Meet James Gillan, INSPIRED Tax Manager

What made you decide to take a career in tax? 

I studied Accountancy at University and seemed to excel in the tax modules. Once I started working in tax, I enjoyed the opportunities it provided to work with different companies, granting me a deeper understanding of their operations. I began to appreciate how specialised tax advisory services were and the significant value that companies place upon them. 

What is the most enjoyable part of your job? 

The most enjoyable part is working with clients in different industries and gaining an insight into how different sectors work. I am mostly involved in commercial transactions such as acquisitions, reorgansisations, and incentive planning and I enjoy how I can add value to each project.  

What do you do for fun?  

Sport – and anything active really. Most of my free time is spent playing Gaelic football, running, at the gym or playing golf. When I’m not playing sport, I am meeting up with friends for a few pints, and the odd city break if I can. At INSPIRED, work-life balance is a top priority and there is a large focus on logging off on time to enjoy life outside of working hours which is great!  

What encouraged you to make the move to INSPIRED? 

The key driver for me was self-development. I knew someone whom I trained along with at a well-established company who left and joined INSPIRED once we attained our professional qualifications back in 2020. I witnessed how he had developed at INSPIRED and progressed his career into higher management within 3 years of becoming qualified, while I felt my progression had stagnated. This was a key motivator for me to take the leap.  

I had been watching INSPIRED grow and its rapid establishment in the N.I Market. I could see the premium clients it was working with, and I wanted to be part of that.  

What advice would you offer to individuals considering applying for a position at INSPIRED? 

I would say be prepared to work on a wide range of projects. INSPIRED offers an array of tax services, including group reorganisations, R&D projects, Patent Box, Specialist Capital Allowance analysis, Compliance, and more. If you are someone who enjoys a variety of work, there is an opportunity here to get stuck in! 

The relaxed working environment at INSPIRED allows you to be yourself. It is a tight-knit team and staff at all levels are highly involved in projects, with regular meetings, debriefs, and sharing workloads.  

There is a good balance of senior staff providing you with a certain level of autonomy but will work with you to provide ideas from their own experience that can only improve your development. If you want to progress, it’s up to you to put in the work; but if you show determination and a willingness to get involved, you can progress quickly within the firm. 

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