Student Spotlight: Gaining confidence in legal research and law interpretation

Published: 24 Jan 2023


Woman using laptop
Hayley and family

Hayley Hyytinen, Law Interpretation Officer, ATO, Queensland and dux of CTA2A Advanced for Study Period 1 2022 discusses the value of studying tax for an accounting graduate working in law.

Could you give us a brief background of your tax career?

I worked in various small accounting firms before leaving full-time work to start a family in 2002. While my children were small, I worked part-time doing book-keeping and admin work for our local Kindy. I graduated from the University of Southern Queensland in 2018 with a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in accounting and completed the degree remotely while operating my own book-keeping business. Since then, I have had contract accounting positions in the mining industry, management accounting and financial accounting before joining the ATO as part of their graduate program in 2021. 

Why did you choose to study with The Tax Institute Higher Education?

The subject was part of the Law Design and Practice (LDP) Associate Training Program at the ATO which I was lucky enough to participate in. Both The Tax Institutes' CTA2A Advanced and CTA2B Advanced subjects were offered by the ATO to all graduate program members working in the LDP area to develop core technical capabilities.

What skills and knowledge have you taken away from the CTA2A Advanced subject?

There is so much content packed into this subject. I found the superannuation module very interesting as it wasn’t something I’d had a lot of experience in before the program. I also really enjoyed learning about capital gains and small business concessions.

How have you applied the skill or knowledge learned to your current role?

As an accounting graduate working in law, the subject gave me confidence in general areas of legal research and law interpretation. While I don't deal with the topics specifically covered by the subject in my current day-to-day work, studying tax has helped me to understand the challenges and issues relevant to the ATO, so I am sure it will help me throughout my career.   

Do you have any tips for others on studying and managing the workload?

Life is busy for everyone however, I was lucky that my employer offered leave which allowed me to balance work, family, and study commitments. What helped me when studying was going over the content multiple times. Often things that don’t make sense initially become clearer when revisited. Also, working through the examples, activities and mock exams helped me to put the theory into practice.

What advice do you have for other tax professionals considering undertaking further education?

Do it! There is so much to learn in tax, and I am someone who believes in lifelong learning. 


If you want to develop your core tax capabilities, enrol in one of our accredited tax education programs. Our online and interactive programs not only provide you with the flexibility to study remotely but will give you the skills, knowledge and expertise you need to succeed. Ready to continue your education in tax?

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