Nine questions with Eoghan Fox

Sep 01, 2020

You never know where the qualification will take you. Some people go into practice while others find themselves working for one of the biggest social media platforms in the world. Eoghan Fox is making the most of his career with the latter.

Where do you work, and what is your position?

I work in Twitter Dublin as an EMEA Tax Analyst.

How did you find your way to Twitter as a Chartered Accountant?

I was coming to the end of my training contract in Deloitte in Dublin, having completed all my professional exams and wasn't really sure what my next move was. A recruiter from Twitter Dublin asked would I be interested in applying for a tax analyst role. To be honest, when you get approached by a well-known brand like Twitter, it's hard to turn it down. I definitely wanted the role but knew the competition would be high – however, gaining the experience of the interview would stand to me. I went through several rounds of interviews and was delighted to receive an offer to join the company as a tax analyst once my professional contract had concluded with Deloitte. I haven’t really looked back since – I am now with the company just under a year and love working here.

What did your career look like leading up to your current role?

In university, I studied for a Bachelor of Commerce in UCD and then went on to complete a Master of Accounting in Smurfit Business School. I completed an internship in the Income Tax department of Deloitte as part of my Bachelor of Commerce degree and that's how I got into the area of taxation and accountancy. I worked in Deloitte for three years during which I completed my professional accountancy exams with Chartered Accountants Ireland and my professional tax exams with the Accounting Technicians Ireland. During my time in Deloitte, I specialised in advising companies involved in the financial services sector and, during my final year with the firm, focused mainly on advising aircraft leasing companies.

In what ways do Chartered Accountants contribute to a company like Twitter?

The role of a Chartered Accountant in the finance department is particularly important – this is clear given the amount of the team that are Chartered Accountants. As a publicly listed company, there are more stringent conditions that need to be met from a reporting perspective and so a Chartered Accountants role is very valuable. The results of the company are released each quarter and the numbers are publicly available so it’s important that they are correct. It’s good to have that understanding of the accounting side, even though my role is primarily focused on corporation tax.

What is a typical day for you in the office and now working from home?

Before we began working from home full time – a typical day for me would consist of getting up around 5:30am as I train early in the morning before work (either swim, cycle or run) and then cycling into the office. Luckily, I had a short commute (maybe only 15ish minutes). Once I get to the office, I usually have breakfast with my team. I catch up on what is going on in the world on the Twitter platform usually before work (and admittedly throughout the day). Due to the type of role I am in, no two days are usually the same. The Twitter Dublin office is the EMEA headquarters and so we manage the tax responsibilities for the Twitter entities across the EMEA region. Typically, we would sync with the tax team in Singapore and the US on a weekly basis to update each other on what is happening in each region – this is important as it may impact on the work in another region. We have regular interactions with our accounting teams in Dublin, but also in the US.
 
Now that we are working from home, my general routine hasn’t really changed. It’s good to save some time on the commute but definitely miss the office – especially seeing my team and getting the benefit of having free food onsite. From a work perspective, all meetings have gone online which was a challenge at first but everyone has adapted to this and understands this is the way we have to work for the short-term.

What challenged you the most when you first joined Twitter?

Coming into a new work environment is always difficult. What was most challenging was adapting professional services into industry – there is a big difference in terms of the type of work you're doing but also the dynamic. The most difficult thing was trying to understand how the company operates from a business perspective but also an environment perspective. Everyone made me feel very welcome, though, and I was able to adapt fairly quickly to my new role.

How has the pandemic changed how you engage with your organisation?

While the pandemic has obviously changed the way we work, I think the processes and supports put in place by Twitter has allowed me to adapt to the changes easily. Some things have changed completely – for example, team meetings are now completely online, we can't meet with advisors in their offices etc. However, being online is second nature now. Twitter provided us with what we needed to work effectively from home and are constantly linking in to make sure we are handling it OK. This helped massively, to be honest. It was a stressful time for everyone back then. March feels like a long time ago.

What has been the most important lesson learned to date?

Don't be afraid to ask questions. I think this is important not only in my current role but in everything. Especially when you are relatively new and you are expected to ask questions – it is the only real way to learn and understand the work you do. I think it also helps build bonds with your colleagues and help you learn how people operate. 

Where do you see yourself in five years?

This is a tough one. It's so hard to know where we will be in five years, especially with the current pandemic. I think I would love to be still working at Twitter because the team is incredible, the work is enjoyable and the environment is really positive. I would also like to own my own business in the future so may end up pivoting towards that – but in the medium-term, I definitely see myself at Twitter and in the tech industry.