Location: Leeds, United Kingdom
Career highlights: reporting to the board
I moved to Leeds from Manchester at the same time as completing my AAT qualification.
I’d been working in vehicle finance and accounting which was a nightmare at times, and when I saw the role at Work Inc advertised in Leeds, it seemed ideal.
I was exempt from the Certificate level and so started studying for Managerial exams straight away. I’ve passed three papers now and have still got three more Managerial and three Strategic as well as the final case study (TOPCIMA) to get through before I can submit my practical experience log.
To be honest, I don’t find exams too bad. Once you get your flow, then you’re away and I find if I can get my train of thought, then I can start to pick up marks from the outset.
My role here at Work Inc is very much on the financial side, reporting into the directors and helping them interpret the wider meaning of the figures. One of the challenges is converting quite sophisticated calculations into the sort of language other staff can understand.
At the moment, the most interesting part of my job is the financial reporting. The board need to know how their money is being spent and the opportunities and risks associated with any financial situation.
From my point of view, what I do is more than finance. I can do my job in an efficient and accurate way but I can also bring into the discussions non-finance people. I like to see them learn different aspects of the finance side and this encourages real joined-up thinking. You end up with a pretty good idea of the bigger picture.
I feel studying for my CIMA qualification is giving me the confidence to get it right.
With each paper, I’m learning new things and seeing how they impact my work environment.
The biggest thing about passing CIMA exams is time management and confidence. After A-levels, I took over three years to do the AAT and I was very nervous during the first exam.
Now, I’ve got so many exams under my belt I take each one as it comes. Some people have said I should stop working and just concentrate on the tuition and the exams. I’m sure I could pass the exams quicker then but I wouldn’t have anything that I could relate to what I’ve learned.
The biggest challenge in my career at the moment is getting the balance right between studying and working.
I might have something at work I want to get my teeth into but then I have to cut it short or hand the work over so that I can go to college and carry on studying.
I also have to try and squeeze a social life in too. I’m a Manchester City supporter so I try and get to as many home games as I can. The envrionment here is all about feeling we’re working together for the same goals. I’m not just about finance. If someone needs help elsewhere in the business, then I’m not scared to get my hands dirty.
Through CIMA you learn other skills outside finance such as the interpersonal and communication skills so critical for business success.
Work Inc specialises in interiors and property services with rural headquarters on the Harewood Estate near Leeds.
It was formed in 1999 and has enjoyed spectacular growth, more than doubling in size and now occupying a regional presence in Newcastle, Leeds, Nottingham and Manchester. It employs over 90 people and had sales in 2005 of £19 million. Work Inc is a CIMA Training Quality Partner.