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VAT Assistant Manager / Manager

About the department

When you become part of our team, you'll discover a culture celebrating individuality, fresh thinking, flexibility and collaboration, whilst not only embracing change but impacting it. We're simply not a one-size-fits-all firm and work hard to create an environment where our people can make a difference - to themselves, their career, their teams, and to the success of RSM and our clients. As Ali Sapsford (our Head of Tax) states, "personality and fun are as big a part of our culture as is our passion for delivering a premium service to our clients... That sense of team is what attracts clients and staff alike to RSM, and it's one of the things I love about RSM!"

Our VAT specialists work closely with colleagues across the firm to provide a joined-up service to a diverse range of clients, from middle market businesses to large corporations, combining expertise in accounting, audit and all relevant taxes. As a national VAT practice, we provide the freedom to find the right balance between sector specialism and general advisory, as well as an opportunity to initiate and develop new areas of focus for the team. As a fast-growing faculty, there are significant opportunities for client development and a strong emphasis on delivering and / or overseeing the junior member's delivery of a strong pipeline of varied advisory work. This will include identifying and pursuing opportunities, primarily from within the existing RSM contact base and working with the broader RSM team to bring these opportunities to fruition.

VAT Manager: "I started at RSM in 2018 on the school leaver apprenticeship programme in VAT. I have had an unreal amount of support during my time which has enabled me to pass my CTA exams and progress to manager. RSM is very flexible in allowing people to do pursue the career path that suits them, I started out in the Reading office initially, and then was able to transfer to London to focus on a more national role within the team. I have had a great range of experience at RSM, working with all different types and sizes of clients, including the opportunity to go on multiple client secondments."

About the role

Working directly with the VAT Partners and Directors as an integral member of wider team, you will contribute to providing high quality VAT technical advice and solutions to both external and internal clients. This will include identifying and advising on VAT planning opportunities, and undertaking specialist technical assignments as required.

This is a fantastic opportunity to join a growing team at an exciting part of the journey, working on a hybrid basis and reaping the rewards of being at home and in the office on a weekly basis. The variety of projects will challenge you every day, helping you expand your capabilities and grow professionally. You'll have plenty of opportunity to broaden your horizons and discover a culture that nurtures individuality and celebrates fresh thinking!


  • Acting as the day-to-day point of contact for clients and always practicing the principles of premium customer service, responding to queries efficiently.
  • Providing VAT consultancy services to all clients in relation to indirect taxes to ensure the provision of the best advice.
  • Ensuring the assignment is undertaken in accordance with the pre-assignment instructions, and carrying out more complex aspects of the assignment efficiently, thoroughly and in accordance with the firm's procedures whilst keeping the Director fully informed of the status of projects.
  • Acting in a supervisory capacity to more junior members of the VAT team, including reviewing work, providing training, supporting development and undertaking regular career conversations.
  • Ensuring VAT quality as directed by the Director, and assisting with internal and external quality assurance, ensuring any actions are completed in line with the firm's professional standards.
  • Maintaining an awareness of the firm's specialist services and publications to ensure effective client service.
  • Developing an advanced level of technical knowledge through appropriate reading and courses and an awareness of the firm's services, brochures and publications.
  • Maintaining an awareness and observation of Health and Safety issues within the Firm and reporting any concerns to the Health and Safety Representative.
  • Carrying out any other duties as are within the scope, spirit and purpose of the job, the title of the role and its grading, as requested by the line manager, Head of Department or any Partner or Director.

About the ideal candidate

  • Demonstrated experience of VAT planning and handling VAT enquiries within an Indirect Tax specialist position.
  • CTA qualification is highly desirable but not essential.
  • High standard of communication, both written and oral.
  • Proven experience in client management and being accountable for a busy portfolio.

Note: This job description reflects the present requirements of the role. As duties and responsibilities change, the job description will be reviewed and will be subject to amendment in consultation with the individual.

About the Service Line Head

Ian Carpenter, Head of VAT : "What is VAT? I didn't know it at the time but my life in tax started when I passed the civil service entrance exam. I merrily thought I would have a choice of the Foreign Office, the MOD or the Home Office only to be told I was joining HMRC and my options were VAT or Excise neither of which I had heard of at the time. I chose VAT but I to this day I can't really say why. From that uncertain start came a love of this tax; the balance between inputs and outputs, how it directly relates to business transactions and its myriad of case law. I found that I loved talking to the tax people that shared my passion and the business leaders that didn't but needed someone to help them understand the impact on their commercial transactions. After 10 enjoyable years at HMRC I joined the profession and 12 years ago I joined what is now RSM. Those 12 years (and counting) is the longest time I have spent anywhere in my career. From the day I joined, RSM has felt different. It's much easier to feel the difference than it is to describe it. It's the willingness of the people across the firm to share and collaborate to get the best answer for our clients and our teams. Elsewhere I had felt these values were spoken about but sometimes the actions hadn't always reflected the words. It is a true privilege to lead and help grow my service line and to nurture people who joined us at the start of their careers, helping them grow and find their own path both professionally and personally. Some of my best moments have been conversations with team members telling them they have been successful in achieving the next step in their career progression journey. I also have a passion (but limited aptitude) for technology. In the next few years, the administration of tax and our tax business will change significantly due to the increased use of technology and automation by us, our clients and by tax authorities around the world. This creates exciting opportunities to alleviate mundane tasks from our people and the ability to create new offerings and insights for our clients. I love working with our brilliant people (who have both the passion and aptitude for technology) to make this the reality. The answer to what is VAT therefore is a gateway to a rewarding career!"

Diversity and Inclusion at RSM
At RSM, we want to create a strong sense of belonging so that people of all identities, backgrounds, and cultures feel they can bring their true self to work. Our clients come from all walks of life. We aim to achieve that same diversity of background, experience and perspective in our own teams, so that we can genuinely understand our client's needs. Diverse teams bring a broader range of ideas and insights to work. That's why we're working together to ensure our firm's principles and processes support a firm culture that embraces difference and strengthens inclusion.
At RSM we work hard to create an environment where our people can make a difference - to themselves, their career, their teams, and to the success of our firm and clients. We support all our people to work flexibly, to manage their family and other responsibilities alongside their work commitments; we believe this is key to achieving an inspiring and fulfilling working environment.]]>

VAT Assistant Manager / Manager

Glasgow, UK

Published on 30/11/2023

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