A Trailblazing Tax Expert and Inspirational Leader
Michelle Corazzo’s unwavering dedication, sheer determination, and belief in hard work are evident in her life journey. As a prominent Business Tax Partner at Cooper Parry, a renowned mid-tier accountancy firm in the UK, Michelle’s career trajectory is nothing short of remarkable. Her story is not just about breaking glass ceilings but shattering them and paving the way for future leaders in the world of finance.
As a captivating multifaceted personality, Michelle’s teenage years were adorned with performances in West End Musicals, including “Fame” at the London Palladium, “Oliver” at Theatre Royal in Drury Lane, and “Bugsy Malone” at Her Majesty’s Theatre, showcasing her love for acting, dancing, and singing.
From the outset, Michelle’s path was defined by experiential learning. She pursued her Tax and Chartered Accountant qualifications in the UK while working in a tax practice, gaining invaluable on-the-job training. Handling the tax affairs of numerous high-profile clients not only honed her technical tax skills but also nurtured her confidence and interpersonal abilities. This early experience set the stage for her future success.
Michelle’s inspiration stems from a childhood experience where she transformed from academic underperformance to topping her class through hard work and determination. This early turnaround instilled the belief that one can achieve anything with dedication and effort, driving her to excel academically and professionally.
Michelle’s business portfolio at Cooper Parry is a testament to her prowess in the field. As a Business Tax Partner, she oversees the corporation tax affairs of clients with turnovers ranging from £20 million to £300 million, many of whom have a multinational presence. Michelle’s charisma and personable approach have solidified her reputation as a trusted advisor, known for her outstanding client relationships and knack for identifying tax planning opportunities. Her innovative thinking has led to substantial tax savings for clients, with one company saving over £1 million—a testament to her unparalleled expertise.
Challenges have been an integral part of Michelle’s journey. In an industry still predominantly male-dominated, particularly at leadership levels, Michelle faced the task of building and maintaining her confidence while consistently pushing beyond her comfort zone. However, she firmly believes that success is a product of hard work and determination, not mere luck.
What drives Michelle’s passion is the opportunity to assist her clients with their tax affairs, providing solutions that add value to their businesses. Being a crucial part of their growth journey is immensely rewarding for her. Her motivation is driven by the tangible impact she makes on her clients’ success.
Michelle’s approach to competition is grounded in healthy ambition. She believes in being competitive for personal growth but not at the expense of others. “Climbing the ladder should be based on merit and competence, not stepping over others.”
Her list of achievements is awe-inspiring. Michelle achieved top grades in her GCSEs, A*s in all subjects including German and Spanish. At 20, she was named “Business Advisor of the Year 2007” for volunteering in the Young Enterprise Scheme. She earned a first-class degree in Business and Management at the University of Sussex, achieving the top score in her academic year and receiving the Graduation Prize for “Best Overall Performance.” Michelle became a member of the Association of Taxation Technicians at 22, followed by selection for Baker Tilly’s Leadership Programme at 23. She qualified as a Chartered Accountant with the Institute of Chartered Accountants Scotland at 25 and was named the Top Performer among her peers in Management at 26. In 2020, she became the youngest Tax Director at haysmacintyre at 32. At 33, she was featured in Proda’s Powerful Women in Proptech series for her success as a female leader in the Accountancy profession. In 2021, Michelle was selected for Accountancy Age’s “Top 35 under 35.” In 2023, she joined Cooper Parry as their youngest Partner at the age of 35.
Michelle’s definition of leadership is clear and compelling. “Leadership involves influencing and guiding others, inspiring by example, and, most importantly, fostering more leaders, not followers.” She believes organizations thrive when multiple leaders drive growth, expansion, and innovation.
Michelle imparts a powerful message of self-belief, hard work, and fearlessness. She emphasizes that one’s belief in themselves is paramount, and hard work paves the way to success. She reminds us of the quote, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take,” encouraging everyone to overcome fear and stay true to their values on the path to success.
In the ever-evolving landscape of finance, Michelle Corazzo stands as a beacon of excellence, paving the way for future leaders to follow.