Welcome to another instalment of AST’s ‘Getting to know us’ series – this time we speak to our accounts supervisor and get to know the ins and outs of her role. Language service providers aren’t just made up of translators and project managers; they have indispensable teams of dedicated employees working behind the scenes and Siobhan is definitely one of these employees. Read on to find out more about where she started and where she’d be if we weren’t lucky enough to have her.
After leaving school in 2007, I went on to study A levels in English literature, English language and history. I started looking for apprenticeships in finance as I soon realised that despite doing my A levels in completely different subjects, maths was still my favourite and would take me down the type of career path I wanted to take. In December 2009 I was offered a job as a finance assistant at the same sixth form college at which I studied for my A levels and soon realised that this was the right career for me. Although I was enjoying working in finance, I became aware that if I wanted to fully understand the principles of accounting and to further my career, I would have to study for an accredited qualification. In 2010 I enrolled onto an evening class to study for the accounting qualification AAT (Association of Accounting Technicians). After what felt like a million exams and just as many tears, I successfully gained MAAT status in 2014. As I’d imagined, my exams helped me to further understand the fundamentals of accounting and improve my output at work. After making the decision to take the next step in my career, I started searching for managerial accountancy roles. This is where I first discovered AST and after being appointed, I started as accounts supervisor in February 2016. Due to my qualifications and extensive experience, I was fortunately able to join AST and hit the ground running.
My official job title at AST is Accounts Supervisor. This includes lots of tasks and my responsibilities range from monthly management account preparation and production of profit and loss statements to bank reconciliations and completing sales invoices; I also work with accounting software to set up new suppliers and clients on our system.
As well as being the accounts supervisor at AST, I also manage the offices and undertake HR duties such as keeping employment records updated, giving relevant information to employees and making sure paperwork is completed and processed.
Before I started at AST, I had only studied Spanish and French as part of my GCSEs, but I stopped learning them once I left school. My attitude towards languages has since changed immensely; I used to be naive about the importance of languages but have recently decided to take German evening courses! I have enjoyed learning German so far and would eventually like to study French and Spanish too.
AST is an SME and unlike other larger companies where you may only work on one section of the accounts, I enjoy getting to cover all accounting fundamentals rather than concentrating on just purchasing or sales, for example. I can’t deny that I also thoroughly enjoy working at AST because of my admirable colleagues, some of whom I can honestly call friends.
In previous jobs I worked as part of a bigger finance team with multiple accountants and therefore had less responsibility overall. As accounts supervisor here, I am responsible for a large amount of the accounting functions and understand that it is imperative that I am extremely thorough in my work. I am more confident now than I have ever been and if I could go back to my first day, I would tell myself to be patient and have more faith in my ability to do a good job!
I wouldn’t say I have any life changing strategies to stay organised but every Friday I look at the week ahead and make sure I diarise every deadline and jot down what I must do daily.
Two of my siblings are autistic and my dad is a double below-the-knee amputee so I would spend the rest of my life on a mission to explore the world with them and make their darker days that little bit brighter. By brighter I mean swimming with dolphins on a tropical island somewhere – not that this would make me happy or anything, it would be a totally selfless deed…
It’s easy to see why we all value Siobhan so much – AST literally couldn’t function without her! Keep an eye out for the next part of our series and get to know our team even better.