Tuesday, 24 November 2015

Take control of those first-interview nerves

You’re nearing graduation and have lined up a number of job interviews. It’s understandable that you’re nervous, but don’t let those pesky butterflies stop you from showing your interviewers that you’re the right candidate for the job. Be prepared and stay focused so you can tackle those interviews with confidence.

1. Know the role

Make sure you fully understand the context of the role for which you’re interviewing. This knowledge not only puts you at an advantage for the interview, but also demonstrates that you’re interested in this specific job – not just any job.

With this in mind, do the following:
  • Research the company. Get a handle on what the company does, how long it’s been doing it, what the company culture is like and what its values are.
  • Research your interviewer and the hiring manager. A trusty Google search and LinkedIn are great places to start.
  • Read any materials your interviewer may have provided, such as the job description or information on company structure.
  • Research the industry as a whole and the company’s competitors.

2. Find out about the interview process

Learn as much as you can in advance. How many rounds of interviews is the company conducting? Who will you meet throughout the process? Will you have to undertake any tests? If you’re working with a recruiter, a good one will provide this information immediately. If not, don’t be afraid to ask for more information so you can eliminate as many surprises as possible.

3. Prepare answers to likely questions

Most entry-level interviews focus on similar themes. It’s a good idea to give some thought to how you’d respond to the following:
  • Tell me about yourself: This is a starter question aimed at relaxing you and getting you talking. Make sure you use it to focus in on the things you want to say.
  • Why did you choose your field of study? The interviewer will be looking for your passion and commitment to your chosen field.
  • Tell me about some work you’ve completed in this field: This question gauges your textbook and practical knowledge. If you haven’t had the opportunity to work in your field, get proactive and seek out an opportunity. Whether volunteered or paid work, this experience will speak volumes to potential employers.

4. Have questions of your own

With the research you’ve done, you should be able to ask some questions that demonstrate a greater depth of understanding of the company and the industry.

5. Take a deep breath

On interview day, take your time answering questions – don’t panic if there’s a short silence between the question and your answer. Also, make sure you’re answering the right question. If you don’t understand what they’re looking for, ask the interviewer to repeat or clarify the question.

The interview process isn’t just about whether the company is comfortable with you as an employee. It’s also your opportunity to understand whether the job and company are right for you.


http://taxinstitute.com.au/education/graduate-diploma-of-applied-tax-lawTake the next step in your tax career with the Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law 

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Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Navigating an acquisition

Whether you’re working for the acquirer or the target, acquisitions are exciting transactions to be involved in. As an advisor, you shape how both the newly acquired business and the seller will operate.

Acquisitions typically have a wide variety of tax implications, and usually involve a large team covering corporate, international and transaction taxes. These transactions involve a significant amount of planning and careful execution to ensure every aspect has been thoroughly examined.

Planning and advising

The first stage of any acquisition involves detailed planning. This includes considering how the acquisition could be structured. For example, will the shares or assets be purchased? It can also involve looking at options to fund the acquisition.

For every possible solution, there are a multitude of tax implications that need to be identified, researched and solved. This process is complex and requires excellent problem-solving and numerical skills, as well as intellectual agility. A tax training course that focuses on high-level tax planning can help you develop these skills.

A team of advisors is usually involved in this process, with many holding specialised taxation education in areas including corporate tax, international tax, GST or stamp duty. Each member of the team plays a significant role in defining the business.

Negotiating

Negotiations are an interesting part of acquisitions and may involve several parties. Tax practitioners may negotiate with the ATO or state revenue authorities to obtain rulings on the proposed tax treatment of the acquisition. Significant technical research is required to prepare for these discussions and your persuasive skills will be put to the test when creating applications.

You may also be involved in negotiating the final sale outcome and reviewing clauses in the contract, like tax warranties and indemnifications. This requires strategic thinking and foresight to identify the best way to protect your client. These negotiations also require a high degree of discretion due to the sensitive nature of such transactions.

Documenting and executing

Once the deal is completed, there’s still plenty of work to be done. This includes documenting each aspect of the final arrangement to ensure all the necessary facts are evidenced. You may also use this to prepare the client’s compliance documents, such as tax returns and BAS statements. This is an important part of managing a client’s taxation affairs and may involve liaising with them directly to obtain information. Managing corporate taxation compliance is a good opportunity to put your tax training into practice, while also building a strong relationship with the client.

Navigating an acquisition is a challenging and rewarding experience for any taxation advisor. It provides you with an opportunity to refine your research, problem-solving and negotiation skills, while also building strong relationships with not only your client, but other advisors and regulatory authorities.


http://taxinstitute.com.au/education/graduate-diploma-of-applied-tax-lawTake the next step in your tax career with the Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law 

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Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Soft versus hard skills

If you dream of a career in tax or accounting, you’ll need to be a master at identifying fiscal inconsistencies, understanding government legislation and balancing your clients’ books. But although these technical (or hard) skills are intrinsic to succeeding in your future profession, soft skills, such as your ability to form good relationships with customers and your willingness to work as a team, will make you more attractive to prospective bosses.

Cultivating both your hard and soft skills while you study isn’t as challenging as it might seem. Here are four top ways to supercharge your employment potential by proving you’re a candidate with the total package.

Get a customer-facing part-time job

The idea that accountants and taxation professionals crunch numbers without customer interaction is a thing of the past. These days, working in the accounting industry means communicating with clients, resolving their problems and learning to respond to their social cues. Getting a part-time job in hospitality, retail or customer service while you study can help you understand the art of anticipating and responding to customer needs. Once it’s time to put those soft skills into practice, it’ll be second nature.

Obtain a further qualification

An undergraduate qualification in taxation or accounting is not enough to make you stand out. Whether it’s learning a piece of up-and-coming financial software or brushing up on your knowledge of new legislation by enrolling in The Tax Institute’s Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law program, investing in your hard skills can be a shortcut to competitive advantage.

Take up a team sport

From collaborating with IT vendors to working with senior management, taxation professionals must be increasingly equipped to meet individual deadlines while working as part of a larger team. Taking up an after-hours sport such as soccer, football or tennis can help you learn how to work with colleagues, anticipate co-workers’ strengths and weaknesses and thrive in a team environment – an all-important soft skill that’s bound to put you ahead of the pack.

Study a second language

A career in accounting can set the stage for international opportunities, but a working knowledge of audit procedures isn’t enough. Signing up for an after-hours class to learn a second language can seriously boost your set of hard skills while broadening your professional horizons.

Although hard skills are critical if you want to establish a career in taxation or accounting, teamwork, communication and customer service play an indispensable role as well. What moves have you recently taken to boost your hard and soft skills?


http://taxinstitute.com.au/education/graduate-diploma-of-applied-tax-lawTake the next step in your tax career with the Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law 

Find out more 

Tuesday, 3 November 2015

The dos and don'ts of networking as a graduate student

As a recent graduate, armed with a catalogue of up-to-date theoretical knowledge in your back pocket, you have the unique ability to solve problems that even veterans of the game might have trouble with. However, your first networking event can be a bit daunting.

Networking is a vehicle that can potentially accelerate your career faster than anything else. However, you need to take the correct approach from the outset. Here are the dos and don'ts of networking as a graduate student.

Socialise

While your main aim for the evening might be to speak with the top dog at a networking event, that doesn’t mean you need to go in all guns blazing. Remember, this is a cocktail event and you are here to socialise first and foremost. Solidifying working relationships should be natural, not forced.

Be genuine and approachable

To ensure you have the right approach to the night, try to connect with people on a personal level. People respond to passion, so approach your colleagues on common ground. The more compelling and believable the information you share, the more likely they will be to respond with the same enthusiasm. They may even remember you by the association you create: “Joe is passionate about charity in Brazil and studies tax accountancy.”

Be specific

When you do manage to lock down your ideal target – such as an executive of a top-tier firm – it’s important to be genuine as well as specific. The typical day-to-day role of an executive often means they are thinking about any number of things at one time, ranging from the present state of their business to forecasting several years in advance. It’s safe to say that their thought processes are in a big-picture capacity.

Create a memorable impression by providing them with something tangible to consider. Are you looking for an internship over the summer break or a graduate position? What is it you can offer them, and how might they benefit from accepting your proposal? Whatever it may be, ensure you arrive prepared and capitalise on your moment.

Circulate

You might have a few industry heavyweights in your sights at the start of the night, but that doesn’t mean you should exclude any connections that aren't the top dogs. A diverse network of connections – consisting of a range of job titles, industries and locations – could offer opportunities for your career that you never quite envisioned. Remember the old adage: “It’s not what you know but who you know.” You just never know how or how well people at a networking event are connected.

Follow through

Once you have made a lasting impression, it’s important to enforce your credibility with the follow-up. If you have locked in a proposal or a catch-up over coffee, delivering on that commitment acts as a guarantor for your reputation. A strong reputation in the industry can do wonders in building the confidence others have in your abilities. Reputation is lasting and can offer you rewards well beyond one night’s interaction.

A successful evening of networking can have immediate as well as long-term benefits for your tax career. As long as you enter the night with enthusiasm and a firm approach in mind, it could be what sets your career in motion.


http://taxinstitute.com.au/education/graduate-diploma-of-applied-tax-lawTake the next step in your tax career with the Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law 

Find out more