Dux says Chartered Tax Adviser Program enhanced her practise

Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) graduate, Claire Thornett, CTA, on how the program made her an even better tax practitioner.
Claire Thornett, CTA, is a Specialist Tax Advisor at WLF Accounting Advisory.
“I've been working in specialist tax advisory for 5 years now at WLF Accounting & Advisory,” she says.
“I started in the tax division.”
Although she was named Duce for CTA3 Advisory, the final subject before CTA status, she says she  completed a Master of Professional Accounting, as well as an undergraduate degree in arts, with Honours in English. An all-rounder, Claire says these qualifications worked very well for her role because she writes a lot of client
“One of the good things about working in this division is that I can get really technical, and get into the legislation,” she explains.
“Which I really enjoy.”
Best things about CTA3 Advisory
“The most valuable part of the CTA program for me has been the way it's structured,” Claire says.
“You’re given a topic, and then you need to go and research it. Whereas all other studies I've done, you're given topics and often given all the materials that you need. All pointed in the direction where you need to go.
“This really enhanced my research skills even more.
“The program helped me ensure I thoroughly research everything, making sure that I found all the tricky loopholes, obscure attack cases, read the explanatory memorandums,” she explains.
Areas of new confidence
Claire says that since undertaking the program, she has developed new confidence in the topic of small business CGT concessions.
“I've really just learned a lot more about this area, that I just never would have probably even touched on unless it came up for a client,” she says.
Why CTA3 Advisory?
“The reasons I decided to undertake the CTA Program, was strongly encouraged by my Partner, and it really appealed to me too,” says Claire.
“I think it's really important to continually update your education. Especially in tax, because
things are constantly changing."

“The program provided me with a new education in a way that wasn't too onerous. It wasn't taking on another master's degree, straight away.

“Saying that, it really was a lot of work. It's not a simple thing, by any means,” she adds.
How to juggle work and study
The challenges of juggling full-time work with study, for Claire,  were mostly to maintain her mental health. She said it could get stressful to have study hanging over her head.
“Managing stress is really, really important,” she says.
“Staying physically active is one of the ways to do that. Even though study is a priority and work is a priority, I think it's really important to make health a priority, and particularly mental health a priority.
“It’s important not let it fall by the wayside, or else you could burn out,” she advises.
Claire says candidates do need to cut some things out of their life if studying as well as working full time.
“For me, I would cut out some social activities. Others may try and cut back on work,” she points out.
“I also was really clear with my employers that I needed support; study support.
“They provided me with study leave, which just made me feel really supported and encouraged during the whole process,” she adds.
Claire says if you’re thinking of undertaking CTA3Advisory, speak to your employer and ask what kind of support they are
willing to provide.
CTA3 Advisory: “definitely do it”
“If you're considering the CTA program, I think you should definitely do it. It's really
interesting,” says Claire.
“I am a bit of a tax nerd, I do really like reading legislation, I really like reading the explanatory memorandums.
“I actually really enjoyed studying for the exam, even  though it was challenging,” she admits.  
However, Claire says there is something for everyone in this program.
“If you're not particularly technically minded, you will  benefit from doing this program because you will learn a lot of those skills.
“And if you already are technical minded, you will really enjoy it.”
So where to now for the Dux?
“I'll definitely be looking at The Tax Institute's offerings to see what other courses I can undertake,” she says.


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