Written by: The Tax Institute
Published: 29 Jan 2024
Yiran Connell, Dux of CommLaw1 for Study Period 2, 2023, is Senior Manager at MVA Bennett in Melbourne. She completed the subject as part of the Tax Agent Program to enhance her Australian Tax knowledge and advance her career. Yiran shares with us her most valued learnings from CommLaw1 and the importance of time management.
Tell us about your career in tax.
I worked in corporate tax for over ten years in the UK before emigrating to Melbourne in 2019. My career started as a summer intern at PwC UK, and I eventually took a role as the group tax manager at the largest car part retailer and wholesaler in the UK. Since I began working at Jeffrey Thomas & Partners (now part of MVA Bennett), I have helped individuals, families, and businesses with their accounting and tax compliance needs. I advise them on tax issues and work with external advisors to help them with issues relating to HR, legal and property management. Recently, I have been involved in assisting families navigate estate planning issues and successfully transfer their wealth to future generations.
What have you gained by completing CommLaw1?
As an accountant, I found that the law subjects in the Tax Agent Program helped me build an awareness of legal considerations relevant to my daily accounting and tax work. Simply being good at accounting and tax is not sufficient for an accountant to advise families and family businesses. They heavily rely on us to assist them on the completeness of some of their legal documents. The knowledge gained from CommLaw1 helps me to facilitate discussions with lawyers and my clients on issues relating to tort laws and business contracts.
How did you juggle study with your other commitments and perform so well?
I would say time management is key, as I am a mother of two young children working full time. Many see the advantage of working from home. However, for me, the daily commute is the only quiet time that I have for myself. As such, being in the office helps me to learn from others for my career progression and allows me to go through my reading. Time management during the exam is also important. I recall the first question caught me off guard. I answered as much as I could, and I moved on to the next question when the time allocated to the first question was up. It did give me a better overall result.
What’s next for you regarding continuing tax education?
I have already benefited greatly from the learning process in the Tax Agent Program. It has helped me build my confidence when advising clients. I will certainly complete the CTA3 Advisory subject to become a Chartered Tax Adviser.
What advice do you have for other tax professionals considering studying?
I would highly recommend accountants aspiring to progress in their careers to take the CommLaw subjects with The Tax Institute Higher Education. I would also recommend everyone to attend seminars or conferences for lawyers.
Interested in a formal qualification in tax? Learn more here.