#Gradstories Aaron Gallagher, Tax Trainee, BDO
What’s your name, job title and employer?
My name is Aaron Gallagher and I'm a tax trainee in BDO Ireland.
What are the main tasks you do in your job in a normal week?
My main job is looking after corporate tax and personal tax compliance matters, dealing with the revenue and clients on a daily basis, making sure tax deadlines are met and basically that all the client’s needs are met.
What skills do you need to be successful in your role?
A lot skills you develop in the job on a day to day basis but there are some skills that you do learn in college that are very relevant to everything you do. For example, time management is something that I had to develop and when I came into the job I used what I developed in college. Managing your time towards assignments, you have to put that into your role now especially working in a tax role with all the deadlines there is, your time management is crucial. A particular skill I would have developed, coming from where I came from in college, I didn't have a lot of tax or accounting knowledge so that was something that was a bit of a learning curve that I had to pick up fairly quickly but it was easy to pick up from a mixture of on-the-job learning and learning off managers and other trainees on my team and the events that BDO put on during the year. They put on a lot of learning events that help develop you in your role.
How did you get into your job?
Coming from a law background in DIT (TU Dublin) I didn't really do tax, or I did no accounting at all. Taxes were something we barely touched on in some modules but it was always something that I was interested in. Coming from the grad fairs, the program's themselves stood out to me and so I always knew it was something I wanted to pursue.
What advice would you give to a college student?
What I would advise someone who's not coming from a tax or accounting background, but they want to come in to it is to an extent it's not really necessary (to have studied tax or accounting). From a mixture of what BDO provide you, they provide you with so much training that it's easy to pick it up and a lot of the stuff you just have to learn by actually doing it.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I would say one bit of advice I’d give my younger self is maybe put a little bit more effort into your first- and second-year exams. For example, my final year was the only thing that counted toward my degree but on paper if you have results in the mid-forties or mid-fifties, number one you're not going to get exemptions for the professional exams and number two it stands out on your CV.
What do you love about your job?
My favourite thing about being a tax trainee in BDO in particular is probably the size of the teams. There's only a certain amount of trainees on a team so that means you're dealing with managers, assistant managers, directors and partners on a daily basis and you're also getting great exposure to a huge client list.