Accountancy and financial management

Anna Scally, Tax Partner, KPMG

Anna Scally is a Tax Partner with KPMG, where she has worked for over 20 years, developing her career as KPMG’s business continues to expand.

The beginning

My first exposure to KPMG was when I was still at UCD. We needed to secure funding and sponsorship for Commerce Day at University so I came in to KPMG to pitch for funding, successfully as it turns out. That first experience was exceptionally positive and led me to conclude that I wanted to pursue a career in chartered accountancy and ideally in KPMG. I joined here after graduation, and I’ve grown my career in KPMG, both nationally and internationally, since then. Recently I took part in the opening bell ceremony in NASDAQ in New
York as part of KPMG’s sponsorship of an incredible gathering of some of the world’s top technology founders. It’s at times like that when you realise what a journey it has been and continues to be.

A year out

In 1997 I took a year out and travelled, working in Australia for a year supervising a
team of chartered accountants in a large fund management business. The year out really
helped me to focus my mind on what it was I really wanted to do, and that was to return to a world of working with many clients and helping them navigate some of the tax complexities they face growing their businesses. When I returned to Ireland, I rejoined KPMG’s Corporate Tax practice as a Manager and developed quickly to Director and to my current role as Tax Partner in 2004.

Building my career

Working with a global firm like KPMG has given me great opportunities to develop my expertise, working with clients in the technology, pharmaceuticals and other international sectors. I’ve worked on, and had the opportunity to head up, many diverse projects for my clients which have given me great opportunities to travel throughout Europe and Asia, particularly Japan and Taiwan, and the US. I have always loved working with dynamic companies with a global outlook and I always think that if you enjoy what you do, then you will excel at it.

I’ve taken my experience with KPMG and diversified in terms of building my own professional and personal experiences. I’m heavily involved in, and passionate about, innovation and growing Irish technology companies. Between 2009 and 2011, I was the only practicing accountant or tax adviser on the Government’s Innovation Taskforce and its implementation team, which was established to make and implement recommendations to grow Ireland’s ‘smart’ economy.

Experience & advice

Today, I am a Board Member of the American Chamber of Commerce Ireland, and I Chair the Chambers Tax Group, which is a large group of tax and finance leaders of US companies operating in Ireland. Also, I am very proud of my role within KPMG in helping establish the Dublin Web Summit as Europe’s leading technology event.

At KPMG I work with a very diverse set of people, not all of them with accountancy or business degrees, all bringing a different skill set to our team. Every day is different and here, learning is constant. The continuous exposure to different sectors, companies and business models is excellent and helps us to make informed
judgements for our clients.

Today’s graduates make me optimistic because they’re self confident, engaging, academic achievers, ambitious and are enterprising. I can’t overstate the value of getting involved outside of their academic studies at university. It is not all about just excelling academically, having outside interests helps to distinguish you as a person and also builds transferable skills, such as teamwork, which are vital in the business world.

Irrespective of economic cycles, talented graduates are always in demand. Be tenacious but be courteous, show what you have done, not just what you can do. Display that you have the desire and the capabilities to take on challenges and responsibilities and you will succeed, and always remember, never stop learning.

Anna was interviewed for gradireland’s Irelands 100 Leading Graduate Employers 2013/2014.