I joined Mercer & Hole in July 2012 having finished university just two weeks earlier. My trainee contract has been divided between time in both the tax and trusts department at the firm.
My day-to-day work involves completing tax returns and accounts for trusts, writing letters to clients, working on estates and the general administration involved in running trusts. The trust department offers a wide variety of work and having to process so much new information was a steep learning curve but an enjoyable one.
Spending time in the tax department has given me a good opportunity to get an overall look at how the trust and tax departments link together, as well as getting a wider range of experience. Most of the work involves private client tax returns, but I am also involved in partnership tax returns and corporate tax compliance, such as preparing P11Ds.
As part of my trainee contract, I studied for the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) qualification. Taking on three years of exams seemed a long commitment, but my trainee contract went very quickly and it has all been worthwhile now I am qualified. I was given study leave to attend learning and revision courses and college was a nice change from the office environment. Of course, taking exams also means giving up weekends and evenings to study during exam period, but the process is made easier by the fact you have other trainees also sitting the same exams. Having been given the option to study further, I am now working towards the Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) qualification and will be sitting the exams next year.