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Meet the Team – James Clark

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Introducing our Assistant Tax Director James Clark, who joined our Sheffield Tax team in November last year. James decided to apply to BHP due to its reputation and accreditations. In our latest Meet the Team interview, we discover more about his role, achievements and career inspirations, as well as finding out what he does to relax in his spare time and the interesting array of people he would invite to a celebrity dinner party! Read more below.

What attracted to you to work for BHP? 

The firm has a great reputation across the region for being both professional and personal. I knew people that worked here before I joined and others that have used the BHP services – and all had positive things to say. In addition, the firm has achieved various levels of accreditation in recent years from external benchmarking organisations and this helps to support the view that this is a good place to work.

Having worked in my previous role for eight years, I was keen to ensure that moving jobs was the right thing to do, so I didn’t jump into any role; I only applied to BHP.

What does a typical day at work look like for you? 

It’s not all spreadsheets! Some work forms part of the accounts / audit / tax / compliance cycle and so I am part of the wider BHP team that delivers the finished product to the client. Other work is ad-hoc and will involve meeting with clients and talking through their ideas and needs before working on a plan to bring those to fruition.

How has BHP helped you in your career so far? 

It is still early days but the conversations I have had with colleagues across the team have been very helpful in understanding how BHP can support in shaping a role tailored to the individual – I have been very impressed that there isn’t a single, defined pathway or development route. The aspirations and abilities of the individual are taken into consideration to try to deliver a role that suits everyone.

What are your highlights and key achievements? 

  • Published author in two most recent editions of Tolley’s Tax Planning – R&D (Chapter 50)
  • Delivered technical seminars at Accountex and Gabelle Annual Tax Conference
  • Completion of the ITS1 HMRC Inspector Training Scheme
  • Member of the Association of Taxation Technicians
  • Prince2 qualified project manager

What or who inspires you at work? 

I love learning something new and finding innovative solutions to problems or challenges that we face at work. Being in an environment that fosters a culture of constructive feedback, engagement and problem solving at all levels is great.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about applying for a role at BHP?

Do it. You might not get the job, or it might not be right for you, but at least by applying you will have gained some experience and learned more about yourself and the recruitment process. Everyone I have spoken to here has been open and honest, so feel free to use the application process to ask specific questions about BHP.

What do you enjoy doing outside of working?

I used to play cricket (not to a good standard) but now enjoy watching it both in person and on TV. I have a dog who is getting a bit older now, so his long walks are getting shorter but it’s still nice to get out in the fresh air and away from the screen!

What do you prefer? A TV series or a film? And which genre do you prefer?

I enjoy binge-watching a good boxset, with a recent favourite being Ozark. And I like going to the theatre and will happily watch musicals or ‘serious’ productions. Although I’ve only seen it on TV, I thought Hamilton was excellent.

If you could host a celebrity dinner, who would you invite? 

  • Mary Beard – I am part way through a Classics degree from the Open University so it would be great to have one of the most respected individuals in the field at the dinner table.
  • Tim Minchin – I think his songs are great. He has wonderful ability on the piano and his lyrics are fantastic.
  • Olivia Colman – possibly my favourite actor who appears in some great programmes, including Rev, Twenty Twelve, Fleabag and Broadchurch.
  • Barry Glendenning – maybe a slightly unusual choice, but he always comes across as ‘great value’ on the Guardian Football Weekly and TalkSport podcasts. And his appearance on The Moon Under Water podcast was excellent.
  • Marina Hyde – I really enjoy her columns and she seems to have a very sharp sense of humour.
  • Barack Obama – I’m sure he has some interesting stories and his take on the current situation in the US might be worth a listen (although probably quite predictable!).

What is your favourite type of cuisine and why? 

I genuinely don’t think I can answer this question, as I love all different types of food! I’m definitely not a ‘food is fuel’ type of person. I think there is a time and place for Michelin star fine dining, pie and chips in a pub, sushi or a Chinese takeaway!

What type of holiday do you prefer? Beach, active or city break? 

I prefer a beach holiday, as long as it isn’t isolated or too remote. I’ve been lucky enough to visit a few different Greek islands and I haven’t had a bad experience. A few days on the beach and a few days exploring – perfect!

If you weren’t in your current role, what would be your dream job?

‘Secret shopper’ for first class travel around the world.