In his fourteenth blog, Ethan continues to write about experiences from his Business Officer Apprenticeship at Leeds East Academy:
Time. Everything we do is measured by time. We are closing in on the end of the second full term. I am seven months into my apprenticeship and next week I will sit my fourth AAT exam. It is evident that we use time as a measure for so many things in life. I want to discuss how working to time constraints helps me to work effectively in finance and the experiences that support this.
Two weeks ago, I sat in the Business Managers office and he explained that each week he will set aside time every Tuesday morning to sign invoices and authorise orders. During the time I was in his office I also took a small glance at his calendar and overheard his reminder from a colleague about his meeting after school. It was evident that he is clearly a busy man so how does he keep up with all the meetings and responsibilities? He uses a simple calendar and recognises how precious his time is and others time also. I decided to follow the example of the Business Manager and I set aside specific time to do certain activities throughout the week beginning 18th March and it has proved incredibly useful.
"Most importantly I enjoyed my work and laughed with who I work with. All in all it was a very motivating and feel-good experience for me."
The benefits I have seen have included an increase of positivity due to the completion of planned tasks and activities. I was able to successfully complete all invoice postings and process all outstanding purchase order requisitions. I learnt how to journal errors and finally got around to moving the postings so that the management accounts show a more accurate representation of budgeted figures. I was able to complete all data tasks that were requested of me. Most importantly I enjoyed my work and laughed with who I work with. All in all it was a very motivating and feel-good experience for me.
I would like to elaborate on a specific activity that I planned. I recognised in previous weeks that I needed additional training on the finance system to help me journal postings on the system (correct any errors). In my second unit, I studied about correcting errors through journal entries. There are several different errors, but I always struggled to identify the type of error. On Wednesday, the Finance Manager showed me the process of inputting journals so that I can remove errors and make correct entries into the system. On Thursday I independently (authorised by the Academy Business Manager) made corrections to postings and helped make the actual expenditure figures more accurate when looking at the budget report.
My hope is that the applied knowledge of journals and time management will continue to help me work effectively. Personally, I have felt more positive in my approach to completing tasks and feel a small sense of achievement with each task I complete.