Case File 7 - Finance Projects Manager - Silver Circle Firm
Tell us a little about what your current position involves on a day to day basis:
As Finance Projects Manager, my role is to fix/resolve and streamline current processes with our clients, specifically around billing. Key requirements are to reduce rejection of invoices, produce right first time invoices, automate as many manual processes as possible and build on the client relationship and experience. At the moment, my role is reactive, I’m involved when there is a problem. I would like to turn this around and look at a proactive nature and be “client on-boarding”. For each new client, we on-board them in terms of finance, strengthening our position, rather than waiting until the client is unhappy.
Two days are never the same for me and every day is challenging, each with its own urgent need. At times I can feel I am a project manager, balancing lots of departments, from Operations, IT and the client. I may find an initial solution, but this may not work in all cases, therefore I always need to be forward planning and considering Plan B and Plan C.
Every role has its ups and downs. What are the good, the bad and ugly parts of your current position?
The challenge, learning something new. Building the relationship with the client. Watching how you can turn an bad thing into a negative and receiving that feedback.
Internally showing that finance can support the lawyers. Finance is often seen as a “taboo” or “grey” area to the Legal Teams, but in fact, with the relevant knowledge and skills, we can all work together. I often say, I am an expert in finance, let me help you.
Work life balance. As we are a global law firm, I need to be flexible with my time, from working early for Hong Kong, to a Sunday for the Middle East. As my head is always thinking, it can be hard to switch off.
What advice would you give to someone eager to develop their career within...?
If you were considering a law firm, be prepared, it is fast paced and you are often left balancing/juggling several different things. Can you rise to this?
If you were considering a manager/team leader role, you need to be able to put two different hats on, your role in the Business and your role outside the business with your team.
What is your number one tip on how to be successful in the role of..... ?
To stand out from the crowd, always come to someone with solutions and not the problem, think outside the box and look for new innovation ideas. Put yourself in their shoes, what would they want, why do they want it? If things don’t work the first time, keep on trying.
For me the best person is someone who thinks outside the box and not just following a process as they have been told to.
If you were hiring for your team, what stands out to you when reviewing applications?
I would look for someone who would have finance experience, but not necessarily in the sector. Someone who has shown new ideas. However, in the interview, I would consider the following:-
- Ability to want to learn and push themselves
- Team working, not solitude
- Communication, the ability to speak with people and not hide behind emails