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#GradStories Michael Walsh, Tax Trainee, BDO Ireland

22 Jun 2023, 13:24

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What does a typical day look like for you?

My role is varied. I get to work in different areas of tax from corporate tax, income tax and even pay slips. My role ranges from compliance work to advisory work. I look at tax legislation, revenue guidance and case law to make sure our advice is accurate and in line with the

What skills do you need to be successful in your role?

Presentation skills. A lot of my job is explaining technical information to clients that may not be familiar with legislation.

Communication skills are important. I liaise with clients, colleagues, revenue and an array of different parties. They’re different audiences with different questions. Communication skills help you ease a client with an issue that to them might look very technical but to me is very straightforward.

How did you find out about the internship?

I came across this internship on gradireland. I wasn’t sure what I needed to get into the programme or if I was the right fit for it. Thankfully the advert on gradireland was detailed enough to give me the confidence to apply.

What advice would you have for people who want to follow the same path?

The big thing for me was the interview. It was meeting a partner and a manager and knowing I was a cultural fit. The point of the training programme is that you learn and develop skills. They don’t expect you to come in and have a strong knowledgebase from the outset.

What do you love about your job?

I had a genuine interest in tax. I didn’t know a whole lot about tax when I started. I have advanced a lot in two years thanks to the quality of the BDO programme.

Working at BDO doesn’t feel like work. It’s joyous, the conversations you have are very energetic.

How have you adjusted to a hybrid system of work?

BDO was very supportive. There was equipment sent out to my home, there was support provided on a continuous basis to know that I was still valued as an employee. If you’re intimidated about working from home, don’t be, you’ll be just as well equipped as you would be if you were working in an office.

What advice would you have for you past self?

Take confidence. I didn’t think that coming from a psychological degree background I could become a tax advisor but here I am two years into it. If you have an interest in something, don’t feel like you can’t apply for it. There are skills from any degree that you can transfer into an accountancy role, particularly into a tax role.

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