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Beryl’s passion for dancing puts a spring in her career steps

Posted on January 23, 2017

Quick thinking and fancy footwork are necessary skills on the dancefloor and one taxation professional has combined her passion for dance and ability with numbers to enjoy a successful career in the financial services sector.

Beryl Heath started her career as a clerical officer at the Inland Revenue in Washington, near Sunderland, before taking on more senior roles at the industry’s ‘Big Four’ and now works as a tax manager at James Milne Chartered Accountants in Aberdeen.

Beryl has more than 25 years’ experience in the taxation sector and has a particular focus on personal tax clients.

When she’s not guiding clients through the complexities of tax matters, she enjoys nothing more than indulging in her passion for Ceroc dancing – a colourful fusion of jive, salsa and ballroom styles.

Beryl caught the dancing bug after attending a friend’s wedding with her husband Alan where she was introduced to the Ceroc style. She now regularly attends dance sessions with one of her daughters Vicky in the city centre.

She said: “I’m very passionate about dancing and it’s something I’ve been doing for 18 years since I first tried the Ceroc style. My daughter really likes it too so it’s something we can enjoy together.

“We’re big fans of Strictly Come Dancing and the sessions always get a boost in numbers when the show is on TV. You don’t need to go with a partner as all of the dancers rotate in the session so you’re never left on your own.

“Everyone dances differently so you’ve got to think quickly and be light on your feet to adapt your style to your dance partner and the rhythm of the music. This has helped me at work as I need to think on my feet and respond quickly in meetings and business calls with clients.

“Going to a weekly evening dance session also gives you something to look forward to at the end of the working day. This can be useful motivation to complete the jobs you’re working on which helps focus the mind.

“Inevitably a tax job is mainly desk based so I find that taking the time to enjoy dancing gives me a chance to stay active. Doing regular exercise can give you a buzz and I often have a spring in my step after a dance session. It definitely makes me feel happy which has a positive impact at work too.”

James Milne Chartered Accountants serves both personal and business clients across a diverse range of industries, from the Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire staples of oil and gas and agriculture through to retail, hospitality, fishing, haulage, trades, construction and many more.

With offices in Aberdeen, Inverurie and Banchory, the firm is led by four experienced partners as part of a team of 30 specialists.

The company’s services cover: Accountancy and audit, financial and business planning, business and personal taxation, self-assessment returns, book-keeping and VAT, payroll services and Sage software sales, installation and training.

Beryl joined the firm in 2002 and over the last 14 years she has overseen a transformation of the tax department which has improved efficiencies and further increased the team’s productivity.

She said: “When I first joined the business I was tasked with modernising the tax department and introducing a streamlined process for all of the work we do which has had a big impact.

“I’m often the first point of contact for new personal tax clients and I also oversee the work of the department. As a firm we are an innovative, and client-focussed business partner which provides clients with a partner-led service to oversee business and tax related matters.

“We’re entering our busiest period of the year now as people need to submit their annual tax returns by the end of January. The best advice I can give is not to leave it until the last minute. Be prepared and submit everything early if you can, otherwise you’ll need to do a quickstep to have your tax documents in good order.”


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