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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

Why do we move jobs?

Friday, 22 November 2013

By Simon Godley

Over the last 17 years of working in the recruiting industry, all of which have been in and around the tax market, I have spoken to a LOT of candidates.  I’ve literally done thousands of first conversations over the phone with new candidates, and at some point within that first conversation, I will ask a very key question. This question will come in many formats and guises, but it will be essentially trying to find out ‘Why are you looking to move jobs?’

Of course, I have had back a vast array of answers to this.  There is often a lot of dodging of this particular question, and in a lot of cases the first response is something along the lines of feel it is time to find a new challenge or it is time for a change.  These responses can be seen as quite valid, but they are in the vast majority of cases NOT the reason why someone is looking.  This response is usually covering up one or more other core reasons why someone is not happy in their current role, and it can take many more lines of questions to find out this crucial information.
So what are the real reasons why people move jobs, or why people start looking to move jobs?  I tend to collect and retain information on candidates that I have placed, including the core reasons as to why they moved on.  So from this data accumulated over a number of years, here's my Top 5 reasons why people move jobs, with the biggest one first:

1.     Achieve the next step up.  People are highly motivated by the opportunity for success, and feeling that they are on a promotion ladder.  Some of the larger accounting firms / Big 4 etc. have good retention levels as they can show their staff a clear promotion ladder in front of them if they perform well i.e. trainee level to consultant to manager to senior manager etc., although in weak markets this promotion track can be heavily slowed.  People generally need to feel they are progressing and striving towards a promotion, and if this prospect starts to fade away, they will quickly start to look at external options. 

2.     Move away from Manager / Management.  The above is very closely followed by this reason.  It is often said that people don't move jobs, they move managers.  People work well for people they both like and respect.  However people who work hard in a job can start to get very good at that job, and then can start to think / feel that they do it better than their Manager, with the perception that they have outgrown the role.  At the same time, there are Managers that are poor at managing people, poor at communications and building relations, and this all quickly leads to very demotivated staff in their teams. 

3.     More Money.  You may have expected this to be a higher on the list, but money is certainly not everything when people are assessing their careers.  Of course, if people feel they are being paid sizeably below the market level for their role and experience, they will look for a move.  But if people feel they are being paid fairly for what they do, then reasons 1 and 2 are much more prominent.  In addition, if the complaint is solely about money and someone feels they should be paid more, they may then look externally and achieve a higher offer elsewhere, only to be bought back by their current employer, and so may well not leave the organisation. 

4.     Better flexible working options.  Working at a desk in the same office from 8.30pm to 5.30pm is becoming a thing of the past, and a lot of organisations have recognised this and can now offer more flexible working e.g. 9-day fortnight or 1 day per week from home.  Technology and the web have assisted greatly on this, and so a lot of tax roles can be done remotely from another location e.g. from home.  Any employers that have not embraced technology or havent recognised flexible working will find their staff turnover increasing. 

5.     Change experience.  People inherently love to learn, and develop new skills and experience.  And this can lead to better opportunities and career advancement.  This could be less to do with their current employer, but just a feeling of needing to get different experience, which they may not be able to get with their current employer.  In the tax market, a classic example of this could be someone who feels quite locked into a tax compliance role, but wants to get more exposure into tax planning / advisory work.   

I think it is advisable that Managers of people and teams be mindful of the above points, and to assess how their better performing people may be thinking in relation to these 5 factors.  If they are ignored, there could be an increased risk of one or more team members moving on because they are ‘looking for a new challenge’.

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posted by Simon Godley

Tax Accounting Systems - Management level role (London)

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

We are looking to talk to people in the tax accounting & compliance field, either practice side or in-house tax / shared service centre environment.  Manager level, now looking to develop career further in the tax systems market:

Manager - Tax Accounting Systems
London | £50,000 - £65,000 + Bonus + Bens

This is a great opportunity to work for a leading global brand, and a truly international group in the business services sector.
You will join an established team that works with large-end corporate clients to provide them with sophisticated software that automates the tax accounting function.  The system is used by tax, finance and accounting      professionals across the corporate group, and can operate across many countries.  After a short period, you would be expected to manage implementations projects as well as managing client relationships, and so this role   requires technical, professional and strong communication skills.
As a Manager in the team,  this role will involve some key areas of activity:
  • Meet with client’s tax department management to determine business and technical needs.
  • Recommend optimal system configuration and business processes based on industry best practices.
  • Prepare and present implementation plans for customer approval.
  • Manage and execute implementation plan including directing staff resources (both internal and external), evaluating results, creating documentation of newly created processes and managing overall engagement.
  • Train client users on use of software solutions and business practices.
We are flexible in terms of looking at candidates from a wide range of tax, finance and IT backgrounds, however it is highly preferred that you will have had a corporate tax training (coupled with ACA / ICAS exams) from a large accounting firm.  You will have a strong grounding in the principles of tax accounting, and will understand well the procedures of preparing tax accounts under UK Gaap and IFRS.  It is expected that you will have progressed in the firm to minimum of Assistant Manager level or into Manager grade.  In addition, you will have a strong interest in technology, and will enjoy constructing and using complex Excel workbooks to help with tax calculations.
Any direct experience of implementing tax accounting or tax compliance software within a finance function will be a distinct advantage.
This is an excellent opportunity for someone with practical tax accounting experience to use this within a business technology capacity and to get noticed quickly within a growing area of the tax automation market.
For more information, or to apply for this position, please call Simon Godley at Talentpool Selection on 0870 46 056 46 or email:

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posted by Simon Godley

Indirect Tax Engines - great entry level role

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

We are currently working on recruitment exercise for this interesting VAT tax engines role with a large consulting firm.  I've tried to simplify the wording in the description of this job posting as often it can sound more complicated that it is:

Consultant - Indirect Tax Engines
London | £30,000 - £60,000 + Bens, depending on experience level to date

Our client is a leading professional services firm globally.  An excellent career opportunity has emerged within their growing tax technology services team, with a new role focused on indirect tax systems applicable to large multinational groups.  The role is centred in London, however we are looking to consider candidates from other parts of Europe on the basis that they are flexible to do regular travel.
We are generally looking for candidates with backgrounds in either indirect tax compliance (of a large international group) or ERP / SAP based implementations experience (involving VAT elements) or a combination of these areas.  IT programming skills are not required, however a good appreciation of IT-finance systems used in international groups will prove valuable.
Key aspects of the role include:
  • Analysing and reviewing existing VAT/indirect tax processes, controls and systems in place within client organisations
  • Identifying areas in which the above could be improved, and then working through the proposal stages with the client and supporting the development of business cases for upgrading VAT systems
  • Working on implementation projects of indirect tax calculation systems, in particular implementation projects of bolt-on systems (such as Vertex or Thomson Reuters Onesource tax determination solutions)
To be considered for this role, you will have a combination of two or more of the following:
  • A strong graduate / masters degree – either accounting or finance related, IT or a science subject
  • Experience within the indirect tax function of a FSS (finance shared service centre), either UK based or in other European country
  • Experience of upgrading / modifying SAP to work better for VAT codes and calculations; experience of SAP FICO or SD-MM modules an advantage
  • Experience of implementing either Vertex or Thomson Reuters Onesource indirect tax software
This role is ideal for someone with foundational indirect tax compliance and process experience, and with some experience of the IT systems in this sector, now looking to boost their career within a market leading consulting team.

For a further discussion about this, please either call Simon Godley on 0870 46 056 46 or email:

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posted by Simon Godley

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