National Careers Week – Finance manager and company accountant

Finance manager and company accountantTell us about your current role

I am CASCAiD’s finance manager and company accountant. I manage the finance team and am responsible for reporting financial performance, income and expenditure, managing tax implications for the company and ensuring that senior management has a constantly updated picture of the company finances. 

What was your journey from education to your current job like?

I did my O’levels, then A’levels and moved on to a degree in accountancy. After I finished my degree, I had to choose whether to start my career in industry, where you work in a company, or in practice where you work for an accountancy company which provides services to other organisations. 

I started out in practice which was good because it provided me with a broad experience, including auditing, tax work and company accounts. I enjoyed it because it’s fulfilling to provide a service to people who need help and advice to understand how aspects of finance work. 

However, there was a lot of audit work which I didn’t particularly enjoy, so I decided to move into industry and started working for a print equipment distributer. I started at the bottom looking after the sales ledger, cashflow and transaction processing.

I then progressed into management accounts where I was working with qualified accountants who encouraged me to do professional qualifications. I looked into it and found that because of the particular degree that I had done I was actually exempt from needing to do all of the exams, so there wasn’t too far for me to go to be fully qualified and earn more money.

I studied on day release from work and took some evening classes as well.

Finishing the exams whilst working at the same time was really hard. You need a lot of willpower to do both but it’s worth it because once you’re qualified you can really move on with your career.

 I decided to stay in industry because I like that fact that it gives you a rounded picture and you’re involved in everything from the day to day financial operations to more complex accountancy management.

 After I’d developed more experience, I moved to CASCAiD. I chose to work for CASCAiD because I really believe in the service that we provide.

 That’s the really good thing about working in this field – once you gain the experience, you can work for lots of different types of company and to a certain extent you can pick and choose where you want to work. 

What advice would you give to a young person who was interested in your career?

The first thing I’d say is it’s not easy. But don’t be put off. All of the hard study will pay off.

At the beginning, you won’t be earning a huge amount of money but once you’ve got the qualifications and some experience the world’s your oyster! 

I’d also recommend keeping your options open. Don’t decide on exactly where you want to work too early. Working in industry or practice is different so I’d recommend trying them both and keeping your options open until you’ve had the chance to find out what you really like. 

And finally, what career did you want to do when you were younger?

I wanted to work in a bank but when I was at school I did work experience in one and I didn’t enjoy it.

 I’ve also always quite liked the idea of being a hairdresser.

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