From The Big Four To Consilium

Paul Donnelly is a Senior Tax Manager with Consilium Chartered Accountants having joined the firm as an Experienced hire. We talked to Paul about his career, the decision to move from a national accountancy practice and the diverse opportunities he relishes at Consilium.

Paul Donnelly

Associate Director

Specialising in Tax at a big four firm

Tax has always been the area of accountancy that has interested me most. Early in my career I worked across other functions like Audit and Accounts, but I knew from quite early on that  I wanted to focus on tax as my specialism. 

Earlier in my career, I worked at both a Big Four firm and national accountancy practices in full-time tax roles. Although I enjoyed my time with them, they were behind the scenes roles with limited direct client contact.  When I did get the chance to meet and work with SMEs and their owners directly, I found it to be particularly interesting and engaging.

The chance to work with business owners and entrepreneurs

From that point on I was looking for a new role that would allow me to work closely with business owners and entrepreneurs. When the opportunity came up to join Consilium and start a new Corporation Tax function from scratch, it was a no-brainer to consider it. 

I liked what I saw and heard about the founding partners, Consilium’s diverse client-base and the ethos of the company.  

I ended up being Consilium’s first experienced hire and thoroughly enjoyed the chance to build the Corporate Tax function from the ground up, being the main point of contact for the corporate clients. It was a challenging process but made so much easier by the people at the firm; a helpful, friendly and knowledgeable group. Whilst I am still involved with many of the firm’s corporate clients, my role has now transitioned into tax advisory.  

No two days at Consilium are the same

Switching from a big four firm to Consilium was a great move for me. Experienced hires might be sceptical about making such a move, but you would be surprised at the size of our clients and the scale and complexity of the work we do for them. 

There is such a diversity of work that no two days are the same. One day I can be involved in a diligence exercise and the next day I may be advising on Research & Development claims, corporate restructuring or employee share schemes. That’s a big part of why I still enjoy working at Consilium, 8 years after I joined. 

A company-wide sense of team spirit

Consilium is a very sociable firm, despite having expanded rapidly over the years. There are regular nights out, away days and opportunities to get to know your colleagues. This has maintained the sense of team spirit and collaboration that attracted me to the firm in the first place.  

The office environment is open plan, and the teams tend to be mixed rather than sitting in their individual departments. This definitely leads to improved collaboration and communication between colleagues.

Trusted by businesses and entrepreneurs

Clients very much look to us as trusted advisors which is an enviable position to be in. They come to us for insight and advice before taking major decisions about their businesses. I would imagine that, in itself, would be a big attraction for experienced professionals looking to develop their career in accountancy.

Take a look at Consilium’s current job opportunities for Experienced hires or learn more about working for the firm and our ethos.  

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