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Interacting with a changing legislative & technical environment Back  
Kevin McLoughlin, Head of Taxes at Ernst & Young says ‘the constant challenge of the ever changing legislative and technical environment, the changes in the market, and interacting with lots of interesting people’ are the most exciting aspects of his job. He says, ‘the shift in investment patterns from West to East’ also presents exciting career opportunities going forward.
What is your educational background? After studying law in UCD,
I completed the Professional Accounting Diploma in DCU, and took chartered accountant and Irish Taxation Institute exams.

What has been your career path to date? I trained in Ernst & Young and held a number of positions within tax. As a member of the leadership team, I now head up the tax practice for Ernst & Young Ireland. I am currently responsible for the execution of our tax strategy, working with our global, entrepreneurial and Irish clients.
Kevin McLoughlin

Have you worked abroad? Ernst & Young have a hugely successful career mobility programme. As part of this programme, I spent nearly three years working on the Irish Tax Desk in Ernst & Young in San Jose, California, advising US companies on all aspects of Irish tax. It was a fantastic experience and I would go back again in a heartbeat. It broadened my mind and gave me insights into a different work culture and approach.

What skills/aptitude would you identify as being key/beneficial to a career in your sector? Technical skills are important, but what becomes more valuable as people progress is the ability to step back from that detail to see the bigger picture in order to apply those technical skills in a valuable way, to understand the needs of clients, and the ability to build long term relations with clients and colleagues.

What aspects of the job do you like most? The constant challenge of the ever changing legislative and technical environment, the changes in the market, and interacting with lots of interesting people. The shift in investment patterns from West to East and the challenges and opportunities which it presents is also interesting.

How would you compare career prospects internationally to those in Ireland? Career prospects are very healthy in Ireland and there are lots of opportunities in the area of tax services. For my own career, I felt that my international experience added huge value to my overall career prospects.

Have you undertaken any additional professional training since assuming your current role? I have only recently started in my new role and I am due to go on a leadership development programme in September. But during my time at Ernst & Young, I have undertaken a number of technical and non-technical training at all levels. Throughout my career, I have found that our learning & development department actively get involved in the professional development of staff.

What aspects of the job do you like least? The increase in bureaucracy.

How do you define success in your sector? Growing faster than the competition.

What advice would you give to others who might like a career in your sector? It is a growing area that offers great career opportunities, and despite a perception to the contrary offers lots of opportunities to work overseas.

In what areas are there the most opportunities in Ireland?
IFSC/domestic etc.
The main tax practices are continually recruiting. There has also been a large increase in the number of businesses who have now built their own in house tax functions.

Typical day:
The great thing for me is that there is no such thing. The day is usually filled with meetings and conference calls with clients and Ernst & Young teams in Ireland and abroad. I travel quite a bit also. The firm is making quite bold moves at the moment so it makes for an exciting environment. The variety of the role ensures that no two days are the same and keeps the role interesting and fulfilling.

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