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Gillian, Assistant Manager, Tax Centre of Excellence

Posted: December 19, 2018

Drive, commitment and integrity.  If you have these qualities then I believe you can be very successful at KPMG.

Tell us briefly about yourself and your career to date

I was originally taken on by KPMG in 1997 as a secretary to the Tax Partner in the Liverpool office. After asking if KPMG would help fund an HNC in Business and Finance, my Senior Manager at the time asked me if I’d rather take some professional tax exams. Obviously, I jumped at the opportunity and successfully complete ATT and CTA examinations. I went from being the tax department secretary to a Tax Manager. After having children I decided that I needed a change of career and set up my own business completely unrelated to tax. A change in my personal circumstances and a communication from KPMG led me to consider moving back into Tax. I re-joined KPMG in 2015 as an Assistant Manager as I had been out of Tax for a number of years and wanted time to get back up to speed, which was very much supported by the Tax Centre of Excellence (TCoE).

What attracted you to KPMG?

When KPMG contacted me about the role, I said that I could not commute to Manchester every day. I was assured that I could work from home and come into the office when requested and for training sessions. This suited my personal circumstances. I did spend 6 months in the office to get up to speed with processes and had an agreement to reduce my hours to allow me to pick up my children from school. After the 6 months I went back to full-time but as a remote worker.

What makes you proud of KPMG?

It is a privilege to work for KPMG. What I have noticed since coming back is how diverse the firm is. It is also very innovative, the technology that’s being developed is very impressive which will eventually see a lot of the mundane tax processes being automated which means the tax professionals can concentrate on technical work and adding value for the client. We have a great team in the TCoE generally and in particular the Manchester office where I’m based. The people are very approachable and are always willing to help and coach.

What opportunities have you been offered in terms of career development or personal learning?

We have regular training sessions specifically geared towards the TCoE. Training is available should you require it and we are now given a learning allowance which you can use as you see fit. I have a Performance Manager who I liaise with regularly and I can share my career goals with. I was also given the opportunity to become Process Champion for the department which means that I give process training to the new starters.

What direction do you see your career heading in? How will KPMG help you get there?

I have always liked tax compliance so the TCoE suits me very well and I am happy to stay within the Centre and build relationships with my portfolio of clients. However, we are sometimes offered secondments which would be supported if it was something that I wanted to pursue.

How do you think KPMG provides a flexible environment where work is recognised and celebrated? And that also respects your family live / commitments outside of work? KPMG is extremely flexible which gives a good work/life balance. I have been recognised on 3 separate occasions over the last 2 years with Encore Awards recognising the hard work and commitment that I’ve shown to the department and in particular certain clients. This makes me feel valued and appreciated. We believe KPMG people are role models.

How has your professional judgement made a difference?

I certainly feel that my contribution to the department has made a difference by ensuring my work is of good quality and I receive positive feedback. Good communication skills are essential, being responsive and able to plan and stick to plans ensures good client service and that’s what I try to coach the junior members of staff within the department to do.

What is the key quality that people need to have be successful at KPMG?

Drive, commitment and integrity. If you have these qualities then I believe you can be very successful at KPMG.

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