills. My short time at MHA has opened my eyes to the many different avenues available for me to specialise in, be that in personal or corporate tax.

Can you tell us what your typical day looks like in your role? How have your responsibilities changed over time?

As previously mentioned, each day is different in my experience of a career in tax so far. The majority of my time to date has been spent preparing personal income tax returns for our very varied client base. Packaging together a tax return can take anywhere from 1 hour to sometimes a whole day depending on the complexity of the client’s affairs.

When I started back in September, I was given the very straightforward tax returns to complete in order to build my knowledge and get used to the various systems we use. As time went on this developed into the more complicated returns and eventually this has branched out into me being able to offer some small pieces of tax consultancy work.

I have now been given the opportunity to work on some corporation tax returns and start building knowledge in a new area of tax.

What is your favourite part of your role?

There are many aspects of my role that interest me, some of my favourite tasks involve working on rental and self-employment accounts to include on individuals returns as it involves some problem solving in which I can bounce questions off the team and spark interesting conversations.

MHA MacIntyre Hudson’s STAR values of Service, Teamwork, Attitude and Relationships, are important to us. What can you tell us about the firm’s culture?

The Birmingham office, specifically the tax team, has been a great environment to start building my career and bounce off a team of individuals who are more than happy to spend time with me to ensure I have a thorough understanding of any challenges I come across. 

There are a lot of great social events that take place in the office, which helps break the ice and mingle with different colleagues. The firm is also very inclusive and brings awareness to many different issues through bulletins and events to raise money for charity.  

How have you managed to juggle a full-time role and your studies for the ATT qualification?

Juggling work and studies, although challenging, is greatly accommodated by MHA. Work stays at work and there is a real understanding that exams take priority. I have been able to focus on my studies on evenings and weekends, although it has been important to know when to take a step back and not burn myself out.

I’ve also learned to make the most out of my college days at Kaplan, it is a great course with lots of support and there are enough study days to ensure any questions can be asked and answers fully understood.

What have you found beneficial about 'on the job' learning and having other trainees in the office with you?

Although slightly daunting, on the job learning has helped me build a great foundation for my career and studies by having to problem solve and think for myself before going to seniors for the answers. Although, management are really approachable and the whole team has been a great support, so I always feel confident in going to them for help.

Having another trainee start at the same time as me has been a huge help.  We have been able to bounce knowledge off each other and ask each other the silly questions. It’s great to be on the same path together to have some extra reassurance and support with some of the more challenging aspects of the job.

What made you decide to consider MHA MacIntyre Hudson as your prospective employer? Were you set on a career in tax at the time?

After taking a tax module as part of my degree, I knew I was set on a career in tax. I found it really engaging and important to everyday life and focused my job search solely on a tax role.

After researching MHA MacIntyre Hudson and the tax role they offer, I was keen to put in an application. That fact they are medium sized firm with the potential for career progression helped with my decision, whilst still being large enough to offer great opportunities with a hands on approach, and are always there to offer support and guidance when needed.

What is the most rewarding element of your role, and being part of the MHA family?

Seeing my career progression so far has been extremely rewarding. Looking back and realising the amount I have learned in a short space of time and receiving positive feedback has been highly encouraging and pushes me to keep building on my knowledge.

Being part of the MHA family is something I am really proud of. My team is extremely supportive and it’s great to be part of a growing firm with such strong values.

How did you find the trainee recruitment process? Were you applying anywhere else? If so, how did our process compare with other firms?

The recruitment process for MHA was very straightforward and I was kept in the loop from start to finish. There was a real personal touch to the process which made me feel like a valued applicant, not just a number like other firms I had applied to. It didn’t feel like the application questions were trying to be deliberately difficult and catch me out, instead they were relevant to the role and a great way to display my skills and values.

The Assessment Centre was a great day to get to know more about the firm, as well as being able to mingle with fellow applicants which helped dispel any nerves I had (which was a lot!). It was obvious lots of thought had gone into the day to put us at ease as well as letting us demonstrate our strengths and abilities.

What advice would you give to students who might be considering a career in tax?

If you have a real interest in tax and are willing to work hard to develop your career, then go for it! Take some time to research what kind of firm would suit your style of work and learning. For me, it was really important to keep a work life balance and MHA has given me that opportunity as well as many other benefits.

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