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 roles 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-dom work (read our article about why this is a good route to go down), trusts or inheritance tax, for example. These areas of Private Clients 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 to 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, money topic comes up 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.

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, a huge amount may not be 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. The workplace dynamics can greatly affect your job satisfaction.

If you arrive in the morning, greeted by smiling faces, and warm hellos, work doesn’t feel quite like work. It also helps when you know that, if you have a problem, you can approach your manager or another member of staff for help. When you feel ignored/undervalued, your manager does not address your concerns, and the workday can become a struggle. A negative work environment can adversely affect productivity and make time seem to drag on.

If any of these reasons ring true, feel free to get in contact with Harvey John for an informal chat about potential solutions.

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