If you like to be challenged intellectually, enjoy analysing the facts and are a creative thinker, then maybe you’re ready to follow in the footsteps of EY School Leaver trainee Charlotte. She joined the EY Tax team in Reading 2 years ago and is working towards her first professional qualification at EY, before she moves onto studying and working towards the globally recognised ACA qualification – all without university fees or student debt.

In her blog, Charlotte shares 5 key things to know about Tax before you embark on your career in finance!

5 Things I Wish I’d Known about Tax

My name is Charlotte and I joined EY in September 2013. I work in VAT in the Reading office. I went to Edgbarrow Sixth form, where I studied 3 A Levels; Business Studies, Economics and French. Before I started at EY, there were many things that I wanted to know, but I didn’t want to ask someone, just in case I painted a bad first impression of myself. Knowing what I know now, I’ve put down 5 of the things that I wish I’d known before I started my job. Hopefully they answer some of your thoughts, as well!

1. There is more to Tax than you’d think

There’s much more to Tax than it seems – Tax is a very broad area. There are lots of different types of taxes, and lots of different rules apply to each different type. It’s a lot to learn and know, but it’s really rewarding to see your technical knowledge grow.

2. It’s not purely a desk job

What a typical week is like – Each week is different and there’s so much work to get involved in. The common misconception is that you sit at a desk and count numbers and money all day. That’s just not the case; there are so many different aspects to Tax! You could be at a client meeting, helping with a VAT Inspection or on a conference call. There are also lots of different technical areas to get involved in.

3. How rewarding the job can be

How rewarding it is to help your clients – Before I joined I thought that clients were going to be very demanding with what they wanted. To some extent, this is true but our role is to help them make sure that their tax affairs and processes are correct (i.e. that they pay the right amount of tax at the right time, in the correct jurisdictions).  Even if a piece of advice takes a while to complete; you’re constantly learning along the way, and it’s very rewarding to see that you’ve helped the client with your advice.

4. How much Tax affects my daily life outside of the office

You begin to look at everyday things in a whole new light – Tax is everywhere and once I’d started working, I started to notice it everywhere. Be it on your payslip at the end of the month, or when you’re walking around a supermarket. Tax really does make you think.

5. The variety of clients I’d end up working with

What sort of clients you deal with – Before I joined EY, I always thought that large and multinational companies used Accountancy firms for their Audits, Tax Returns and if they went into Liquidation. This couldn’t be further from the truth. These sorts of companies have higher exposure than smaller companies, and also need to make sure that all of their Tax affairs are in order. I work with so many household names on a daily basis that I never thought would need the Tax advice.

Discover the EY School Leaver programme

With vacancies still available on the 2015 EY School Leaver programme, it’s not too late to take an alternative route to your career in business, just like Charlotte did.

If you’d like to find out more about life as a trainee tax adviser on the EY School Leaver programme then you can follow Charlotte on Twitter – @CLWain_EY. You can also find out more about the programme here.