Vault brings you a day in the life of Chris Beauchamp, Senior Associate at Deloitte, Tax division in London. Chris studied a BSc in Physics, including a year of study at the University of Marseilles and has been working at Deloitte for 2 years. Chris tells us that “What really attracted me to this line of work is that you’re dealing with people every day, not just big corporate entity. The work we do directly affects individuals. Working in a big department gives you a good opportunity to specialise, and you can become a real expert. Every year the regulations change, so there’s always something new to learn and new opportunities to explore. The chance to become an expert in field that’s constantly changing is the best reason to apply to a department like this.”
09:30 – Your starting time varies depending on time of year, but I usually start at 9:30. The first thing I do is to go through my emails — we do a lot of work with the USA, so we’ll have a lot of emails from them. We also send out any emails to the Far East at this point before they close for the day.
10:30 – We get heavily involved with billing clients, and we prepare invoices for the manager’s review. We’re heavily involved with the financials of the firm, even at this level.
11:00 – Within tax, there’s a wide range of different groups. I’m in the global employer services department and we deal with companies with large global mobility programmes, advising them on how best to structure packages. As part of my job we deal with companies who have 200-300 assignees in the UK. I spend a lot of time talking to those assignees, and discussing the impacts of things they might do, such as buying houses.
13:00 – I take an hour for lunch at 1, but it’s flexible, sometimes longer or shorter. Our department is 250 people, and each year sees a fresh influx of graduates. We use lunch as an opportunity to meet up as a year group; there’s never a shortage of places to go. We’re going to be getting a canteen in here too, that’ll be ready in the next month or two.
14:00 – From 2pm we deal quite a lot with the overseas Deloitte offices, and handle any queries about sending employees to certain countries/cities. We contact people in that city to get advice for those particular locations. It can be helpful to speak a second language. It’s not a necessity, because all Deloitte employees speak English. I have some knowledge of French and Japanese, but I’m by no means fluent. You wouldn’t be expected to give advice to a client in another language.
15:00 – From 3pm on, we’re often drafting advice to firms about their intention to assign an employee to the UK. By the time you’re at my level, you’ve had a lot of training. We would not normally go to a client with high level technical advice, but we know enough to draft a manager’s review. The manager will have the main contact with the different companies. He, depending on the difficulty or level of technical expertise, will ask us to draft a response to a client query. You need to be quite careful that you don’t give advice that’s wrong, it needs to be 100 percent right.
16:00 – We receive a huge amount of training, which normally takes the form of lunch time training. You’re given lunch and then from 30 minutes to two hours you discuss whichever topic it is you’re training. It’s mostly to check your technical knowledge is there. That’s a major component of your time here. It’s not uncommon to have this every week, maybe not every day.
Two or three times each year, you’ll go away to a residential training scheme. Depending on your group the focus can be different. You’ll also have whole weeks on training sessions. We had one 10 week training programme out of the office to study for exams, which is really useful because you can focus purely on study. For the London office they tend to be in London. In the bigger regional offices, like Birmingham – I think they do the courses in Birmingham. It’s a nice opportunity for us, everyone in the same boat, really good bonding experience.
17:00 – Core hours are 9:30-5:30, but there can be some flexibility. I’m not an early person, I get in at 9:30 and leave a bit later than 5:30. There are some periods in the year that leaving later will be required, such as major filing deadlines — 31st of January for us. The run up to that can be quite busy. The hours here could be thought of as long compared to other places, but it’s not at all bad.
When we leave the office, amongst my peers we socialise quite a lot, and there are frequent social events. Deloitte organises quite a few social events too, either in client teams, individual groups, or whole departments, there was a black tie ball at the Hilton recently. After winning a good piece of work we celebrate, often within our client teams.