Life at Deloitte

James Heathcote

Associate, Tax - Private Client Services

James is an Associate in our Tax, Private Client Services team based in Leeds. He joined Deloitte in August 2012 having studied Languages and Linguistics at the University of York.

What do you like most about your role?

For me, it’s the type of clients that is unique to PCS. Working with individuals makes the whole job more personal – you really get to know your clients.


What didn't you know, but wish you had known when applying and joining Deloitte?

The whole recruitment process means that you have to research the Firm in quite some detail to get through the different stages. If anything, it would have been good to know more about how the different service lines work together to deliver the “One Deloitte” strategy, rather than just focussing on your one chosen service line.


What aspects of your degree do you feel support you in your role and success at Deloitte?

Linguistics taught me to think about things in different ways to get to the best result, which is something we do every day in tax. It’s not just adding up numbers; it’s looking at a client’s whole lifestyle and thinking about what the best thing is for that specific client.


What qualifications are you working towards and what support are you getting?

I’m currently studying the ATT (Association of Tax Technicians) exams, and hope to be qualified by November. After that, I’ll study further to gain CTA (Chartered Tax Advisor) accreditation. The support we get both through college and Deloitte is fantastic; everyone wants you to pass, and they’ll do anything they can to make sure you do.


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

A lot of my work at the moment is tax compliance – making sure our clients pay the right tax, and on time! It’s much more than just data entry, and is a great way of getting a firm grounding in the sort of tax scenarios I’ll see as I become more senior. It’s such a cliché but no two days are the same; one day I could be looking at an elderly lady’s investment portfolio, and the next looking at the personal tax implications of selling a business. I draft a lot of the correspondence that gets sent out to clients, and I’m now getting more direct client contact. I’ve been to a few meetings with clients and third parties – there really is a lot to get involved with from day one.


How do you deliver or contribute impact, leadership and innovation in your role?

It’s generally more junior staff who do the bulk of preparing day-to-day work, so if I can think of a creative solution to a problem, it makes the Managers’ jobs that bit easier! I’m encouraged to “take ownership” of my client portfolio, so I try to stay ahead of the game by doing things before being asked – reminding clients to pay their tax on time, drafting responses to queries or just researching my clients’ backgrounds. That in particularly important in Private Client Services as everyone is an individual.


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

I’ve already been involved with Graduate Recruitment in Sheffield and Leeds, which was quite surreal being a very recent graduate myself! For the time being, I’m trying to concentrate on passing my first set of exams – but once they’re out the way, I hope to get involved with community development projects, particularly mentoring local students.


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

The Firm has a very clear path for graduates to progress through their careers. I have a ‘buddy’ for day-to-day questions, a mentor to help my career development and an appraiser to keep me on the right track! A lot of emphasis is placed on advancing through the Firm, and I can honestly see myself having a long, successful and happy career at Deloitte.

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