It’s easy to get comfortable within your work environment and at times we can forget what other options are available to us to excel in our careers.
We speak to Jonny Morton, a specialist taxation recruitment consultant at Robert Walters, who shares six reasons why you should consider making the move to an in-house role in industry.
A greater sense of achievement
A regular grievance that we hear from tax professionals working for accountancy firms, is the feeling that you never get to see a piece of work through to completion. By moving in-house, you will be given more exposure to identifying problems within a business and deliver and implement strategic decisions to create long term solutions.
Exposure to multiple taxes
Particularly within a smaller in-house tax function, a move into industry gives you the opportunity to diversify your tax knowledge. Professionals within accountancy firms tend to be specialists, be it in corporate tax, VAT, transfer pricing, operational taxes, personal taxes or product, whilst professionals in-house will often get the opportunity to look at multiple facets of tax that relate to the business, providing a much broader role and the opportunity to widen your tax skill sets. This breadth of experience is invaluable should you ever wish to be a Head of Tax.
Potential route to CFO
With tax becoming increasingly high profile, professionals in-house are having regular exposure to multiple functions within a business. Not only does this make your job more interesting and varied, but with exposure to the C-Suite, Legal, Finance, Front Office and Operations teams becoming the norm, we are more regularly seeing Heads of Tax being considered for CFO roles within a business.
Better work/life balance
Although quarter ends can still lead to long hours, we find that (overall) people in tax work fewer hours in-house than they do at the accountancy firms. There can be several reasons for this, but for certain you will have more control over your time management, with greater oversight of your short term/long term projects and business as usual. A key attraction to an in-house role is there will be no more time sheets, no more accounting for every six minutes of your day and no unrealistic expectations of being 100% utilised.
Whilst the sheer volume of tax specialists within an accountancy firm lends itself to plenty of opportunity to move up the ladder, there still seems to be a hierarchical structure that rewards length of service within the business. Opposite to this, the in-house tax teams typically hold a philosophy of rewarding people based on talent, effort and achievement. People will often counter this, saying that you need to wait for someone to leave to get promoted in-house, but the truth is that tax professionals with good experience will always be able to find that next promotion by moving to another company in such a situation.
Typically, salaries are better in-house. The ceiling is often higher if you become a partner in the Big 4, but aside from that scenario, when you make that first move into industry, not only are you likely to see a jump in your base salary, but the bonus, pension contributions and overall benefits package will inevitably be better. There are always exceptions, but on average we see the standard bonus within practice being somewhere near 5 to 10% of your base salary, compared to industry, tax roles in commerce tend to pay a bonus between 10 to 30% of base and in financial services it is anywhere from 15 to 50%, and you can quickly see a big difference in your total compensation.
Tax professionals in industry more often than not receive greater career opportunities and monetary rewards. You will achieve a greater sense of belonging, truly see the reward for your hard work, have a greater work/life balance and inevitably move up the ranks quicker and get paid better.
Making the decision to move in-house isn’t irreversible, with there being plenty of examples of tax professionals moving back into practice later down the line and being more successful because of their experiences from the other side of the fence.
If you are interested in moving your tax career in-house, contact specialist tax recruitment consultant Jonny Morton at firstname.lastname@example.org or for a confidential discussion call on +44 (0) 020 7509 8488.