In his fifteenth blog, Ethan continues to write about experiences from his Business Officer Apprenticeship at Leeds East Academy:
It has been at least two months since I last wrote a blog. I have since completed all exams for this year. During this time I have been able to reflect on my current role and responsibilities and how to develop my role further. This period of reflection I currently have has helped me realise that I have been able to achieve personal goals I set myself when I started in September 2018. Those goals were and are to reduce expenditure costs, learn necessary finance functions, and perform them efficiently and to a high standard.
Reducing costs has been a goal of mine since the start of September when the business manager highlighted their vision for me. I wanted to do something meaningful in the academy. Selfishly, I wanted someone to notice that my efforts made a difference to this already wonderful school. Last month I spent some time reviewing the bill for emergency phone lines. Extraordinarily I found that we were paying almost double we needed to due to unused phone lines and the simple fact we had not entered into a contract with the company was costing the school up to an extra £1,000 a year. Making this one saving has given me the drive to make more savings and the confidence to continually look for opportunities where savings can be made.
“Consistency is key.” I believe that this phrase is just as applicable to my daily routines and that by following this I can build on singular success to becoming consistently successful."
The first financial process I learnt about was raising a purchase order. This was shortly followed by processing invoices. For days on end this was all I used to do. Even now, I rarely go a day without processing at least one order or invoice. However, I didn’t want to get caught in the monotony of doing these two things every day. I learnt the function for moving transactions from one account to another. I now manage the petty cash float and relating transactions. Moving forward I will work with all budget holders to help them be aware of the actual expenditure against the budgeted amounts.
I have taken on more responsibilities because of my increasing knowledge and they have tested my time management. Effective efficiency has been a goal I have been striving towards. A good measure I have for this is the weekly pay listing. Our finance manager collates the pay list from invoices that are upcoming to be due that week and then notifies us of the invoices to be paid. More often than not this is pre-empted with an email asking me to scan an invoice onto the system or to input an invoice before the pay list is compiled. For the first time I can remember, this week the pay list was sent to me with no additional requests. This meant I had processed all I had to do and done it correctly and efficiently.
When I achieve these goals, I feel satisfied. It’s very easy to then sit back and relax because you achieved your goal. At Leeds East Academy the phrase “Consistency is key” has been shared regularly regarding routines of the students and behaviour policies in the academy. I believe that this phrase is just as applicable to my daily routines and that by following this I can build on singular success to becoming consistently successful.