After graduating with a degree in Accounting and Finance from Leeds Metropolitan University, I trained as a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Tax Adviser with KPMG. I worked in various departments, but ultimately chose to specialise in taxation. I later moved to work in the tax department of a smaller firm in Barnsley. For a time, I worked both in practice and at the University of Sheffield running tutorials in financial accounting, management accounting and taxation. In 2007 I left practice in order to teach full time at Sheffield Hallam University, returning to the University of Sheffield in May 2012 as a lecturer.
- Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales (ICAEW)
- Chartered Tax Adviser (member of the Chartered Institute of Taxation)
- Post Graduate Certificate in Education in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education and fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA)
- Post Graduate Certificate in Research Methods (Business)
I am module leader for the ‘Taxation in Theory and Practice’ and ‘Auditing’ modules.
Taxation is a subject that many students may think dull, or boring, or even straightforward and ‘black or white’ – it is none of these things – a good dose of enthusiasm (from me!) and the introduction of some of the more ‘odd’ tax cases soon diminish these thoughts. Whilst some ‘number crunching’ is necessary, one of the more interesting aspects of teaching tax is to allow students to investigate what constitutes a “fair tax”, or to research into the meanings of (from a tax perspective) various common words – such as, for example, capital/revenue/plant/trade and so on. Students soon realise that all is not “clear” and this is what makes for interesting discussions and debates. Taxation is a career in its own right and students may not appreciate this initially – in the past a number of students that I have taught have chosen tax as a career choice - which makes the teaching of the subject that little more rewarding.
The ‘Auditing’ module, whilst considering some of the practicalities of the practice and ‘how’ to audit, also covers some of the more ‘academic’ aspects about the purpose of, and reason for audits, the expectation gap between what the ‘public’ think an audit is and what an audit can actually achieve, the design and purpose of the audit report and so on. These issues and more (!) make for thought provoking and interesting discussions in tutorials.
We are also fortunate to have guest lecturers from the profession contribute to both modules.
In general, students from both modules can drop in to see me via regular ‘office hours’ or drop in sessions prior to exams. I also ‘look after’ a number of personal tutees – they also are able to call in and see me during ‘office hours’ or make appointments as needed.
I recently registered for a tax related PhD, as this is the area in which I have a research interest. My interest in this area has been driven by my years working as a tax practitioner and I am particularly interested in the reasons for the complexity of the tax law and how tax practitioners cope with this, and the wealth of other extra statutory material and guidance, when providing advice to their clients.
Burkinshaw, L. J., & Frecknall-Hughes, J. (2013, September 2). Assessing the legal status of HMRC guidance:Some first thoughts. Presented at the 22nd annual Tax Research Network Conference. Exeter University.