Life at Deloitte

James Backhouse

Associate, Tax - Global Employer Services

Hi I’m James and before coming to Reading I studied Law at Reading University. I’ve got absolutely no history in accounting – my only jobs before this were in bars and pubs! Deloitte was an easy choice for me; notwithstanding it being the biggest accountancy firm in the world, I was totally blown away by the enthusiasm those interviewing me had for their jobs and the firm as a whole.

What work do you get involved in on a day to day basis?

I work in a department known as Global Employer Service (GES) which is part of the tax service line.  The work we do can be broadly split into two areas known as reward and mobility. My work falls on the reward side and involves consulting on broad areas such as employment taxes, share schemes and executive remuneration.

What do you like most about the office and region that you work in?

Let’s put things in perspective. There’s a lot of people in this department who have worked here for five, ten, and sometimes even more years than I’ve been on this planet… And they still love it! The quality of the Reading office really is reflected in the happiness of the people who work here and in honesty we feel more like a family than a group of employees.

What is your top tip for working in your industry?

My top tip is to be a good listener.  The fantastic array of skill sets and talents that people have around the office is overwhelming.  If you’ve got a problem then there is guaranteed to be someone in the firm’s network with the answer you’re looking for.  All you’ve got to do is be confident enough to find them, and then a good enough listener to take on board their nuggets of wisdom.

What social, society and corporate responsibility activities have you been involved with at Deloitte?

After a long day of tax we accountants love nothing more than to let our hair down… And luckily Deloitte are always there to help out! Budgets are made available for regular social and sporting activities, team building events and loads more.

The social, society and corporate responsibility activities on offer really are awesome. For example this May I’m getting flown out to Prague on behalf of Deloitte to take part in a European inter-firm football tournament. Pretty cool right? And in September I’ll be taking part in the Deloitte Ride Across Britain – A nine day cycle ride from one end of the UK to the other all in aid of the British Paralympic Association.  

How has Deloitte played a role in your long term career goals?

Deloitte has really changed the game for me. Like most graduates I felt relief more than anything when I got myself a job and my long term career goals hadn’t even been contemplated when I came here.

At Deloitte though they really push you and set out a clear path for your progression.  I have regular meetings with my appraiser who helps me set long term objectives and a constant feedback culture is encouraged inside the office which helps assess progress. 

What advice would you share to others considering a career in your industry?


The advice I’d give to anyone considering a career in accountancy is to come in with an open mind.  There’s so many different areas in accountancy and so many different roles that you’ll find what suits you eventually.  All that’s needed is a bit of enthusiasm, an aptitude to learn, and you’re going to be successful.

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