Tom Penley-1 (2)[2]

We spoke to Tom Penley, Associate Director in International Tax, on what makes tax such a rewarding place to develop your career – and why it’s even better in Reading, Berkshire. Here’s his story…

How and when did you join Deloitte?

I joined the Deloitte Summer Vacation Scheme (SVS) in 2007, took a deferred entry and joined as a maths graduate in 2009. The only other job I had ever had was as a tennis coach. I was lucky enough to go on secondment to our NYC office for just over a year, joining a small team responsible for serving our US colleagues with their clients, and developing the UK business from the US market. Professionally this meant a lot of travel and the opportunity to explore North & Central America. I still work with many of the clients I got to meet. On a personal level, the chance to live and work on another continent was fantastic, and something that will stay with me for the rest of my life (and my girlfriend’s, now wife, who came over and lived in NYC too). I travelled and visited many different places across the US, making some really close friends. I’m lucky that my job means I still travel back to the US and Canada regularly.

What are the three main reasons you joined Deloitte?

One, I was offered a professional qualification, paid for by Deloitte. Two, the international reach of our client base and Deloitte itself, which brings opportunities to work with clients all over the world and do secondments. And three, the people I met and friends I made on my SVS convinced me that Deloitte at Reading was the place for me to develop my career.

What’s your role at Deloitte?

I’m an Associate Director in Business Tax, working with non-UK head quartered businesses. My day job involves advising clients on international tax, Transfer Pricing, M&A, reorganisations/mergers, investing into the UK and starting up businesses. I work full time but at different times of the day and in different locations, depending on what my work and personal life require. I travel a fair bit so do my work from home, trains, airports, planes, overseas offices and locally in the Reading office. Exercise is also important to me to keep my mind and body healthy, and I work flexibly to allow me to maintain this.

What are three big reasons why someone should join your team?

Firstly, the exposure and opportunity to work with a wide variety of clients, whether FTSE, privately held or foreign owned. They range from the largest corporate in the world, to owner managed businesses. Secondly, Reading has a large office encompassing multiple services lines and lots of specialists. The expertise in Reading is fantastic. Finally, new team members have the opportunity to work with both smaller and much larger teams.

What could a job in tax at Deloitte do for your career?

The learning curve is huge but rewarding; the access to clients, Deloitte peers and specialists means you learn quickly and expand your knowledge massively. It moves your career forward incredibly fast.

What might your team get involved in?

We work with many groups, helping to implement and monitor policy to manage their tax risk and ensure the ‘right’ amount of revenue is attributed to each group, company and jurisdiction. There’s a lot of variety. Specifically for me, as Canadian Hub lead, I’m responsible for developing the internal Deloitte relationships between the UK & Canadian firms, as well as growing the Canadian market. We also look deeply at what data we have from clients and how we can use it to better serve them more efficiently.

What do you think is the main barrier to joining tax in Deloitte?

Many people want to work in London and so wouldn’t consider Reading. However, the client base (we’re on the M4 corridor so have lots of clients), smaller working teams and large size of our Reading office mean that we’re on a par with our London offices. Plus, you have greater responsibility and access to clients from a more junior grade.

What sets Deloitte apart?

The market has focused more and more on value brought from more experienced technicians. This has meant new joiners are involved in client work from day one, and have the opportunity to work with senior staff immediately.

Reading has plenty to offer curious and ambitious people who are fascinated by the challenges, complexities and scope of tax. Start your exploration at. Start your exploration here.


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