Tuesday 19 April 2016

Eva Ewe, FTI. A Tasmanian graduate striving for a career in tax

I joined The Tax Institute because I wanted to equip myself with a deeper understanding in the application of tax law. My firm’s partner also encouraged me to join the Institute because of the access to tax resources and the wider tax community. I am currently part of the Hobart Young Tax Practitioners discussion group. We meet on a weekly basis to discuss monthly tax updates, and a person within the group presents on a topic of their choice. It’s a great way to interact with peers within the industry, from different accounting firms.

In 2009, I completed a bachelor of law from University of Tasmania and became a qualified legal practitioner. However, I decided to embark on a Masters of Professional Accounting in order to provide myself with an edge. In my penultimate year, I managed to secure an internship with Accru Hobart via the Chartered Accountants Achiever Program and was offered a job upon completion of the internship. I’ve been with Accru Hobart for close to 4 years, and became a Chartered Accountant in September 2015. I am hoping to start The Tax Institute’s Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law in 2016.

I am involved in tax and audit within the firm. I deal with a lot of not-for-profits and SME businesses. This involves tax compliance matters, providing written statements of advice, advising on business structures and related tax implications, and more.

I’ve enjoyed the learning process I’ve had throughout my career. There isn’t anything specific, but the challenges that have come along have pushed me to work harder in providing solutions that clients need. I always get a sense of achievement when clients are happy with the services provided.

Are you looking for career progression? Find out more about The Tax Institute's education programs and subjects.

Tuesday 12 April 2016

5 ways to enhance your digital footprint

Your online profile can be a gateway to your career, so how can you use your digital presence to move swiftly into your next role? Here are five things you should know about your digital footprint.

A digital footprint is the trail of data that users leave on digital services. From websites to social media profiles, your digital footprint can be used to showcase your career – so make sure you know how to optimise it.

First ask yourself: how will people find me? Then follow it up with: what impression will they obtain from my digital presence?

1. Make your mark
Potential employers will almost certainly plug your name into a search engine, so make sure you have a digital presence in the first place. If you have a common name, try to distinguish yourself with your middle name or a creative tagline, e.g. ‘aspiring tax specialist’.

2. Leverage your presence
Having a digital presence can help you find networking opportunities as well as push your name into someone’s sights. A career-oriented social network like LinkedIn is excellent for showcasing your skills, education and experience in a professional manner and acts as a searchable résumé for when an employer is looking for someone just like you. Websites are now so accessible and cheap that you may also choose to build your own for this purpose.

3. Eliminate the bad and irrelevant
Growing up online has it benefits, but it also has some drawbacks. You need to be aware of all the not-so-good stuff that can pop up in a search, which may include everything from angst-ridden poetry from when you were 13 to websites where people may have posted rumours or insults about you. If you can’t delete or hide these, at least make sure the good things rank higher.

4. Curb questionable behaviour
Everyone acts differently at work compared to how they act around their friends. Online, this distinction is often blurry, so it’s good practice to behave as if future employers are watching. This is the same rule you should apply whether you are engaging with others on social media or commenting on blogs and news articles. This means no negative behaviour such as posting anything unnecessarily aggressive or defamatory in nature.

5. Be yourself
While you don’t want potential employers to stumble upon something embarrassing and get the wrong idea about you, having an immaculate digital footprint is also a little unnerving. Authenticity wins over ‘too good to be true’, so don’t be afraid to be human.

The web is a great tool used by employers to find and research potential employees. Make sure you’re on their radar and primed to give the right impression when they do.

 Student Membership
Give yourself the edge with free Student Membership
If you are a tertiary education student, The Tax Institute can help you progress in your career journey.
Find out about Student Membership.

Tuesday 5 April 2016

A to-do list for first-year tax students

In a competitive environment such as the tax and accounting industry, it’s never too soon to start laying the groundwork for your future career. Here are five things you should aim to get sorted during the first year of your university tax course.

Develop a good grasp of the tax system
You can't build a house without a firm foundation, and gaining a solid understanding of the Australian tax system as soon as possible is the first step to a great tax career. You can – and probably will – spend a lifetime learning all its intricacies, but you'll want to nail the basics early on. (You may find enrolling in The Tax Institute’s CTA1 Foundations taxation course an effective way to achieve this.)

In particular, get your head around GST
It's the aspect of the tax system you’ll encounter more often than any other and, as you’ll soon come to learn, there’s a lot more to it than just whacking 10 percent on top of the cost of many (but not all) goods and services.

Join The Tax Institute
This one should be a no-brainer. Aside from free access to the leading Taxation in Australia journal – which can make all those assignments much easier – you will find the support you need to not only get you through your studies but to set you up for a successful career in tax plus it’s FREE! Join up right now.

Set up an internship
There's no better way to acquire practical experience and make some useful connections than through an internship. Australia's Big Four firms – Deloitte, PwC, KPMG and Ernst & Young – are the prestige destinations. All four have student programs, so bookmark these pages and visit them as often as you can:
But don't limit your search to major (or even minor) accounting firms – companies in almost every industry have finance departments where you can pick up practical experience.

Attend at least one industry event
Getting your name out there at networking events is a perfect way to make contacts that will help you down the road. The Tax Institute has a calendar of key industry events that are listed by state so you can find one close to home and at different levels in your careers.  

Your first year at uni will be a remarkable period of personal and intellectual growth. By all means enjoy your new environment, but don’t forget to do the legwork that will set you up for a great career when you graduate.

Give yourself the edge with free Student Membership
If you are a tertiary education student, The Tax Institute can help you progress in your career journey.

Find out about Student Membership.