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Life at Deloitte

Hear from Conor Walsh

Position: Tax Manager

Course Completed: Master of Accounting, Michael Smurfit Graduate School of Business, UCD

How did your degree contribute to you working with Deloitte, and what was involved in the selection process for the programme?

While it is not necessary for a candidate to come from a business or legal discipline, my own background is of a business and accounting nature. I joined the firm in September 2013 following the completion of the Master of Accounting degree from UCD, which Deloitte had sponsored me for.

The selection process which determined my eligibility to undertake the programme was based on my undergraduate degree results. Having completed my third level studies, I obtained numerous exemptions from the examinations required to become a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax Adviser.

What’s exciting about your job?

I have been constantly involved in exciting projects but two particular experiences are the most memorable; being afforded the opportunity to accompany Pascal to the Irish Supreme Court and Court of Justice of the European Union were unbelievable experiences. Pascal is regarded as one of the world’s leading indirect tax advisers and has advised in most of the notable indirect tax cases taken in Ireland over the past two decades. At one point during court proceedings, the opposing legal counsel hesitantly responded to a tough question posed to him and the five Supreme Court judges turned their heads and jokingly remarked that the opposing expert (Pascal) was nodding his head in agreement (with the line of questioning?). It is moments like that have reinforced my belief that Deloitte is the best place for me to develop as a tax professional.

What advice would you have for students and graduates seeking to pursue a similar career path?

My advice would be to concentrate on excelling in their university exams and to develop their interpersonal skills as best they can.

How do you hope to see your career developing over the next few years?

With offices all over the world, the opportunity to work abroad is readily available. In fact, three of our most recently appointed Tax Partners previously led our Irish tax desk in New York before returning to Ireland – gaining international experience is starting to feel like a rite of passage! Another reminder of the global opportunities offered by Deloitte are the envious Snapchats I frequently receive from one of my colleagues who is currently seconded to our San Francisco offices!

While the prospect of working abroad is enticing, the opportunity to continue working alongside and be mentored by one of the world’s leading advisers is just too valuable for me to forgo – Deloitte Ireland is the place for me!

Since joining Deloitte, I have completed my training contract, qualified as a Chartered Accountant, Chartered Tax Adviser, obtained an advanced diploma in international tax and enjoyed rapid career progression to the position of Tax Manager.

What does your daily role involve?

It is a cliché but there have been no two days alike since joining Deloitte. I have been afforded a truly diverse and exceptional experience which has included accompanying our Head of Indirect Taxation (Pascal Brennan) to the High Court and the Supreme Court on numerous occasions. We also advised one of our clients on a case which was referred to the Court of Justice of the European Union and I was delighted to have been given the opportunity to attend the proceedings in Luxembourg!

In 2015, the Irish Rugby Football Union appointed Deloitte to deliver Ireland’s bid to host the Rugby World Cup in 2023. I was selected by the firm to be part of the team tasked with advising on the taxation consequences of hosting this event – one of the many tasks the firm delivered in producing the world-class bid. With Ireland’s bid formally submitted in June 2017, we now look forward to World Rugby announcing the successful candidate in November 2017.

I am also a member of our tax technology team and ‘Champions of Disruption’ project which both pursue improvements in service quality and delivery through innovation. Within the first few months of joining the firm, I was selected as one of Deloitte Ireland’s representatives at a data analytics’ conference in Belgium. I have recently been invited to attend another conference of a similar nature which is due to take place in Amsterdam later this year.

What’s been one of the biggest challenges so far?

The biggest challenge which faces graduates throughout their training contract is ensuring that they successfully complete the professional examinations. The exam support available within Deloitte, coupled with the generous paid study leave, helps to overcome that challenge. During my time with Deloitte, I have completed all examinations at the first sitting to become a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax Adviser. Deloitte has also supported me in obtaining the Advanced Diploma in International Taxation (specialty – EU VAT) awarded by the Chartered Institute of Taxation (United Kingdom).

What’s exciting about your job?

I have been constantly involved in exciting projects but two particular experiences are the most memorable; being afforded the opportunity to accompany Pascal to the Irish Supreme Court and Court of Justice of the European Union were unbelievable experiences. Pascal is regarded as one of the world’s leading indirect tax advisers and has advised in most of the notable indirect tax cases taken in Ireland over the past two decades. At one point during court proceedings, the opposing legal counsel hesitantly responded to a tough question posed to him and the five Supreme Court judges turned their heads and jokingly remarked that the opposing expert (Pascal) was nodding his head in agreement (with the line of questioning?). It is moments like that have reinforced my belief that Deloitte is the best place for me to develop as a tax professional.

What advice would you have for students and graduates seeking to pursue a similar career path?

My advice would be to concentrate on excelling in their university exams and to develop their interpersonal skills as best they can.

How do you hope to see your career developing over the next few years?

With offices all over the world, the opportunity to work abroad is readily available. In fact, three of our most recently appointed Tax Partners previously led our Irish tax desk in New York before returning to Ireland – gaining international experience is starting to feel like a rite of passage! Another reminder of the global opportunities offered by Deloitte are the envious Snapchats I frequently receive from one of my colleagues who is currently seconded to our San Francisco offices!

While the prospect of working abroad is enticing, the opportunity to continue working alongside and be mentored by one of the world’s leading advisers is just too valuable for me to forgo – Deloitte Ireland is the place for me!

Read more about our programme in Tax

 

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