Meet ACCA student and PwC tax associate Andre McConney

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Having graduated with a degree in banking and finance from the University of the West Indies Cave Hill Campus, Andre McConney worked for seven years in the banking industry before making the transition to accountancy. He joined PwC after his interest in accounting and taxation grew while in a finance analyst role.

‘I saw an opportunity to specialise in tax accountancy to advise and assist clients in a sector that evolves and allows me to provide specialist knowledge of tax legislation,’ he says. Currently, Andre is enrolled as an ACCA student at Oxford Brookes University.

As a tax associate his main duties include the preparation of corporation and individual tax returns for filing with the local tax authority.

‘The team also helps our clients identify and reduce tax risk, meet compliance obligations, implement tax strategies that align with business objectives, resolve any disputes with the tax authorities and manage tax accounting and reporting issues,’ he explains. ‘It is an exciting profession where no two days are the same as different clients require different strategies, assistance and responses to their organisation’s requirements.’

The impact of Covid-19

Barbados has been widely recognised as having efficiently and effectively handled the coronavirus pandemic which, as a premier tourist destination, has been crucial.

‘Our prime minister, Mia Mottley, rose to the challenge by instituting numerous measures such as closing our borders for a limited time, initiated a lockdown that limited individuals to their homes, and set specific times and implemented procedures for individuals when leaving home to attain necessities from supermarkets or to conduct business.’

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PwC also acted very swiftly to limit employee interactions by instituting a work-from-home programme. ‘My employers ensured that the lines of communication were open so as to address the many needs of us their employees and I am very grateful to work at such a wonderful organisation. While working from home has its challenges, I had to find a home-work balance that would enable me to do my work effectively while also taking care of myself and dealing with any home distractions.

‘Technology has always been at the forefront of our daily work routines as we are heavily reliant on the ability to quickly send and receive information and documents from clients or other departments in order for our duties and responsibilities to be completed. Technology has been essential in allowing our workflow to continue amid the pandemic mostly uninterrupted. Since the pandemic has limited the ability to travel from home to purchase necessary items such as food, there has been an eruption of innovation from businesses to provide their services and products through digital offerings and via delivery systems respectively.

Andre also sees the nature of his work changing in response to the pandemic.

‘I expect tax work to further evolve as businesses and organisations take the pandemic and its impact into consideration,’ he says. ‘While some businesses have adjusted to the pandemic and are thriving, the majority of businesses are attempting to weather the storm, either by being innovative and creating different income streams, or fighting to stay afloat by cutting their costs. This results in clients requesting guidance as to the effect this would have on their tax obligations.

‘I also expect the introduction of any tax legislation specific to Covid-19 to increase our workload as clients rely on their tax agents and would want to be up to date so that they may claim any allowances or rebates that would be available. During the pandemic we also expect that since proper client records may not have been kept, clients will focus on their finances and it will be up to us tax agents to ensure that they meet their tax obligations in a timely manner.’

This article was first published in Student Accountant in August 2020

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