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DFK News

05 01 2021

Brown Butler looks at VAT service expansion via new director appointment


As the new year begins, Leeds-based accountancy firm Brown Butler has announced the appointment of a new VAT Director as the firm looks to build on the success of its existing services. 

Experienced specialist James Hurst has joined the firm as its newly appointed VAT Director from an international accountancy firm, where he helped to spearhead the development of a successful indirect tax team. 

He has more than 30 years’ experience in VAT, having left HM Revenue & Customs in 1995 to pursue a career as a Chartered Tax Adviser. He takes pride in helping businesses from across a wide range of sectors with VAT advice and support.

Speaking about his appointment, James said: “I am very excited to be joining Brown Butler. The practice is already well-known for its provision of VAT advice and support within Yorkshire and beyond.

“I hope that my previous experience and my passion for helping clients means that we can continue to support businesses with this complex area of taxation.

“VAT advice has become all the more essential for businesses right now, with many owners facing new challenges as a result of changes to the VAT regime on imports and exports as a result of the UK’s departure from the EU.” 

As well as working with businesses on VAT matters, James also supports not-for-profit groups, including charities, schools, colleges, professional bodies, housing associations and local authorities. 

Welcoming him to the firm Craig Hughes, a Director at Brown Butler, said: “We are delighted that James is joining our team. He has had a varied career in VAT and is driven to support clients and other professionals using his considerable expertise in this difficult field.

“We remain a leading practice for VAT issues and have connections across the UK and overseas, through our links with international accounting association DFK, which means that we are well-positioned to deal with global VAT matters, including registrations in other nations, which is critical for businesses adapting to recent changes in the UK’s trading relations.” 

Within his new role, James Hurst also hopes to strengthen the firm’s connections with local businesses on VAT issues and further support other accountancy practices and solicitors with their queries. 

Brown Butler is unique for a firm of its size in offering such a comprehensive VAT and tax advisory service, which is what sets it apart from other regional mid-tier firms. 

To find out more about Brown Butler’s VAT services, please visit www.brownbutler.com/services/tax-planning/vat-support/

15 12 2020

DSG Spotlight: Ellie Kirwin


2020 has been a challenging year for all, not least school leavers and graduates taking their first steps on their career journeys amid a global pandemic. The DSG Spotlight series has provided an opportunity to celebrate members of the team who have demonstrated the hard work and perseverance that we value here at DSG. We’ve spoken to Faye Wheeler, who went above and beyond for the Liverpool community, Alex Nolan, a member of our graduate scheme cohort, and Leah Gaskell, who, after seven years of hard work, achieved her ACA qualification. In our final DSG Spotlight of the year, we look to Ellie Kirwin, who has just embarked on her journey with DSG.

After finishing school in 2019, I began thinking about the next steps in my career and the opportunities in front of me. Neither my mum or dad had gone to university, and their work ethic always inspired me, so I decided to take an alternative route into a career. I’d always been good with numbers so, wanting to use the skills already at my disposal, I began researching the career paths into accountancy.

Soon after, I applied for the Leadership Through Sport and Business (LTSB) scheme, provided by the Liverpool FC Foundation. LTSB is an amazing scheme which supports young people by helping to put them into meaningful roles in major firms in a number of sectors.

I was pleased to secure a position on the business and finance apprenticeship, which consisted of a 12-week bootcamp focused on gaining employability skills and corporate experience. Alongside the networking opportunities, insight days and mentorship, I worked towards my Level 2 AAT qualification.

This set me in good stead for several accounting interviews. DSG stood out to me as a firm that really cared for its staff and the wider Liverpool community. There was a strong sense that they valued the teams there, so when I was offered a role on the small businesses team to begin in March, I was absolutely thrilled.

My experience so far at DSG has been incredibly positive. The team has been nothing but encouraging and friendly, and there is always someone on hand to answer any questions, no matter how small. I’m currently working towards my Level 3 AAT qualification, and hoping to achieve that by October 2021. I’m prepared for it to be a lot of work, and it is reassuring to know that I have a team around me for support. I’m so happy to have joined somewhere that encourages people from all backgrounds to join, it makes for a diverse team who can come together to solve interesting problems.

To anyone beginning their job search, research the roles you are interested in and, if possible, try to speak to professionals already in those roles as well as getting some experience under your belt. Accountancy is a fascinating and diverse career with great opportunities for development, so for anyone in a similar position to me, leaving school and looking at going straight into work, I would say go for it!

To explore the options available for school leavers at DSG, visit: dsg.uk.com/careers/

11 12 2020

DSG Spotlight: Leah Gaskell


Our DSG Spotlight is designed to showcase those at DSG who have achieved fantastic things with us. Corporate business advisor Leah Gaskell is recently ACA qualified after seven years of hard work at DSG. Here, she looks back on her career achievements to date and explains why university isn’t the only option.

When I finished my A-levels back in 2013, I found myself having to make a difficult decision. I knew university wasn’t the right route for me but wasn’t sure which career path I wanted to follow. Having always enjoyed maths in school and business studies during A-levels, a career in  accountancy seemed like the best option for me.

I lined up an interview with DSG that summer and, as many of my friends started university, I began my first full-time job. For the first three years, I worked on the accounts team towards my AAT, before moving to the audit team to work towards my ACA for the next four years.

Working alongside studying has been intense, but it’s great to get the practical experience alongside the technical knowledge, and to spend time around such talented accountants. The past seven years have also broadened my ideas about what accountancy is. With each new client you really have to get to know everything about them and the industry they operate in, while keeping a finger on the pulse with the fast-moving financial world around us. It’s fascinating to dig into these different spheres and support businesses to achieve their goals. No two days are the same and the great thing about a career in accountancy is that there is no set path to achieving your qualifications – you create your own route.

For many leaving school this year and thinking about their future, university may not have seemed like the best option. With that being the standard route for so many, it’s easy to think that there aren’t other routes, but that isn’t the case.

There are great options out there for school leavers and I feel so pleased to have found a company like DSG to kickstart my career. It may have been difficult at times, but the feeling of qualifying at the end has made all those hours worth it, and I can’t wait to see where my journey with DSG heads next.

To explore the options available for school leavers at DSG, visit: https://dsg.uk.com/careers/

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