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People of Accace: Taxes stole my heart, whether it is theory or practice | weBlog

December 13, 2023
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In our #PeopleOfAccace series, we will take you behind the scenes of Accace through interviews with our colleagues. You will find out how new services and solutions are created, who has been with Accace the longest and what positions they went through over the years. But most importantly, you will get to know our amazing people.

In the sixth interview, we spoke to Michaela Salayová, who oversees our tax team as a Senior Tax Manager.

This year, you took over the leadership of the tax team at Accace Slovakia. What does your typical workday look like, and what is your main focus?

Over the past two years, my workday has changed significantly. A management position is much broader than just tax consulting. My typical workday includes a lot of different activities, but the most important ones are meetings with clients or colleagues, preparing price proposals, coordinating the team, invoicing, but also monitoring legislative news in the tax area and writing expert articles.

I have been with Accace for 6.5 years, when I returned to tax consulting after 2.5 years of practice in an audit company. The main reason was that audit was too monotonous for me. In tax consulting, you never know what question will come from the client tomorrow, or which new legislative change is waiting for us around the corner.

Why did you decide to study taxes? What do you enjoy most about this field?

Numbers, tables, and mathematics have always fascinated me, and during my studies at university, I was torn between the fields of taxation and banking. Taxes eventually prevailed, perhaps because in addition to mathematics, I have always enjoyed writing essays, papers, articles, etc. It may sound a bit philosophical, but even the social agreement itself, why taxes even came about, or their social dimension, which is not just the state budget and its payments (for example, even changing the behaviour of an individual, redistributing income, and various others), they are not some boring theories for me, I am really interested in them. Taxes simply stole my heart, whether it is theory or practice.

Of my current work activities, I probably enjoy writing opinions, or generally creating some text, thinking, and looking for solutions or new ideas, the most. My mother laughs that even as a small baby, I did a lot of thinking about everything. Those who know me well already know how my “thinking expression” looks like, and it has remained with me to this day.

What does a “good” tax advisor need to master?

Firstly, it is probably legislation, of course, no one has to or even knows everything, but a good tax advisor must know where to find it. Flexibility is also an essential part of tax consulting. You need to react and prioritize, as tasks and assignments change quickly over time depending on the requirements of clients or the situation.

Some people might say that tax consulting is not exactly a creative profession. Do you remember an interesting case where you had to use not only your knowledge, but also your creativity to solve it?

Of course, creativity is possible in tax consulting only within the framework of legal requirements, but it definitely offers a lot of room for creative activity, too. We also try to come up with new solutions, for example around control processes or processing of calculations for clients. Sometimes clients come to us with desired result and need to find the best solution that will also be optimal for them from the tax burden point of view. We are then the ones who look for that solution and calculate different options.

What do you do in your free time?

I love traveling and enjoying good food the most. When I visit a new place, it is always an experience for me. I don’t like going back to the same place twice, it really has to charm me. Besides that, I enjoy hiking and nature, running, doing workout, reading a good book or listening to a podcast. I only do sports recreationally, but I am quite a competitive type, so I often compete with myself and set myself new goals or challenges.

What do only a few people know about you (so far)?

When someone has asked me a few times what I would do if tax consulting did not exist, or if it were completely replaced by artificial intelligence, I say that I would be a hairdresser. I enjoy cutting and styling hair, I remember one wedding when I barely had time to style myself because I was creating hairstyles for other wedding guests. I am currently trying to improve my skills in the area of men’s haircuts as well.

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