Johnston Carmichael Tax Senior Manager takes on role as ATT Vice President

Senga Prior

Senga Prior

Tax Senior Manager

16 August 2022

This article first appeared on Tax Adviser on 24 June 2022.

Last month, Senga Prior, Tax Senior Manager within our Perth team, became Vice President of the Association of Taxation Technicians (ATT).

Senga joined the ATT Council back in 2017 and chairs the Technical Steering Group. She is ATT’s spokesperson for Scottish taxes and the ATT representative on the Issues Overview Group and the Scottish Devolved Taxes Collaborative. Here, Senga discusses her career to date and what she’s looking forward to most in her new ATT position.

How long have you worked in tax?

I have been working in tax for over 20 years. Prior to that, I worked in the accounts departments of various firms. I dealt with everything from payroll and VAT returns to management accounts. I decided I wanted a change and joined the tax department of a small, local accountancy firm. After several years, I was given the opportunity to join Johnston Carmichael. I deal mostly with Private Client Tax compliance work, and I help manage our team of over 50 compliance staff based in offices throughout Scotland.

As the Vice President, what are your plans for 2022 and beyond?

The Vice President represents the ATT at various events when neither the President nor Deputy President are available. I will also attend the Leadership Group meetings with the Deputy President, President and two Past Presidents. In addition, I chair the Technical Steering Group of the ATT and represent the ATT on several other groups. We are entering an interesting period of change with the introduction of Making Tax Digital for Income Tax and basis period reform. It is important that we ensure our members are as well informed as possible.

What are you looking forward to in your new role?

The opportunity to represent our members and the ATT. It is important that we continue to be the voice of our members in the changing tax world. We must also remember our charitable objectives to educate not only our students and members but also the public at large.

In your career, who has influenced you?

The tax and accountancy worlds are still very male dominated, but the ratio is improving all the time. I would consider the women I have been privileged to work with during my career, and during my time as an ATT volunteer, as my greatest influences.

How would you describe yourself in three words?

Empathetic, dedicated and determined.

What advice would you give to someone starting out in tax?

Take all of the opportunities that you can to experience all areas of tax before deciding on what you want to specialise in. There are so many diverse sectors so find the one that appeals to you most. Do not fear the unknown. Learn to embrace change.

What are your predictions for the tax industry in the future?

COVID lockdown has already changed the way we interact, with more online meetings and the digital exchange of information. However, I see that as an exciting opportunity. The more we can encourage our clients to embrace the digital world, the more real-time information we will have access to and the better, more informed advice we will be able to provide.

Tell us something about yourself that may surprise others.

I am a granny to two lovely grandsons, who I am very fortunate to live near and see often. The youngest one thinks you should know that his granny has fairies in her garden who bring chocolate!!

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