Niamh
McKenna

Payroll & Employment Taxes Manager

LinkedIn

WHO I HELP

All employers – in particular owner managed businesses, SMEs, large corporates, international groups.

HOW I HELP

We endeavour to help clients get the best out of their workforce by supporting them with achieving tax efficiency whilst remaining compliant with employment tax legislation.

SECTORS/SUPPORT

All sectors. Tend to work with finance, payroll and HR teams as they are often responsible for all matters relating to employment tax.

“UNDERSTANDING OUR CLIENTS IS KEY TO ADAPTING A TAILORED SOLUTION.”

Niamh McKenna is an Employment Tax Manager, working within our Global Employment Taxes team. Niamh deals with issues regarding domestic/UK employment tax, with particular specialisms including employment status and off-payroll workers, termination payments and settlement agreements, and PAYE reviews.

WORKING TOGETHER TOWARDS OVERALL OBJECTIVES

“The best relationships form when clients are passionate about what they do. Tax is a complex area, and we don’t expect clients to have an in-depth understanding – that’s what we’re here for! However, when they are passionate about what they do, and recognise the importance of remaining tax compliant, the best relationships grow as we can work effectively together to deliver the client’s overall objectives and ambitions and let them focus on their ‘day job’ whilst we support on all matters ‘behind the scenes’.”

PROVIDING PRACTICAL SOLUTIONS TO COMPLICATED PROBLEMS

“Our clients are keen to collaborate with us so that we understand their business and its needs. I am passionate about delivering excellent client service and always striving to provide practical solutions to complicated problems whilst adhering to any time pressures felt by the client or imposed from HMRC. Understanding our clients is key to adapting a tailored solution which overcomes any challenges or concerns felt by the business.”

ADDED VALUE

“The most satisfying aspect of working with our clients is receiving feedback which confirms our input has added value to their business. Whether that is through providing solutions to their problems, streamlining their processes or providing an output they do not have the resource or skillset to complete in-house, knowing our input has contributed to the client’s business is very satisfying.”

COLLABORATION & DEVELOPMENT

“I believe collaboration with colleagues is key to develop professionally. Everyone has different strengths and development points and through working together you can make the most of everyone’s strengths and in turn learn from one another. Collaborating with someone whose strength is a development area of yours allows you to shadow and refine the skill. Furthermore, we all have gaps in knowledge and different areas of interest and leaning on colleagues for their specialisms results in the highest quality of output for our clients.”

CHALLENGING THE STATUS QUO

“As technology and resources evolve it is essential to always challenge methodologies adapted in our working practices. Through working together and encouraging discussion amongst colleagues and clients we can readdress the status quo and reconsider the way we work. In particular, whilst strong internal controls and processes are essential, it is also important to consider whether processes could be tweaked and refined. We should not always work in a certain way because that’s the way it’s always been done. It excites me to continuously evolve our processes whilst keeping our values at the core of how we work.”

INCORPORATING TECHNOLOGY

“The pandemic has forced many businesses to reconsider their working practices and adopt technology into their workplace like never before – particularly with so many employees forced to migrate to working from home virtually overnight. Many opportunities have been realised through incorporating technology as well as massive increased efficiencies. As a tech-enabled business, AAB strive to help clients realise these efficiencies. Through adopting this in our working practices, we have more time to service our clients and deliver excellence.”

UNDERESTIMATED IMPORTANCE

“I think sometimes businesses can fail to appreciate the importance of employment tax for staff retention. Effectively implementing schemes or benefits (such as electric cars) which can result in tax and National Insurance savings for employees as well as an NI saving for employers will increase employees take home pay. This is a great way to boost morale for staff and many employers fail to recognise the link between employment tax efficiencies and staff motivation. On the contrary, getting employment taxes wrong and making mistakes which cost employees is very bad for morale. Hence, employment taxes should be high on an employer’s agenda.”

NEW OPPORTUNITIES

“I am excited to continue to develop professionally at AAB through working with a variety of clients and colleagues and challenging myself to get involved in projects I haven’t been involved in before. As the group expands, I anticipate new opportunities will continue to arise and I look forward to the challenge of this. I am also excited to see where the aspiration to be a leading tech-enabled firm leads the Group, and how this will impact (and hopefully enhance) our daily working lives.”

A FOCUS ON WELLBEING

“Whilst client service may be at the heart of what we do, this depends on our people. As a professional services firm, people are our output, and our reputation and quality of work relies solely on us. Therefore, it is essential that our people are motivated and enthusiastic about servicing our clients and that they want to go above and beyond to deliver excellence. Hence, we must ensure exposure to exciting work and also care about the wellbeing of our people. You bring yourself to work, you do not leave your wellbeing at the door on your way in. It is clear this is recognised by AAB through things like mental health first aiders and Wellbeing Champions aimed as supporting colleagues, whilst groups such as the D&I Yammer Hub aim to connect people going through similar experiences and celebrate difference.”

EXCEPTIONAL EYE FOR DETAIL

“I always go above and beyond to deliver for clients and to support colleagues. I endeavour to ensure people understand the rationale behind certain approaches or standpoints we have taken so that they can successfully apply it themselves. I also have an exceptional eye for detail, and have often been told that I pick things up really quickly and understand them in little amount of time. I think this is a strength working for a firm which prides itself on a dynamic approach to technology as I quickly adapt to new systems and embrace new ways of working, even where this pushes me outside of my comfort zone.”

GOING ABOVE & BEYOND FOR CLIENTS

“I once supported a particular client in securing a refund from HMRC. Whilst this should be quite a simple process, long wait times to speak to HMRC and the unresponsiveness of their systems designed to process refunds electronically meant the client waited an excessive period of time to receive the refund. Aware of the stress this was putting the client under, I ensured I followed-up with HMRC regularly until the repayment was made and kept in regular contact with the client and his employer along the way. He was unable to dedicate the time required to resolve the issue, so he was incredibly grateful for my support and advised I made what should have been a very stressful period in his life very stress free and it was great to know this had really helped him. So much so, he followed up with a bottle of wine and thank you card delivered to the office as a mark of his appreciation. I think this encapsulates that I go above and beyond to deliver excellent client service and really understand the needs and concerns of my clients.”

THE ONLY TWO CERTAINTIES in life

“Nine times out of ten, the reaction to telling someone I am a Tax Advisor is a pulled face or a scoff. I can of course appreciate that helping clients navigate through the UK tax legislation is not as exciting as being a pilot, fashion designer or DJ. However, as testified by the ever-changing political climate of 2022, taxation rates and policies set by a government can have a massive impact on, not only the full economy, but also people’s everyday lives. Therefore, it is a job that I don’t think will ever go out of fashion or become obsolete. As a wise man once said, “the only two certainties in life are death and taxes.”

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