In his fifth blog, Ethan continues to write about experiences from his Business Officer Apprenticeship at Leeds East Academy:
I’m going to be honest; when I sit down to write my weekly blog I have forgotten what I have achieved during the week. Working in the education sector is busy; EVERYONE always has something to do.
Fortunately, after some thinking I’m able to remember some key events that helped me in my professional development. One such event is the visit we received from the external auditors on Wednesday.
Prior to Wednesday, I was only familiar with an audit in name. I knew that the audit was important as my manager had stressed the day before but as I arrived to work on Wednesday morning, I felt unprepared. The auditor arrived and within the first 5 minutes I began to realise the purpose of auditing is for the benefit of the recipient. We are by no means a perfect organisation, no one business is. However, auditors systematically examine the financial records and processes providing an audit report. From this report, we are able to further develop existing processes.
"The financial structure and the processes of a business are so important to understand when working in finance. Learning the foundations of these this week has helped me understand how the school functions as a business."
Since September I have been developing the process involving inputting Purchase Orders. I want the process to be smooth and easy for those ordering. I took responsibility for handling, inputting and emailing each order, then informing the requestor the order had been placed. Through this week I have received urgent orders for job advertisements and facilities maintenance. Due to my developed process, I was able to efficiently place the orders within the requested time frame, without it impacting my workload.
I have needed to spend a portion of time this week focusing on an assignment I received from College during the first workplace visit. I was given a workbook titled “Providing Financial Services”. Last week I asked the Human Resources Administrator to help me in completing the booklet as many topics in the booklet were heavily related to HR. Through study, I now understand the strong link between finance and HR. Staff must be employed in the business to keep it functioning. If staff are not compliant to regulations, the business may take action. Similarly, if the employer were to be ignorant of statutory rights of employees and the standards of the specific workplace, funding may be reduced and reputation and financial standing of the business would suffer.
The financial structure and the processes of a business are so important to understand when working in finance. Learning the foundations of these this week has helped me understand how the school functions as a business. Also, I am now able to see how previous employers have a similar structure because all businesses follow the same governance. I know this will help me in the weeks and months to follow as my knowledge of specific accounting principles increase.