5 ways to stay up to date in tax

You can’t advance your career if you don’t have your finger on the pulse of what’s happening in your profession.  

Staying informed on trends in technological advancements, changes in compliance rules and amendments to legislation is important to help you build credibility and value and to show that you know where your field is heading in the future.

Change is here to stay in tax.

It can be tempting to ignore it all and plug away with your head down. Amid the commotion of daily life, it can be a struggle to keep on top of changes as they happen. But by resisting or ignoring change, you will likely start to lag behind your peers.

Staying up to date is critical to a successful career in tax and providing reliable advice to your clients.

Successful practitioners make time every day keeping up with the latest news and developments.

They create constructive habits and have a robust framework or system that keeps them informed with the latest changes.

If your knowledge is up to date and you’re consistently learning and developing, you’ll be recognised as the expert that you are. Your skillset will constantly grow and improve and your reputation as a proficient industry leader will spread.

Be a trusted source to clients and colleagues and give the best advice by making time in your day with these strategies.

Finding resources that work for you

Fortunately, there are many ways to stay on top of changes in tax.

The key is finding the best mix, that works for you and sticking to a routine. Make staying up to date part of your daily, weekly and monthly work life. Commit to a framework that fits in with you.

Working to a timeline can help to formulate a routine. Split your year into quarters or months and plan your learning around it. During busier months, you may not be able to prioritise taking on new learning. However, you can make up for this during quieter periods.

1. Events

Conferences and events are invaluable resources for keeping up to date and learning what’s around the corner in your specialism. If you aren’t sure which conferences or events are most worthwhile for your niche, ask your boss, a mentor or colleagues for recommendations.

The Tax Institute’s Professional Development events are developed and delivered by dedicated, senior members of the tax profession to ensure they are relevant and practical and in tune with the needs of the profession. Our events provide practical outcomes on important issues in tax.

Commit to attending one event per month or quarter – during busy periods seek out shorter events that fit around your schedule, so you don’t have to take an entire day out of the office.

2. Networking 

Networking is a great way to meet peers and build connections. But it’s also an opportunity to discuss trends in the profession, case studies and legislation, and to share possible solutions and approaches to scenarios you’re dealing with. It may lead to valuable contacts so that when something changes and you need advice, you know who to call.

Consider joining a workgroup, discussion group or committee to give back to the profession. Expand your personal and professional networks, develop new skills, provide leadership or transfer of knowledge, while volunteering. You may be able to influence policy, before and as it is written.

The Institute’s Professional Development events and the Women in Tax series offer a great platform where you can meet and connect with peers, in a less formal setting. Sometimes in business, it’s not what you know, but who you know.

3. Regular updates

Find a thought leader you trust and respect that posts updates on the issues that matter to you and follow their work.  More and more professionals are posting articles and commentary on social media platforms like LinkedIn or via newsletters through a reputable source.

The Tax Institute’s members receive TaxVine, a weekly newsletter with information on current issues
affecting them. It offers a unique opportunity for members to express their views on issues and have them responded to by experts in our Tax Policy and Advocacy team.

4. Technical papers or webinars

As part of your framework to stay up to date, you could commit to finding time to read several articles every week or month. Subscribe to a journal or professional publication to deep dive into specific areas of tax or learn from case study scenarios.

Our members get access to Australia’s leading tax journal, which provides up to date practical information on the latest tax issues. They also receive a complimentary paper with technical information on a current issue for tax professionals and a monthly tax webinar to keep abreast of any legislation or regulation changes from the previous month.

5. Formal learning

Feel like your knowledge is a little outdated? Studying is a great way to refresh the skills you need for your job or learn new ones that can help advance your career. With courses being offered online and part-time, you can continue to work while building on your skills.

The Tax Institute has highly regarded programs that are developed and delivered by practising tax experts. They have been designed to provide a specific professional outcome. Whether that be to become a prestigious Chartered Tax Adviser (CTA) or complete an education program approved by the Tax Practitioners Board (TPB), you can do so by studying with The Tax Institute.

By staying on top of industry trends and committing to regular learning throughout your career, you are enhancing your status, developing yourself and ensuring that you become and stay a trusted and respected source of information, to your clients and colleagues.

Joining a reputable membership organisation, like The Tax Institute, is a great way to be updated on the latest tax issues all in one place.

As the leading forum for Australia’s tax community, we are committed to representing our 12,000 members and the continuous improvement of the tax system. Experience the benefits membership with The Tax Institute can deliver for your role here.

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