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If ‘tax is tax’, why should you move?

A lot of the conversations I have day to day are with people who are happy in their current role and don’t see any point in moving firms. I often hear the phrase ‘tax is tax no matter where I am’. In some respects this is true; a tax return of a 55 year old construction manager who earns £60,000 a year will require the same work whether you complete it in one firm or the other. However, I refuse to believe that that’s the only way of looking at the situation. 

Here are 4 reasons to help you have a closer look and see if you’re currently in the right firm for you.

Opportunities to grow and develop

Unless you can safely say you know everything about every type of Private Client tax out there, there’s always something you can do to increase your knowledge and develop your skills.

Some firms will allow you to expand the scope of your experience. That might be with non-doms work (read our article about why this is a good route to go down), trusts or inheritance tax, for example. These areas of Private Client can be very rewarding and can allow for greater career prospects in the future.

If your current firm offers these services and you want to learn more about the area, but they don’t allow those who complete personal tax returns to look over these more ‘interesting’ areas of Private Client work, it may be a sign to look for other options to increase your future career prospects.

A wider variety of clients

This links into the point above, however, it may not always be your employer’s fault. Some firms just don’t have the diversity of clients to allow their staff to work on different projects on a daily or weekly basis. This tends to be a problem in some smaller accountancy firms and, while there’s not much they can do to rectify the situation, it unfortunately doesn’t help you and your progression.

I’ve spoken to a few people recently who’ve said that this is the way they’re feeling in their current firm. Being stuck in a corner completing personal tax return after personal tax return, as that’s all there is to do in the company, isn’t a fun place to be!

If you feel like your skills aren’t being utilised to their full potential, this could mean it’s time to move on and find something more challenging.


As a recruiter, the topic of money comes up quite a lot in our daily conversations. Some people ask for advice on what they think they should be getting paid when going for an appraisal, while others believe that their skills are worth more than their current package is offering. (Read our blog about how much you can earn in Private Client tax)

If you fall into the second category, it may be worth getting in contact to discuss what you’re currently on and what the earning potential for someone of your experience should be. A word of warning though… 80% of the people I speak to are either paid at or above market rate, with a lot of people looking for salaries that just aren’t possible in the current market. So, if money is the only motivating factor, there may not be a huge amount around at the minute that’ll fill your expectations.

However, if you think you fall into the 20% or so that are underpaid in your current position, getting in contact with a recruiter may be a good idea to gauge the market and provide an unbiased overview of current salaries.

Company environment 

This would be one of the biggest things for me if I was looking at moving jobs. How the team works together and the dynamics within the company as a whole can have a huge impact on whether you enjoy going into work or not.

If you arrive in the morning and you’re greeted by smiling faces, warm hellos, and you know that, if you have a problem, you can approach your manager or another member of staff for help, then work doesn’t feel quite so much like work. However, if you walk into the office, no one looks up, no one smiles when they make eye contact, and you know that if you go to your manager with an issue they’ll, at best, put it to the back of a huge pile of other things they ‘have’ to do today, then work days stretch into what feels like weeks and it becomes much more of a chore.

If any of these reasons ring true for your current firm, please feel free to get in contact with Harvey John for an informal chat about what you feel is going wrong and some potential solutions.

If you would like to see our company updates and industry insights, follow our LinkedIn page here.

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