Here’s the cavate, and you’re probably sick of hearing this, but no one day is the same.
The benefit of being part of the Tax Advisory team at Pitcher Partners is that we have a range of different teams that we work across. In my 12 months with Pitcher Partners, I have mostly worked within employment taxes, international tax, and private tax, but there are a broad range of engagements across the team. Each area has different ‘busy’ points of the year. Asa graduate, you get to have a taste of what’s its like to get involved across all of the team as help is needed.
Rise and shine! (and caffeinate)
During lockdown, I had 30 minutes off my morning routine (which I loved!), but today I’m heading into the office.
I take my dog to the park to give him a run around before heading off. Once I’m home I chuck a piece of bread in the toaster and make myself a coffee to take on the tram.
Once the clock hits 8:45am, I’m at my desk. I log onto Microsoft Teams and mark myself as ‘available’. The team is alternating which days we come into the office, so communication primarily occurs through Microsoft Teams and Outlook.
Once I’m logged in, I run through my action items: what needs to be done and when, who I need to speak to about work for the day and if I have any meetings.
Today I have found that I have more than enough time to complete the work I already have. In order to make sure the team knows I am able to assist with other tasks, I email the Tax Team Assistants to let them know I have capacity to take on extra work.
The Tax Team Assistants send out an email letting the team know who is on leave, any announcements, and the capacity list (as mentioned above).
It doesn’t take long until I am called by a manager working from home looking for a small task to be completed.
I have been asked to do some research in relation to a client query. It involves looking through legislation and private binding rulings to see if the client’s circumstances are covered by a previous decision. Whilst I have other work to finish, this won’t take too long so I have decided to do this before my other tasks.
I’ve emailed my findings to the manager and now jump into my other tasks. Next up we have a tax reconciliation.
This task is about looking at the accounting financial reports and reconciling them for tax purposes. Little did I know that accounting and tax did not treat things the same!
I find this task difficult and ask if one of the managers and I can have a call to discuss it. The manager is relaxed and more than happy to walk me through it. Luckily, this tax reconciliation is simple, and we breeze through it (though tax reconciliations can take a full day, depending on the difficulty).
I now have a virtual meeting with all members of the ‘below manager team’ (literally everyone below manager level) to have a general check in. We discuss workflow and how were all doing in lockdown. We try to play a game but alas, technology is not our friend in this instance.
During lockdown I would make myself a toastie and watch an episode of Brooklyn 99. Today I met up with a bunch of graduatess from other teams and we sat on level 13 in the sun. I had a delicious $3 double shot soy cap from the café on level 12 and grabbed an array of the free snacks on my way (I couldn’t believe it when I was told they were always there…and always free!)
International dealing schedule checklist
next task: IDS checklist – my favourite!
In a tax return, there are different sections. When a business has dealings overseas, they are required to fill out an International Dealings Schedule. It’s my task to go through the client file and do a preliminary assessment of the answers to the questions.
As I’m still learning, my manager has walked me through where to find the answers and once I am finished with my attempt, she will review it. I was given this task a few days ago I am ready to ring my manager with an update.
I call my manager about the IDS checklist. In looking through the client file I have noted that we are missing information. My manager instructs me to draft an email to the client requesting the information and attach a list of queries. She sends me an example email and query document to help me.
I save this email as I know it will help me in future (hot tip: collate a ‘knowledge bank’ of draft emails/example work as this gives you something to draw on for next time!)
I draft an email for my manager to send and attach the query list. We should hear back from them in a few days and when we do, I will resume with the checklist.
As part of our practise at Pitcher Partners, we have a Critical Point Network (CPN) of professionals in related industries who are able to seek our advice on matters. One of my managers has given me a small query to resolve.
I have done the research and call the manager to discuss my answer. Once he is happy with my response, he asks me to ring the CPN member with the answer.
I. Am. Terrified….But! Alas, I survived, and the individual was grateful for my help.
Quick graduate blog catch up! As part of our graduate cohort’s blog committee, we create monthly newsletters for the other graduates to enjoy. We discuss our next edition and who will be producing each piece of content. Everyone is from a different team in the firm, so we allocate work based on what we are each working on.
I join in on a workflow meeting for the upcoming FBT season.
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, each team has their busy periods. As I have worked a lot with the employment taxes team, I am invited to help them plan for the upcoming FBT season.
I am allocated research tasks and am taking minutes of the meeting.
I have 2 quick tax returns to do so I jump right into them.
Previously, I had helped to collect information around deductions and had downloaded reports from the ATO website to assist this process. Now it was a matter of inputting the information into our Tax Return Software, exporting the information to PDF, filing it in our management software, and annotating the pdf with references to where I got the information.
This makes the review of my work easy for my manager. Once the manger reviews my work, they may make changes and I will reflect this in an updated version before it goes to the partner for approval.
Off the clock!
Work is done for the day and I’m heading out for a drink with some other graduates. We walk down to the Yarra and each order an espresso martini. It’s Friday, so why not!
Home time. It’s Friday night so I sit down, chuck on Netflix and enjoy some Doritos!