Tracy Belton, a member of the team at Charter Tax in Goudhurst, has passed the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) certificate, gaining a distinction. She works within the private client team at the firm, where she is mainly involved in the preparation of the accounts and tax returns for sole traders, partnerships and trusts.
“This work has led to my interest in trusts and estates and I wanted to find out more, as this area hasn’t really been part of my previous studies,” Tracy explains.
STEP is the global professional association for practitioners who specialise in family inheritance and succession planning. It works to improve public understanding of the issues families face in this area and promotes education and high professional standards among its members.
The team at Charter Tax not only helps families to understand the tax issues involved in passing wealth down the generations, and the best tax structuring mechanisms available to do that, but also works closely with each family to make sure that everyone appreciates the family goals, so they remain cohesive into the future.
“We always encourage our team to build their skills and are very proud that Tracy achieved such a great result in her exam,” says Mark Howard, a Principal of Charter Tax. “The service we provide our clients involving trusts and estates is an important part of what we do here at Charter Tax and Tracy’s additional knowledge in this area will be invaluable to the rest of our team and to our clients as well.”
Tracy joined Charter Tax in 2017 from another firm of accountants.
“I have always liked working with numbers, so always thought about being an accountant,” Tracy explains. “When I started work, my first two jobs were working in the accounts departments in industry. During this time, I completed the AAT qualification. Then, when I joined an accountancy firm, I studied for the ATT qualification as well.”
Tracy says she enjoys the variety of the work and the range of businesses she supports; she particularly enjoys the accounts for farming clients, as her husband works on a farm, so she has a good knowledge of how farms operate.
“From an employee’s point of view, I think Charter Tax is different from its competitors, as it has a relaxed atmosphere,” Tracy says. “Everyone works hard and we all pitch in when needed, but just by having our offices in the countryside makes me feel very relaxed, but focused too, as it isn’t busy or noisy.”
She adds: “I think our clients would say that they appreciate the knowledge and experience of our team and the consistency with who deals with their accounts and tax affairs.”
When she’s not at work, Tracy enjoys spending time with her two boys, who are aged five and three.
“They love being outdoors, so we often spend time going for walks or in the garden,” says Tracy. “In addition, my brother and sisters have children of similar ages to my boys, so we often get together and go for days out with our parents or spend time in the garden together.”
Before having children, Tracy enjoyed ballroom and Latin dancing, as well as clay pigeon shooting. She manages to find time for Zumba classes, but these take a back seat during harvest time, as her husband works long hours then until the winter.
“I am just enjoying life with my boys – time goes so fast and soon they will grow up and not want to hang out with mum, so I am making the most of it,” she adds.