As a fellow of my tax association, I was featured in the February 2021 issue of TAXAdviser magazine:

The feature discusses my tax career and how the ATT qualification, ATT fellowship and volunteering for the association have all had a positive impact:

James McBrearty ATT(Fellow) CAT tells us about his career in tax and how he has found ATT Fellowship useful.

Why did you pursue a career in tax?

I have always been interested in finance, starting my career initially in accounts and then moving to personal taxation.

I founded my own practice in 2006 and over the last 14 years I have specialised in helping micro-businesses.

What are the highlights of your career?

There have been many highlights but these are the ones I am particularly proud of:

  • I have been invited to Downing Street twice, thanks to being one of the Small Business Saturday alumni from 2014.
  • I have written two books to help small businesses, both of which have been endorsed by a NY Times bestselling author.
  • In 2016, I launched my online course to help people start a consultancy.
    I now have over 10,000 students enrolled, in over 150 countries.
  • I was one of the early adopters of using social media for business and have won several awards for this. As a result, I have also travelled throughout the south east of the UK, as well as to Spain, to give presentations to small business owners. I have also given presentations to a group of 50 financial advisers at the London School of Economics, as well as to a group of 85 chartered accountants in Guildford.

Why is the ATT qualification important?

I chose the ATT qualification because of the additional knowledge and professional recognition it gave me.

Running my own practice, it is important that clients know their adviser is professionally qualified and upholds the highest ethical standards. I am also registered with the ATT for anti-money laundering.

Why did you apply for Fellowship?

Having learned of the Fellowship scheme, I applied due to the additional recognition it would give me both to employers and to potential clients when I launched my practice.

What advice would you give to new members starting in their career?

There is much support available online now to help people develop any skills they require, either at no cost or little cost. I would recommend that people invest time in taking advantage of this to further their careers.

I would also recommend that members make the most of their ATT membership through the opportunities that exist. Volunteering is something that members may want to consider. I have had great experiences from the time I spent volunteering on the Member Steering Group and on ATT Council, as well as on HMRC’s Working Together Group in Tolworth, where I met with the then Chief Executive of HMRC, Lin Homer.

You can download a copy of the February 2021 issue from:

Please do contact me if you have any queries or know of someone considering a career in tax.