GleeTalks: Finance Assistant FAQs with Raghav Jogia
How did you get into the role?
I studied Accountancy at BCU. After university, I worked in a number of entry-level, temporary finance roles, to gain some practical experience. After being offered a permanent opportunity at Gleeson, I have now undertaken my CIMA qualification, which will enable me to become a qualified accountant. You don’t necessarily need an industry-recognised qualification to be a Finance Assistant, practical experience is enough. However, if you want to progress in your role, it’s likely that you will be expected to take on a CIMA or ACCA qualification.
What are the key skills required?
I think to be successful in any accountancy role, you need to be pragmatic, hands-on and results motivated. As a Finance Assistant, your main purpose is to support the finance team, whether that is managing individual accounts, invoices, data entry… you’re constantly collecting information, reviewing statements and keeping a keen eye out for discrepancies or errors that could cause problems further down the line. That’s why time management and organisational skills are absolutely imperative, as the role covers a wide range of responsibilities and time-relevant challenges.
We’re deep into the digital era now and accountancy is evolving. It’s no longer just about being confident with spreadsheets and numbers, you have to stay in the loop with the latest technological advances and accounting software. Confident communication and interpersonal relationship skills are also essential as you will be expected to present your findings to board members, stakeholders, executives, and clients. You will need to answer questions and provide assistance to clients and colleagues of varying levels of seniority, so it’s key to establish and maintain a good rapport with them.
What do you enjoy about this role?
Numbers have always been my strong point, so I when I chose my A-Levels, I chose Accountancy, Maths and Economics. Working in finance has always been on the cards for me. In my current role, I like that I am given a degree of autonomy here. I am not constantly supervised, I am given my own space to work. I enjoy working as part of a team - being in an office where everyone enjoys working and coming in pushes you to do better. If I am stuck or I have a question, I know that I have the support of them around me to ask for help and advice. The vibe in the office is great, it is always lively. Because we work in such a fast-paced environment, there is always something to do or learn, that further develops my skills.
What are the most challenging aspects of the role?
The toughest part of my role at the moment is that Gleeson as a company are growing at an accelerated pace, which means extra work is constantly coming in. Trying to juggle so many things is difficult, but that comes as part and parcel with the territory.
What advice would you give to people considering this role?
In accounting, you’ve just got to make sure you know your systems, your processes and your industry like the back of your hand. Try to stay agile, adaptable and be able to keep your calm under pressure. Everybody starts somewhere, your confidence will come with time and experience.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Just be ready to get stuck into everything, it is the best way to learn. You may even find better ways to do things than you have been doing. Just try everything and push yourself.
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