Student Spotlight: The highest standard for a tax adviser



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This month we talked to Brayden Irving, CTA, Director, Private Business Tax & Advisory at Grant Thornton who was the national winner of the Justice Graham Hill Scholarship and Dux of CTA3 Advisory in 2020. He shares his advice on what it takes to succeed in tax.

Please provide a brief background of your tax career.

I started as a Graduate in Private Business Tax & Advisory at Grant Thornton and currently have 7.5 years of professional experience. I am a Chartered Accountant, Chartered Tax Advisor, and over my career have been lucky to work with a portfolio of successful and growing clients who have exposed me to a broad range of taxation issues. I also went on a two-year secondment to our London office in January 2018 and worked in the Corporate & International Tax team.

What was the reason for undertaking CTA3 Advisory?

I enrolled in CTA3 Advisory when I returned from the UK. It was a great opportunity to refresh my Australian tax knowledge, develop my advisory skills and obtain the CTA designation, which is a respected title globally.

How does it feel to be the national winner of the Justice Graham Hill Scholarship for 2020?

Justice Graham Hill achieved a lot academically, and in taxation law, so I am incredibly proud to win an award named in his honour.

What is the most valuable aspect of studying CTA3 Advisory that you have taken away?

CTA3 Advisory developed my Australian tax knowledge, increased my confidence advising clients and emphasised the importance of understanding the specific facts, circumstances and goals of your clients in order to achieve positive outcomes.

What are your areas of new confidence?

CTA3 Advisory broadly covers the small business CGT concessions, corporate tax, international tax and GST, and I can apply all these learnings to my diverse range of clients. My new area of confidence includes researching, applying and delivering complex tax advice.

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

I set aside a fixed time each week to focus solely on study. While everyone will have a method to balance work, study and other commitments, my suggestion would be to start your work early and study consistently throughout the program. That will give you the best opportunity for success in the final assessment.

Where to now for you when it comes to continuing education?

I will take a break from formal education but may eventually complete either a Master of Tax or an MBA.

What advice do you have for other tax professionals considering the Chartered Tax Adviser Program?

I would encourage tax professionals to take on the challenge of the Chartered Tax Advisor Program. I found it greatly beneficial for my tax knowledge and advising clients.

What advice do you have for others wanting a successful tax career?

My advice would be to have a positive attitude, embrace new opportunities and to care about your clients and the people you work with. Those behaviours, partnered with having mentors that are invested in your career, will give you every opportunity to be successful.

The Chartered Tax Adviser Program is an internationally recognised and respected mark of technical excellence and professional integrity which represents the pinnacle of the profession.

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