Wednesday, 20 May 2020 10:37

Flexible and Agile Working

Flexible and Agile Working

The recent crisis has pushed us all to work smarter, embrace a 'new normal’ and utilise technology. Thankfully at AAB, we were working with an existing agile mindset and were well prepared to work from home to continue to deliver awesome client service. Through the use of technology, we can adapt to our temporary ‘new normal’ and collaborate remotely with clients and colleagues easily.

I joined the firm initially as a placement student in 2010 before re-joining in 2012 as a graduate trainee. Knowing that I wanted to develop my knowledge of International Tax, I was fortunate enough to work in both Corporate Tax and Expatriate Tax teams and received invaluable inexperience.

During this time I was studying towards my Chartered Accountancy qualification with ICAS, and I qualified as a CA in 2015. I knew that the tax knowledge I gained from ICAS was a good foundation, but to gain more specialised tax knowledge I continued studying and enrolled to complete the Chartered Tax Advisor (“CTA”) qualification, completing this in 2016.

My family and I relocated later in 2016 for a period however I returned to Aberdeen, and subsequently rejoined AAB, in 2018. The firm was certainly different, with new offices in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and London and a fully flexible approach to working, but the firm still had the same spirit about it and it was great to be back.

My time back with the firm has certainly been varied and its been great to get back involved with some of my original clients as well as gaining new ones. Last year I had the opportunity to go on secondment to a FTSE listed business supporting their in-house tax team with forecasting, provisioning and half-year reporting. This combined my technical tax knowledge and my ability to utilise technology, and it was a project I really enjoyed. This experience developed my understanding of internal tax functions and reporting demands of an in-house tax team, which has benefitted my work going forward.

As part of my role, I am fortunate to work in other areas including training, coaching and development of our brilliant team. This is one of my favourite aspects of my job; it’s great to support students through exams and also coach them with their progression within the firm. Even whilst we work remotely, utilising technology allows this to continue, even when we aren’t face-to-face in the office.

The past few weeks have certainly been interesting as we have adapted to full-time home working and changes to our typical working practices. Within our tax team we collaborate so much with other departments in the firm, and this was easy enough to do with face-to-face meetings to discuss jobs. However, we have obviously had to adapt since we began working from home in March, and we have probably been speaking to the whole team even more than usual!

Our team are used to spending a bit of time together out with the office, so to continue with this trend we have a weekly ‘Friday Fun’ and have taken it in turns to host quizzes, scavenger hunts, charades… the list goes on. It’s great to see the whole team pulling together in these uncertain times, whilst juggling family and other commitments, to continue to deliver awesome client service and keep up the spirits of the team up even when we are not together.

By Frazer Nicol, Corporate Tax Senior Manager