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About In House Tax

About In House Tax

This weblog is a news and views site for tax professionals within the UK and international in-house tax community.  You will find information about appointments and people moves in and around the in-house tax market, issues affecting the in-house tax professional, opinions on the state of the tax job market, updates on tax technology, and other general thoughts of the day.

Hope you find it useful.

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Location: St Albans, United Kingdom

This site has been developed by Simon Godley, who also runs the niche tax recruitment company Talentpool Selection . Simon spends a lot of his time placing tax specialists into FTSE companies, large in-bound groups and some professional services organisations. He also recruits and is well networked around the UK tax technology and VAT markets.

Tax News

Henderson now looking at tax domicile change

Wednesday, 27 August 2008


In response to a press article published in the UK today, Henderson Group plc has confirmed that it is considering a potential change in its tax domicile from the UK to the Republic of Ireland.

A further update will be given with the release of the Group’s 2008 interim results at 07:00 (London time) on 28 August 2008.

Established in 1934, Henderson is a leading independent global asset management firm. The company provides its institutional, retail and high net-worth clients with access to skilled investment professionals representing a broad range of asset classes, including equities, fixed income, property and private equity.

SG comment: This news feed echos my news on Shire back in May 2008. Where will it all end, Alistair?

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posted by Simon Godley

UK Corporate Tax people - where are you?

Friday, 22 August 2008

By Simon Godley

Through my contact with clients and my awareness of current tax vacancies in the London market, particularly on the commerce/industry side, it seems that industry is really struggling to find and recruit UK tax accountants. I am referring to the classic scenario of a UK plc or multinational looking to hire a 'tax newly qual'. The hiring company initially envisages this as quite a straight forward exercise, thinking that there is probably quite a lot of them floating around, particularly after the ACA or CTA results are released. But it isn't, and more often than not it ends up being a disappointing, long and fruitless process, sometimes resulting in the company hiring someone from overseas with a non-UK tax background (NZ tax qualifieds are quite popular) or internally transferring someone from an accounting division and training them into a tax role.

So I thought this situation of the elusive UK Tax Accountant was worthy of further debate and investigation. I thought firstly I would initially try to guesstimate how many corporate tax (CT) newly qualifieds there are in London in 2008. I stress this is a rough estimate, but I think it gives a useful ball park figure.

I know that there was approx 120 tax graduates taken on by one of the Big Four in London in 2005. From this number, I have extrapolated to cover the London Top 10 firms (which will cover the vast majority of the large company CT market). I have then made some assumptions about what proportion of the tax graduates will stick with it through their 3 year training contract to qualifying. For example, there will be a percentage that will fail their ACA or CTA exams, and drop out of a tax career. There will also be a percentage who will simply decide it's not for them. I then assume, of those that qualify at ACA, a percentage will decide to take their qualification and use it in a different sector e.g. banking or management consulting, and therefore leave the tax market in 2008.

The number that I arrived at was 270. Let me clarify what this is - this is the estimate number of corporate tax newly qualifieds in London from the professional firms in 2008. Once again, I stress that this took some guess work, as it is not the sort of figure you can look up and find quickly on the Internet.

But wait - I think the majority (possibly 60% or so) of this 270 don't do any tax compliance or accounting work. The Big 4 firms in London have very much focused their CT divisions on planning/advisory, and a large number of CT qualifieds (even at newly qual level) no longer do tax compliance work. And it is the compliance and accounting experience that commerce/industry is looking for when it looks for a 'tax newly qual'. So this 270 could be easily reduced to c.100-120 CT newly qualifieds in London (that still do tax compliance work).

So this is now starting to explain why industry may struggle to hire UK Tax Accountants. Of a city with a 10 million population, there might be c.100 tax professionals who have the right skills to move across to industry as a Tax Accountant.

We then add to this the efforts on staff retention that the accounting firms use to keep their people e.g. overseas or internal secondments, regular annual promotions to the next level (which will lead to Tax Manager, and the challenging but 'gold at the end of the rainbow' type pursuit to Tax Partner), and we are left with a low number (say, 50 or less) of budding in-house UK Tax 'newly qual' Accountants.

And this is from a year (2005) in which the graduate intake into Big 4 would have been quite high. Just think how small the number might boil down to 3 years after a low graduate intake year!

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posted by Simon Godley

New Linked In Tax Network - Tax Technology People

Tuesday, 19 August 2008

By Simon Godley

This is a brief announcement that I have set up a new Group on Linked In, specifically for people who work in the area of tax technology. This is a rather experimental project at the moment, and it will be interesting to see if generates a critical mass of people in the sector. It is primarily for tax technology / tax software execs based in the UK, although it is open to non-UK members. I discovered that there were already a couple of tax technology Groups on Linked In generated in the US, but as with the broader tax market, the Atlantic does seem to split the tax technology world into two distinct people populations.

I have had my profile on Linked In for c.2 years now, but don't feel that I have really maximised its networking potential and functionality, hence this initiative.

The purpose of the 'Tax Technology People' Group, is mostly for networking in the sector. I guess it enables tax technology specialists to see who else is in their market (if they are interested), and possibly even to generate contact / debate between people with a common career interest. I am slightly sceptical about the latter purpose, but we will see.

Only people who have their profile on Linked In can join the group, otherwise Linked In as an enterprise wouldn't benefit. So if you are on Linked In, and you work in the field of tax technology / software, please join. If you are not on Linked In, have a look at setting up an account, I think it's a good business networking site with a good level of privacy options built in.

And of course, I would welcome any thoughts or feedback on the Tax Technology People group.

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posted by Simon Godley

Tax Jobs - Weekly Highlights

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

If, in amongst this downturn that we are experiencing (which I think still has a few shock waves yet to hit us) we see tax jobs being cut, I think people in the very specialists roles will potentially be the safest. When I say specialist roles, I am thinking of areas such as transfer pricing, in-house tax compliance and tax technology.

Transfer Pricing as an area has just boomed over the last 5-6 years, and many more people globally have specialised in it, and have chosen it as a successful career path. There always seems to be a global transfer pricing conference being organised at an exclusive international location, attended by the best brains in the transfer pricing world. I think also because of the onus on compliance and documentation within transfer pricing, there will be a need for it irrespective of how well business is doing.

Which brings me on to my featured job of the week, which is a specialist transfer pricing role with an economics bias within a non-Big Four niche consultancy in London:

Transfer Pricing Consultant - Niche Consultancy
London £40,000 - £70,000, depending on experience
See More Details

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posted by Simon Godley

MYOB software branding to disappear

Monday, 11 August 2008


The publishing business that acquired accountancy software company MYOB earlier this year has announced that it is to phase out the brand.

Wolters Kluwer told Accountancy Age that by September almost all MYOB branding will be gone and by January 2009 it will be completely replaced by CCH, the company's software arm.

Cathy Wolfe, CEO of Wolters Kluwer, said: 'MYOB still exists in Australia and is best of breed there'.

WK confirmed that following the acquisition there were no redundancies in sales and that it is not planning any big cuts. 'We want to expand our strong position so there is plenty of work to go round' added Wolfe.

Wolters Kluwer's announced last week that it had launched CCH ProSystem, a hybrid of both CCH and MYOB technology.

Simon Crompton, head of CCH, said: 'The new software has opened up a complete and totally integrated suite, for strong, big, and entry level organisations'.

CCH ProSystem will be available on upgrade to all customers of both CCH and MYOB and fully implements both package models into its framework.

SG comment - I have featured this article as amongst the MYOB brands are well known tax software products PerTax (including new rewritten .NET version), SecTax (for share dealings) and TrusTax (for trusts and estates). I suspect they will keep these product names, and repackage them as CCH products.

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posted by Simon Godley

Microsoft creeping into tax software market?

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

By Simon Godley

I recently saw an article announcing that accounting firm Tenon has signed a deal with Microsoft to supply their accounting software, whereas previously they had favoured Sage. Tenon has said that they are continuing to use Sage, but the Microsoft offering is 'better'. Tenon will use the Microsoft product for outsourced finance function, presumably for their clients.

This prompted me to look at the Microsoft site for the product. There are actually two sites - one for financial management software and one for Microsoft Office Accounting, which seems to be for smaller businesses. Both sites are quite impressive, with video sales pitches which give a very convincing overview of the products. When you look at the add-ons available (for the Microsoft Office product), you can add a payroll service for an extra £9.95 per month. This does all the PAYE and NIC calculations, and can handle e-filing. The basic MS Office Accounting product is free to trial for 60 days, and then costs just under £150 to buy (for one user).

There is no evidence of specific corporate or personal tax products as yet, but I guess that could be another add-on from Microsoft in the future. Their current offerings seem to be pitched to the SME market, hence the competition with Sage, so no direct product competition with the suppliers of larger group CT software.

It is a brave move by Microsoft, and a move into mature markets (ie US and UK accounting software), but that seems to the their strategy on products - see what the competition has produced, and then design something better.

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posted by Simon Godley

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