Profile: Debbie Kirkley

The View From….

Debbie Kirkley, advisory accountant, HMRC, Salford.

My day starts when my alarm goes off at 5:30 am in Blackpool. I catch the 6:30am train to Manchester, when the hour and twenty minute journey often rocks me back to sleep again! I work in an open plan, multi-disciplined office with lots of activity going on around me. I absorb myself in my caseload looking at accounting arguments, which is both very technical and very interesting.

I provide advice to support accounting debates being undertaken by our staff up and down the country with their accounting clients and agents. I help ensure they are robust enough to withstand scrutiny by the courts, if necessary.

As a public sector financial accountant my experience has been focused on producing and auditing public sector accounts. This year I changed government departments and have a new role focusing on private sector commercial accounting. The two are very different as I’m now accounting for shares, goodwill, corporation tax and debt instruments, which – coupled with the complexities of getting to grips with tax avoidance schemes and litigation processes – makes my role very challenging!

I like that my work is commercial accounts-based even though it’s a public sector job. I work with some of the best commercial accountants around and I learn so much from them. I’m also learning more about tackling tax avoidance and the litigation process. Working in the public sector provides an opportunity for a diverse career path, which keeps it interesting and makes the public sector a great place to work.

I’d like to improve the public’s perception of the public sector, as often only the bad news stories get published. There has been constant change in the public sector since I started in 1988, embracing new ways of working in a continuous effort to improve the customer experience, whilst safeguarding taxpayers’ money. We are encouraged to be more professional and accountable and have had more opportunity to improve our skills through training and development than ever before.

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