My JC Path: From Office Administration to Private Client Tax

Anne Strutt

Anne Strutt

Tax Assistant

Anne Strutt joined Johnston Carmichael back in 2013 in the newly opened Stirling office, being only the third person in the office! As an administrator, her role was wide and varied, taking her JC Path towards joining our award-winning Tax team. Here, she tells us why she’s much more suited to Private Client Tax over her childhood dream of becoming a spy.

When did you join JC and what did your first role involve?

I joined Johnston Carmichael in March 2013 as a Senior Administrator, becoming the third member of the newly opened Stirling office! There was only myself and two Directors.

My main responsibilities included carrying out all of the administration and office duties. This was back in the day when all documents were paper, so I spent a great deal of time filing! We didn’t even have a colour photocopier or an accounts binding machine, so we often had to ask other offices to help out and then post down the printed documents to us!

As we were such a small office, it was all hands to the pump. Meaning, I regularly prepared VAT returns, income and expenditure accounts, even attending ladies’ business seminars in the area as a form of Business Development.  Having the opportunity to get involved in so many different areas of the business really helped develop my skills and knowledge and made transitioning to the Private Client Tax team much easier.

What led you to joining the Tax team?

As mentioned, I often helped out in preparing tax returns while working as part of our Admin team and last year, Senga Prior, Tax Senior Manager, asked if I would like to join the Tax team on a permanent basis. I felt this would be an ideal opportunity to accept a new challenge and build on my knowledge of Private Client Tax.

How have the Tax team helped support you in your career change?

The Tax team are exactly that, a team! I have learned so much from Senga, she’s a tax guru, and everyone is incredibly approachable and more than happy to assist with any queries. We use Teams to communicate and this really keeps us up to speed on what’s happening around the other offices and provides an excellent tool for asking any questions.

Over the past year, I have participated in the JC Academy training schedule - where our senior tax team have presented on various tax areas. This has been incredibly informative, and it has really assisted me in understanding the scope of personal tax.

Tell us about your role and what you do for our clients – what’s a typical day in the life for you?

As probably everybody in JC will say, no two days are the same! I can safely say that I learn something new every day. I’m a Tax Assistant and my role is primarily to prepare tax returns which are then reviewed by a senior tax colleague in preparation for being sent to the client. I mainly work with clients from our Stirling office but sometimes those from other offices too – it’s amazing how much everyone in the team chips in and works together. It doesn’t matter your location; we work as one team.

As I have a strong relationship with the Stirling office clients, I am regularly in touch with them to request their tax information or to clarify certain points. Speaking with clients and building these relationships is a part of my role which I really enjoy. A lot of our Rural clients use the Stirling office as their local point of contact so I was thrown in at the deep end last year when I was tasked with the job of calculating farmer’s averaging! It was definitely daunting but I’ve learned so much and now I look forward to the challenge.

What goals have you set yourself for the next five years?

To win the lottery and retire! Isn’t this everyone’s goal?!

Within JC, I hope to progress as far as I can within Private Client Tax and be seen as a point of contact for both colleagues and clients within the Stirling office for all things Private Client Tax. I’m planning to study for the ATT qualification later this year, so this will be a huge achievement and will reinforce the knowledge and skills which I’ve already gained.

On a personal level, I hope to continue walking my personal goal of 50 miles a week. I started walking during lockdown, for its physical and mental health benefits, and I am now slightly addicted to it!

If money was no object, what would your dream career be?

When I was younger, I wanted to be a spy, having lived through the Cold War. My dreams were re-kindled having watched Killing Eve! The only problem is that I’m a bit scared at heart and it probably wouldn’t have been the job for me.

I think owning a campsite sounds appealing. It would need to be somewhere warm and set on beautiful grounds. We’d have a fruit and vegetable garden where people could help themselves, and there would be tons of activities for kids to do, so that the parents could relax.


Our Private Client Tax team have been named as finalists for Accountancy Team of the Year (midsize firm) in the STEP Private Client Awards! Read more about the awards, here.

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