The team here at Barden always aim to keep on top of trends in our areas of expertise, but there’s no doubt with the tax AND the employment market changing so fast these days that it’s hard to keep up!
Nonetheless we’ve attempted to predict some key trends for the year ahead. Here Kate Flanagan, Partner with Barden’s Accounting & Tax practice, and expert in tax and treasury careers shares the top 5 tax trends to watch out for in 2022.
1. A focus on commercial tax opportunities across practice and industry…
Never has it been more important to be able to bridge that gap between the technical aspects of tax and the impact tax has on the operations of a business. We’ve already seen it, and will continue to see, many newly created opportunities right across practice and industry for tax professionals who want exposure to non-tax functions and projects and to work on innovative solutions for their clients and stakeholders.
The ability to talk tax in a non-complex, practical way and have commercial acumen will be critical to succeed in such positions.
2. A rise in tax technology opportunities, particularly in practice…
The last 12-18months have been game changing for this space as firms have formed teams to manage large finance and tax transformation projects for their clients. Tax professionals with an interest in using their analytical and systems skills will enjoy these types of new opportunities and will have a choice of firms to select from. Whilst this type of work is performed in industry, we haven’t seen positions being created to just focus on tax technology/transformation, rather it’s meshed into the day to day role of the in-house tax professional.
3. A pent up demand for a change in position as more people consider their options as the year goes on…
Arguably some firms and companies would disagree with this point and feel they’ve already lost enough staff in recent times. Can there really be more people looking to move on? In short…yes particularly at the newly qualified level and more senior levels. Newly qualified tax professionals usually look to travel or change direction in their career, however with Covid and travel restrictions many stayed in their training firm but are now looking to take that break and make that change. This will not only apply to this year’s newly qual’s but also to last year’s newly qual’s…so double the amount will likely leave.
The other cohort of people who will likely consider their options are senior tax professionals. Many were comfortable in their positions the last couple of years as working from home benefitted them and the idea of moving jobs in an uncertain world with Covid etc. was too risky. With workforces returning to offices, we believe this is an apt time for many to consider their options.
4. Salary inflation…
The tax industry is no different to any other industry out there talking about inflation and understandably looking to increase their salaries to account for this inflation. Talk of higher salaries has been going on anyway as the market has become so competitive and counter offers have increased salaries in certain areas. However, it will still come down to the position, person and company in question. It will be interesting to compare salaries from the start of 2022 to end – we’ll come back to you this next year on this one!
5. Notice periods are something to watch for…
2022 will be the year that the standard notice period will become 3 months for many tax professionals. 3 months was common in some firms and companies in recent years but generally it could be negotiated down as work could be handed over/wrapped up in a shorter space. However, with increasing workloads and staff shortages, the expectation is the 3 months is served out (not withstanding using unused annual leave). This is something to keep in mind when looking to recruit or indeed looking to move on.
Finally, to note, work culture will become even more important when differentiating different work places and attracting the right talent.
As we slowly transition back to the workforce, companies need to make it as easy and enjoyable for their staff to do so. The advantages of being back in the office versus being at home will be far greater for those companies who can foster a good working environment and culture based around collaboration, team work and above all – enjoyment. Bringing a bit of fun back into the office place (something that you just can’t have at home) will retain and attract new hires into the business.
Need help achieving your ambitions?
Are you a tax professional looking for help in achieving your ambitions? Or a professional looking to build a world tax class team? If so get in touch with Kate Flanagan (at firstname.lastname@example.org) or Aoibhín Byrne (aoibhín.email@example.com) and they’ll take it from there. Simple.