Aimee Riley, ATI, 2018 Winner of The Tax Institute’s Emerging Tax Star Award, spills the beans on what tax will look like in the future.

Aimee is a Senior Associate in the Law team at EY and was named 2018’s Emerging Tax Star and Gordon Cooper Memorial Scholarship recipient at The Tax Institute’s Tax Adviser of the Year Awards. In 2017, she was a finalist in the Taxation category of the Lawyers Weekly 30 under 30 Awards.

She specialises in advising high net wealth individuals and large private corporate groups advising in relation to complex tax matters, asset protection concerns and implementing effective tax, commercial and succession strategies.

The future: more than advisory or compliance

Legislation. Regulatory changes. Digital transformation. Globalisation.

It’s clear that tax is an evolving profession. But what will the future look like?

“The future is more than just core advisory or compliance work,” says Aimee.

“In my role, I've moved away from being just a tax advisor and have become a strategic advisor.”

“This means not looking at things in silos, but looking at things in a more dynamic context.”

Aimee says the future tax practitioner will be working with the client, not for the client.

“What I mean by this is that the client will be coming to you asking for guidance on their next move and you will be snowballing ideas together to find a commercial or wholistic strategy,” she explains.

“Instead of providing advice in relation to a specific issue, you're looking at the wide picture of the client’s scenario, what their plans are, and how the solution will affect the other commercial drivers.”

“Usually this will mean that you will be working with their other advisors as well, such as their accountant or you might bring a financial advisor or valuer into the room.”

Aimee says the future will mean tax professionals will need to ensure they put forward a value proposition and a service that matches up with the client’s expectations. But it’s also about keeping up with changes through upskilling.

“If you want to be successful in this profession, then you need to be on the ball,” she advises.

“You need to know what's going on.”

Why professional development is essential

Aimee says professional development events provide a great opportunity to upskill, meet more people and to gain insights from people within the field.

“I like the fact that you get to meet a lot of likeminded people, and I find them great for networking opportunities; the events are really well put together,” she says.

“The tax as a profession is so varied, and so there's not a single picture of what a tax advisor professional looks like. The Tax Institute brings all of those professions together; it's really a melting pot.”

Aimee says the technical resources and education materials are her “go-to source” in many ways.

“The Institute has such a longstanding history and it's renowned for its high standard of technical excellence and resource materials.”

“It's not like other societies or organisations where you join as people might expect you to be a member and so it's just something that you add to your LinkedIn or CV.”

“It really is a community that’s great to be engaged and involved in. Whether it's coming to an event or reading Tax Vine or the Taxation in Australia journal;  there are a lot of ways that you can get involved or use your membership. For that reason, you get a lot more value out of it than other memberships.”

Aimee says membership is not confined by a geographic location, especially since she is from Sydney and only last year made the move to Perth. She has seen the same benefits of being a member in both cities.

The Tax Institute is dedicated to supporting the career progression of women in the tax, accounting and legal professions. As the leading forum for Australia’s tax community, we are committed to representing our 12,000 members and the continuous improvement of the tax system. Find out more about the benefits membership of The Tax Institute can deliver for your role.