60 seconds with: Barry Flanagan, Taxback

Business, Interviews | Tue 23 Jan | Author – Business & Finance
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Barry Flanagan, Director of Tax and Payroll, Taxback

Barry Flanagan, Director of Tax and Payroll, Taxback, takes on the Business & Finance 60-second interview challenge.


Q. What was your first job?

I went to drama school after graduating UCD, so the first job I had where I earned enough money to pay tax was as a professional actor. Unfortunately, I never earned enough not to be able to claim it all back again at year end. So I turned that into a career instead.

Q. What would you regard as your greatest achievement to date?

God does anyone answer that without cringing? I don’t know about achievements but acting in the Gate Theatre was always a dream and an experience I loved. Switching careers and qualifying as a chartered accountant and chartered tax consultant is something I’m proud of.

Q. In three words or less, how do you define success?

Work-life balance! Though by that definition, I have room for improvement.

Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

Never start a negative sentence with the word ‘You’. Once you’ve got the hang of that, try not to start negative sentences.

Q. How do you motivate yourself and your staff?

By trying to foster a positive and collaborative approach to shared achievement. My own boss, Christine Kiely, has worked very hard to create a supportive environment, where the emphasis is on augmenting the process where required, rather than apportioning fault.

Q. If you could step into the shoes of one business person for the day, who would it be and why?

Larry Page or Sergey Brin. I think everyone would love to see what goes on in Google’s labs…

Q. How do you relax?

I’m a news and politics junkie. Occasionally, I feel guilty enough to go for a run.

Q. What’s your motto?

Ask for help when you need it and give it when you can.

Q. What are your aspirations for the future of the business?

To continue to build our client base and to offer a best-in-class service. We also plan to recruit, develop and retain the most talented people out there to allow our business to thrive.

My own boss, Christine Kiely, has worked very hard to create a supportive environment, where the emphasis is on augmenting the process where required, rather than apportioning fault.

Taxback.com provides global tax return filing and tax refund services.