Top 75 trainee interview: HW Fisher

In our trainee series, Zak Jakubowski talks to Travis Martin, tax trainee at HW Fisher, about his three-year training contract and ambition to achieve chartered tax adviser status

Martin, 23, from Kent, joined the accountancy firm, ranked 28th in the Accountancy Daily Top 75, six months ago.

He joined the firm straight from Lancaster university after studying law with politics where he discovered an interest for tax.

‘I did a tax module in my degree and realised I had an interest in all things tax, especially private client tax and personal tax, so I thought I would choose that as a career,’ said Martin.

‘I chose to work for HW Fisher because they are known for their specialist private clients, particularly in the entertainment industry which attracted me.

‘The interview process consisted of two interviews, one with HR and a separate interview with two principles from a trust team and a private client team.

‘At each stage they asked questions to decide if you fit with the firm and just to get to know you more basically.'

What exams are you taking?

‘They are known for their training, they train with First Intuition and they give you a lot of responsibility from the get go.

‘I will be taking the ATT and CTA exams via First Intuition and the modules are taught by Tolley.

‘Within this scheme, I will be able to work 20% off the job which will apply to study days, college days and general skill developing events. I personally do not have stints in different sectors at work every few months. But I do know that there is an opportunity to have experience in different departments.

‘For example, the firm offers a rotational year where you can do six months in private client and six months in audit and account.

He wants to specialise in private client work, dealing with personal tax and VAT.

What is a typical day?

‘There is not really a normal working day because there are so many clients so there is always something different to do.

‘I will come in and prioritise which clients need to be dealt with today, at the moment we are in a very busy period where we are mainly engaging with clients and working on their tax returns [for self assessment]. It is really busy but it is manageable.

‘What I love about the job is the responsibility you get, I know with other firms you could be doing mundane, boring jobs that do not really contribute to the client, you do not just do scanning and research.

There is a lot of independence that you are given and that is what I enjoy the most, and the department is actually very diverse which is lovely.

‘What I dislike is less about the job and more where I am living at the moment, it is quite far which means it is an early start when I leave my house, I plan to move to London where that would not be an issue.’

What about the future?

‘My plans at the moment are very short term because I am just focused on trying to be qualified and once I am qualified I will probably try and move abroad to be honest.

‘I have always had aspirations of living in Germany – it is one of the places that I have visited a lot and always loved, I love the culture, love the food and even just the lifestyle.’

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