Now the world’s their oyster

The 254 candidates who this week discovered they had passed the Chartered Institute of Taxation’s associateship exams have two reasons to be very pleased.

First, the exams are notoriously difficult, as is illustrated by the 44% pass rate.

Second, there is a marked shortage of qualified tax experts. Those who have passed will therefore be able to take their pick of a wide range of jobs in practice and industry.

Jeff Davies, of recruitment consultancy Davies Kidd, said: ‘Demand for anyone with the CIoT qualification is exceedingly high. There are plenty of jobs for qualified tax experts at all levels in practice, commerce and industry. Salaries for tax experts are up to 20% higher than comparative roles in mainstream auditing and accounting.’ He argues tax roles are more recession-proof than other accounting jobs, and that constant changes in tax legislation will maintain demand at a high level.

Keith Daniels, CIoT president, also notes the shortage of tax professionals.

He says: ‘I’m delighted so many candidates have satisfied the requirements of our examiners. These results will help to alleviate the acute shortage of qualified tax advisers existing in many parts of the country.’

Although the opportunity to boost their careers will encourage many candidates to take the exams, most find them a huge undertaking.

The 322 candidates who failed to pass the exams face hours more studying.

One candidate awaiting her exam results last week said: ‘There is an awful lot of material to cover. The exams cover every aspect of taxation and require detailed knowledge of areas you don’t necessarily have any experience in.’

She also says that fitting in the many hours of study required to pass the exams with the everyday demands of working life was extremely difficult.

But she adds: ‘Once you pass you start to feel quite a valued commodity, which is nice.’

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