Student Spotlight: Combining practical experience and a qualification



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This month we talked to Natalie Metcalfe, Senior Analyst, Tax & Legal at Deloitte and dux of Advanced Superannuation for Study Period 1 2021. As an active candidate in the Graduate Diploma In Applied Tax Law Program, she shares how study has cemented her knowledge in tax.

Please provide a brief background of your tax career.

I started my professional practice career at RSM Bird Cameron, where I specialised in SMSF for seven years. I then went to London for five years and contracted with several major banks specialising in fund accounting. After that, I spent some time working for the Government and large corporate, before taking on the role of Fund & Tax Accountant with WA Super until they merged with Aware Super. I recently joined the FSI tax team at Deloitte, specialising in industry superannuation tax consulting.

Why did you choose Advanced Superannuation as a subject?

I have a passion for superannuation and wanted a qualification to add to my practical experience. I am currently enrolled in the Graduate Diploma In Applied Tax Law (GDATL).

What factors would you attribute your success to?

In my career to date I feel that I have taken initiative and embraced new challenges in my work. I have seen opportunities to conquer, not obstacles.

What skill or knowledge areas have you gained from the Advanced Superannuation subject?

Advanced Superannuation cemented my knowledge in superannuation and covered topics including contributions, taxation of superannuation funds, exempt current pension income, investment provisions, pre-retirement and retirement, and benefits on death.

What skill or knowledge areas have you gained from CTA3 Advisory?

CTA3 Advisory broadened my experience in researching a particular area of legislation and considering different scenarios that could occur. The exam was based on a late-breaking fact, so I was responding to the facts laid out in the case study but also looking at implications if the facts were to suddenly change.

Have you applied knowledge from the Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law Program to your role?

I am using the taxation of superannuation funds and exempt pension income calculations to assist my clients in their superannuation taxation requirements. CTA3 Advisory also allowed me to significantly hone in on writing advice, which helped me to recently complete a memo for a client that looked at tax implications of a transaction.

How did you juggle study, work and other commitments and perform so well?

I have 3, 5 & 7-year-old children who motivate me to do well in my studies. I did spend some intensive weekends completing the assignment, which helped with my preparation for the exam. My top tip on managing the course is to follow the guidance email sent out by the subject convenor to stay on top of the course work.

Where to now when it comes to continuing tax education?

I recently completed CTA3 Advisory and passed with Merit. I am currently enrolled in the Corporate Tax subject and will complete the unit, and Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law Program this month.

What advice do you have for tax professionals considering the program?

I recommend obtaining a qualification with The Tax Institute Higher Education to gain specialist tax knowledge and an excellent foundation for a career in tax.

Australia’s super industry is the 3rd largest private pension fund market in the world. As it continues to grow, so will the need for experienced, skilled advisers. Advanced Superannuation is an elective subject in the Graduate Diploma of Applied Tax Law.

Ready to continue your education in tax? Find out more here.