Investing in the future

written by Matthew Pawson CTA *


Photo by Helloquence on Unsplash

I believe it is incumbent on those of us who are able, to provide opportunities for employment, training and mentoring for the next generation of practitioners, particularly in the complex world of tax.

In my own work as a lawyer, I am responsible for training and mentoring the graduate lawyers in our firm who are commencing their careers in the law.

Invest in training

It is important to invest in the future of the profession by providing quality training opportunities. While university learning is important, there is no substitute for the valuable education, experience and skill that come from hands-on training in the workplace. The development of the essential technical and soft skills required to become an effective practitioner is facilitated best when coupled with the complimentary experience of making it count for a real client.

In my experience, if you look at a dollar-for-dollar return on investment, one of the most effective investments we can make in business is in education — for ourselves and for our staff. That return on investment is maximised when we leverage our service offerings off high-quality, effective training opportunities for young practitioners that accelerate and enhance their ability to provide substantive value-adding advice to clients.

To boil it right down to rudimentary commercial principles, the greater the ability of younger practitioners to provide high-level advisory services, at higher charge-out rates, the greater (and sooner) the financial return to the principals will be realised over time.

Invest in The Tax Institute’s education programs

With this in mind, I commend to all practitioners — both employers, in respect of their employees, and employees directly — The Tax Institute’s Graduate Diploma of Applied Taxation Law (GDATL) offered through a range of compulsory and elective subjects.

The Tax Institute’s structured education offerings are approximately 10 years old now and, with Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency certification underpinning the GDATL, we have developed a highly-effective, efficient offering. I have also observed, first hand, the commitment and passion of the executive team to delivering an education program without peer.

In addition, I have received a range of feedback about just how useful The Tax Institute’s education offerings are to practitioners, including comments to the effect that the GDATL is the most practical offering in the market, delivering work-ready graduates into the workplace.

I encourage employers and employees alike who have considered the potential benefits of the GDATL program to take the next step and enrol.

Invest in technology

Running parallel to education is the now ever-present imperative to stay ahead of the game on the technology front.

We have all observed the importance of ensuring that our systems are stable and reliable and as protected from cyber-intrusion as possible. More than that, however, our next-gen employees and our clients expect us to be at the forefront of the technology race. Early adopters will inevitably reap the rewards of technology investment as the rate of technology development continues to explode exponentially.

To become truly future-ready, technology integration has to become a standing agenda item on all strategic planning agendas, and a feature of all budget forecasts.

Invest in mentoring

Finally, I cannot overstate the immeasurable benefit to young practitioners of one-on-one mentoring relationships with senior practitioners.

Even with all the training in the world, and the adoption of technology systems, the single most valuable asset in the modern workplace remains the human relationships — something that will never be fully replicated by artificial intelligence.

Young practitioners thrive when they have a strong, meaningful working relationship with a mentor whom they respect and admire. And the benefits for the mentor can be reciprocal. There is something innately satisfying about passing on valuable knowledge to the next generation.


* Matthew Pawson is The Tax Institute’s President. He is also a commercial lawyer (Consultant) with Rae & Partners. A slightly longer version of this article was first published in the August issue of the Institute’s member-only Taxation in Australia journal.


If you’d like to learn more about how you can work with The Tax Institute to invest in the future of the tax profession, through membership and education, click here.

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