The tax industry has started to embrace podcasts and Jack Bonehill is leading the way.
The number of podcast listeners continues to accelerate at a rapid pace. According to Forbes, in 2020, an estimated 100 million people listened to a podcast each month and it’s expected to reach 125 million in 2022. That’s a 25% increase in just two years.
The podcast is rightly seen as a medium that attracts younger audiences. Podcast listeners have a median age of 34, far younger than that of broadcast radio (47) and network television (57).
The trend has even reached the tax industry. Until recently, taxation podcasts were largely restricted to those produced by the Big 4 and other major players in the sector. But that has changed in the last couple of years.
And now we are delighted to meet Jack Bonehill, the founder of The Tax Professionals Podcast, which is dedicated to helping tax professionals progress, develop and improve their careers.
Jack offers a fresh, youthful approach to tax career progression and passing ATT/CTA exams, and the podcast is building up a loyal audience, one year on from its debut in May 2020.
So why choose tax and why start The Tax Professionals Podcast?
Jack answers these questions and more…
Why did you choose a career in tax?
My first choice actually was to work as an actuary, with tax as a close second!
What I liked about both was that they would require complicated thinking on a day-to-day basis, but what I particularly liked about tax was that it has good career progression, the potential to have a good wage, that I could help clients, and the idea of taking on a slightly different challenge.
Up until graduating, I’d always stuck to my strength, maths, and stayed away from any subjects involving a lot of reading/writing, like English. I knew tax would give me the opportunity to get stuck into analysing legislation and guidance, something which my younger self would have hated the thought of, but which now is arguably what I enjoy most about working in tax.
Working with clients and helping others develop is definitely up there too.
I really don’t understand why my friends call me boring!
We’re not sure about boring! Onto your current role, can you outline your responsibilities and specialities?
I currently work as a Tax Manager, supporting businesses in all areas of Employment Taxes, which includes support with HMRC enquiries.
From experience, there is lack of understanding of what Employment Taxes cover, which is understandable as it’s hard to explain to those who don’t work in it!
Most probably think that it just covers payroll payments, employee benefits, and employee expenses. Whilst it does cover those, it also covers so much more!
It covers any tax (including National Insurance!) implications arising from the workforce of a business, plus what is known as the Construction Industry Scheme and the National Minimum Wage (this is not as simple as paying the minimum rate per hour, would you believe!). Workforce doesn’t just mean employees – it also includes agency workers, other temporary workers, and contractors.
Most of the support I provide is to temporary work agencies, helping them minimise the tax costs and risks associated with their temporary workers. This includes managing risks when using umbrella and similar companies.
Why did you decide to start a podcast?
I enjoy helping others, by sharing what I know and have learnt, and thought a podcast would be a great way to do this without sending my other half to sleep!
There also seemed to be a lack of available resources for helping people to progress their tax career, so I thought a podcast to do exactly that would be really useful for people.
It has certainly been useful. What subject matters generate the most interest/engagements?
Without a doubt it is where there are tips to help pass the ATT and CTA exams.
I would like to give a big shoutout to Nitin Rabheru, Tax Lecturer of BPP, who has been a guest on the show twice. His passion to help students pass is second to none, and his advice has really helped students.
You must learn a lot through your research and interviews – what have been the main educational benefits for you?
I could list so many educational benefits of doing the podcast. Probably the main one is becoming much better at clearly articulating myself verbally, which is so important when speaking to clients!
Have any guests particularly inspired you?
Nitin for his unbelievable passion for helping students.
Sofia for her incredible achievements at such a young age whilst being so down to earth.
Jo Maughan for always being always authentic and herself.
The podcast series is a great marketing venture – how well do you think the tax sector markets itself?
I didn’t think about it at the time, but absolutely it has been good from a marketing perspective. I think there’s definitely room for improvement in the way the sector markets itself, by using more current techniques rather than ones that worked historically.
Particularly, I think the sector has a reputation for being boring (understandable but far from it).
Marketing could definitely help with dispelling that idea.
Keep up the good work on promoting tax as a career. Have you found that people in the industry are now coming to you for advice?
Yes, which is great as I enjoy helping people.
Most people tend to get in touch in relation to a career problem. Perhaps they aren’t getting the experience they want, feel like they are lacking progression, or are not sure which direction to take their career in.
People also get in touch asking for exam advice.
Was that why you set up an online course? Can you tell us more about this?
Yes. It is a free course to help people take control of their tax career and accelerate their progression.
It helps people to think about what tax jobs will align with their career objectives and lifestyle goals, and then helps them figure out what they need to do to achieve their ideal tax job.
Would you recommend a career in tax?
Absolutely. It’s not for everyone, so as with any career, I’d recommend you carefully consider whether it’s a right fit for you before jumping in. If anyone wants a chat in this regard, feel free to get in touch!
Finally, are there any other podcasts or influencers you listen to?
The podcast Serial is what got me into them (fascinating real crime story), and I now listen to loads. I like to mainly listen in the car (outside the pandemic!), and when doing mundane tasks such as the weekly shop.
Most podcasts I listen to now are educational. I can highly recommend the Meaningful Money Podcast, for anyone wanting to get on top of their personal finances. I always get called tight but I prefer to call it frugal!
The Harvey John tax team certainly recommends Jack’s informative and entertaining podcast - www.thetaxprofessionalspodcast.com/.
If you would like to get in touch with Jack, he can be contacted via LinkedIn.
Ed Moore is a Senior Consultant in the Tax Division at Harvey John.
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