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Interview: Phil Thornton, Senior Product Manager

Posted by Wolters Kluwer on 17-Oct-2018 12:30:00

We spoke to some of our employees about why they changed career paths from being tax and accountancy professionals to working at Wolters Kluwer. Here's what they had to say.

Phil Thornton

 


Phil Thornton

Senior Product Manager

 

 

What do you do at Wolters Kluwer?

I am Senior Product Manager for all things digital. This essentially means I am responsible for working with our customers to understand what becoming a digital practice means to them, what is happening in the market and how to build solutions that will support them on this journey. My primary focus over the past 12 months has been supporting the transition to Making Tax Digital.

 

What made you want to change your career path?

I was fortunate enough to secure a Trainee Management Accountant role when leaving school and decided this was a better option for me than the University route. Securing training and qualifications 'on the job' seemed the right way to go (and I was still able to go back and complete a degree in my spare time). I worked in a number of organisations and industries, from printing to a grain merchant to the Arts and accountancy. This also allowed me to get a good understanding of the different systems that organisations were using. In my last role as Finance Officer for an Arts Centre, I also took on the responsibility of looking after the IT network, which many accountants do in smaller organisations. I enjoyed this so much that when a role came up working with accountancy software it seemed the perfect fit for my skills and experience and I was keen to try something new.

 

What was it that attracted you to the Wolters Kluwer role?

I joined Wolters Kluwer in 2017 and, having worked in the accountancy software market for 10 years, I was aware of the brand and CCH software. After speaking to the team here it was clear I would be joining at a very exciting time in the journey to the cloud. Having primarily worked on cloud software and projects during my time in the industry it felt like a great move for both me and Wolters Kluwer.

 

What has been the most rewarding thing about making that career change?

Initially making the transition was a very exciting experience. When you work in a specific role for many years, to branch out into something new is fantastic. Now I have been in the role a number of years, the part of the role I still can’t get enough of is releasing a product and starting to receive the (hopefully positive) feedback – this makes everything we do for our customers so worthwhile.

 

Has the career change been what you expected?

It’s been better than expected. When I decided to make the switch, as you can probably imagine, I didn’t fully understand everything that was involved in the software development process and therefore had very little idea what to expect. The switch has allowed me to work with great people, deliver first-class products and travel the world in a variety of roles.

 

How have your accountancy skills benefitted you in your new role?

I wouldn’t necessarily say my accountancy skills have benefited as such, but this role certainly allows me to not lose those skills! The changing role has stretched me to learn new skills that I would not have gained while in my previous Finance roles.

 

What do you enjoy most about working at Wolters Kluwer?

I feel I have joined Wolters Kluwer at a very exciting time. The industry is changing, driven by advances in technology and the digitalisation of HMRC. We are in the process of building some exciting tools that will support our customers with this transition and to be here, at the start of this process, is very rewarding.

 

If you're a qualified tax or accounting professional with experience working in practice and an interest in technology who's interested in a career change, Wolters Kluwer could be the place for you! Please send us your CV and we'll be delighted to discuss what opportunities might be possible for you!

 

Read the other interviews in this series:

Morag Matthews, Professional Services Consultant

Dean Shepherd, Senior Product Manager

Amanda Thorpe, Business Analyst