It’s always good to get an insight into someone else’s working day, that’s why we like to focus on different members of staff for our ’A Day in the Life feature’. This time, one of our Directors Keith Grover describes a typical working day.
The alarm goes off at the usual time of 6.00am. I’m up straightaway or else I’m struggling! I go downstairs for a shower, breakfast, stroke the cat and read the Bible. Before I leave, I check my emails. I live in St Albans and drive to work, so leave the house at 7.00am, popping into a local newsagent to buy a copy of The Times newspaper en-route. I arrive in the office at 7.30am.
I’m not the first one in; a couple of my colleagues are here already. I switch on my computer, re-review and deal with the straightforward emails and then put the kettle on for a cuppa char! I have a brief discussion with Karen Robbins, one of our managers, about how she’s getting on with her jobs and everything is going well. I go back to my desk and update my time records on our costing system for the last three days.
Next, I do some work on the accounts of a client, a business owned by a wealthy Greek businessman. I have a few questions so I email these over to the company administrator.
I’m responsible for the preparation of our company’s own accounts and so I do some work on the January 2018 books and records.
This year, I’m the Chair for the Ambition 2018 Sales and Marketing Conference. Even though it’s not being held until 14 November, we want to get 10 sponsors on board as soon as possible. I liaise with a member of the committee and email a potential sponsor, as does she.
There is a little bit of our month-end billing still to do, so I discuss these with my fellow director Karen Chase in order to finalise them.
Signed accounts arrive in the post from a client, a small limited company owned by a guy I met through a local networking group. I sign these as well as our accounts file, then return the file to the manager handling the client and she does the rest.
A local accountant arrives with an audit of a large property company to sign off. We have an excellent arrangement with him whereby he prepares the accounts and we carry out the audit as he is not a registered auditor. We also discuss his exit strategy as he is coming up to retirement and wants to sell some of his portfolio to us. He agrees to prepare further details for me to review with my fellow directors, with a view to this happening in April.
We are having a marketing meeting this afternoon at 2.30pm with our marketing consultant, Kate Adam from Meredith Marketing. I do some preparatory work, scheduling the new clients that we have gained in January. It has been a good month and the results are encouraging.
We are in the process of becoming a Xero Partner – Xero is a very popular cloud-based accounting software that’s increasingly being used by our clients. In order to achieve this partnership, I’m going through Xero’s web-based training modules. I complete three modules. These are fairly time-consuming, but it is important that this is completed sooner rather than later.
Kate Adam arrives at 1.00pm and the two of us pop up the road to a local Italian restaurant for a light lunch. We discuss marketing as well as having a general catch-up. We get back just before 2.30pm and go straight to the boardroom where we are joined by Karen Chase, Amy Armitage and Charlotte Nicholson. It’s a very useful meeting where we discuss what has been successful and what hasn’t been over the past year. We come out with an action plan with a view to a follow up meeting in a month’s time.
It’s now 4.00pm so I go back to my desk to catch up and deal with a number of emails, telephone calls and other admin matters, before leaving at 4.30pm. I’m due to go out with some friends for an Indian meal tonight – we’re meeting there at 6.00pm so I need to get away a bit earlier today.
I like having a job with variety
My day is extremely varied, which makes it really enjoyable and rewarding. Being a director means that I get involved in practice management and marketing matters as well as accounting technical ones. Today has been more of the former rather than the latter, but that’s how it goes and both are important.
I’ve been at HB Accountants for over 31 years. It’s a great place to work and the people are wonderful, as are our clients and contacts. The work-life balance has always been important here so there is not a long-hours culture, which I’m extremely grateful for.