Case study

Financial manager — Leanne Crook

Leanne's applied accounting degree that she studied via distance learning at Oxford Brookes University is a central part of the work that she does as a finance manager

How did you get the job?

I got the job at Pebble Grey through a recruitment agency. Interestingly, though it was them who contacted me rather than me harassing them. I think recruitment agencies are having to be more proactive in finding the right candidates for jobs. That's a good thing if you get a call as it means they've already looked at your background and seen that you might be right for the job. It's also a nice ego boost.

What's a typical day like?

As the financial manager I'm involved in all of the usual processes that you see through the accounts department. This includes producing the month end management accounts pack, so that we can get an overview of how the company is performing from month to month. I also produce the KPI reports so that we can see how we're performing against our targets. This is a useful report as it gives the company an insight into particular areas where we need to focus our attention. Finally, I'm involved in the short-term cash flow planning of the operations.

What do you enjoy about the job?

I love working in finance as it provides a range of challenges. For me the two tasks that I really like are analysis of cost variances and scenario planning. These are two quite specific items which I've picked because they're relatively complex and I think that allows me to bring my training into the role and really produce great information that is vital to the company's progress.

What are the challenges?

Currently, as the company imports, the main challenge is the falling value of the sterling. This is an external factor that we have very little control over so it's largely just a case of monitoring the situation and responding accordingly.

How has the role developed?

I now have more responsibility for producing my own reports to look into cost drivers in the business. This is a good thing because I've shown that I can do the main functions of the job and it's just a case of progressing.

What advice would you give to aspiring financial managers?

It can be really hard to move up the career ladder as most companies want experience, but it's hard to get this when you can't get the jobs that expose you to this. Keep trying though, the roles turn up eventually and when they do it's up to you to prove that you can do the job and progress from there.

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