Executive Director of tax on how to juggle work, life and study

Kramarov, Executive Director – Tax Consulting at Bell Partners, shares her
approaches to work life balance and why she thinks “education is essential” in
one’s career.
says gone are the days where work involves the standard of sitting in an office
8.30am to 5pm.
“Flexibility needs
to not only be the ability to work from home but the ability to work
non-standard hours.  Provided one still accomplishes their role as required
by the firm, having set hours should not be required,” she adds.
“In my experience
as a working mother with a young child, flexibility in what hours are dedicated
to work has been the key for how I juggle work and life balance,” she explains.
“Starting my work
day slightly later works for me as I get to spend time with my son in the
morning, then in the evenings after he has gone to bed I can do further
One thing that’s certain
in tax is change.  Not only in the form
of changes to legislation but also to the environment in which we operate and
in the clients we provide services to.  
“In order to cope
with any type of change, practitioners need to understand the reasons for the
change and then to focus on how it can provide opportunities.  As an example, earlier in my career there was
an occasion where staff members in my team left the firm, leaving the door open
for me to increase my responsibilities and advance.  Although this change landed in my lap at a
time that was out of my control, I could have either continued to operate as
status quo and have someone else deal with the change or step up and view the
change as a positive opportunity”, Ilana explains. 
Ilana took the latter
option and says it was definitely the correct choice.
The future of tax: a global perspective
Ilana says tax will become increasingly important in the
future for both individuals and businesses. She believes this is driven by the
recent increased focus on compulsory information exchanges between countries,
online shopping becoming a popular convenient method for consumer shopping, and
global employment opportunities now being offered extensively in most
“Advanced rules
regarding which country has the taxing rights over income will be developed,
and tax practitioners will be required to be more versatile and no longer
operate within the confines of only one country,” she predicts.

Education: the “centrepiece” of her career
Ilana says, “education
is essential and will continue to be essential in the development of my career
as a tax professional”. 
“Not only because there
is a need to keep on top of the constantly changing tax legislation and
regulations, but because education can provide secondary positive repercussions
on one’s career path, such as increased confidence for success, a way to grow
your network, and a reinforcement of a strong work ethic.
“Due to carrying
out technical based roles, education has been the centrepiece for my career
progression to date. For example, completing a Master’s degree in International
Tax Law has proved extremely beneficial in my ability to successfully
specialise in international and cross-border tax matters,” she shares.
Additionally, professional development events in Ilana’s view have been an important
factor to her career growth.

“Attending professional development events has enabled me to not only learn further
about the specific topic of the event but has acted as a source of inspiration
and new ideas,” she says. 

“Often through
either talking directly to other attendees or through listening to the open
forum/ question time at the event, I have obtained an understanding of the
issues other practitioners have faced, the ways other firms deal with certain
scenarios or issues and the types of clients other practitioners offer services
“It is also
beneficial to occasionally break up the week with a day or a few hours out of
the office with new people thinking about a different topic outside of the
standard day to day tasks as this can re-energise and re-focus you”. 
Ilana believes that
a sense of competition within accounting and law practices will always be
present and as such a standard compliance desk job will no longer enable young
professionals to make an impact in their careers.  Rather Ilana’s advice for those young
professionals who are looking to make an impact in the next five years is
  1. Have a
    clear sense of what you want to achieve and ensure you are in an environment
    which can enable you to achieve it.
  2. Think
    outside the square; pick a target client market to specialise in or a niche area
    which can provide longer term opportunities.
  3. Ensure
    you are enjoying your role as passion is an important driver in achieving a
    successful career.


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