Melanie Joliffe ACCA, finance analyst at a global cloud computing business
This article was first published in the July/August 2015 Ireland edition of Accounting and Business magazine
Cloud computing is redefining the way companies do business. The industry is growing rapidly and is likely to continue growing in this manner. Our company is focused on customer relationship management (CRM), which is increasingly important for businesses as customer demands and expectations are growing.
Currently it’s a male-dominated industry and I’d like to see more females joining and rising up the ranks. Our company has launched new products recently and I’d like to see these become as successful as our core products. I’d also like to see the industry grow and evolve as we continue to meet stakeholder expectations and deliver on the promises that we have made.
Delivering great customer service
Businesses need to be able to deliver a great customer experience in a timely manner. It’s an exciting time to be working in this area. I have been in my current role for the last 10 months and it’s an extremely fast-paced and dynamic environment. A colleague relocated from the US to Ireland and it’s been great to have him on the team as he brings a different perspective and knowledge.
I support different business functions. As these areas are also fast-paced, I need to ensure that I’m familiar with their changing needs so that I can fully support them. I am responsible for forecasting and budget management across the functions that I support. I’m also responsible for analysing month-end results and reporting to business leaders on any variances on a monthly and quarterly basis. During the financial quarter, we may revisit our earlier forecast assumptions and amend these based on recent known facts. The business leaders that I support often have financial queries and requests to be able to meet their objectives, so my day is never boring.
I have learned that it’s important to be passionate about what you do and try to learn something from each person that you meet along the way. The business world is ever changing and there is always plenty to learn.
Passing on knowledge
The one piece of advice I’d pass onto others is to have mentors and people around you that you can trust and rely on. They don’t need to be in the exact same line of business as you – in fact, it can be better if they have different areas of expertise. Even in my short career I have found this to be very beneficial.
I believe it is important to give back to the community in any small way that we can. This is one of the core values of the company I work for. We are involved heavily in charitable activities and volunteering with charities is encouraged. We are a large workforce, with employees from varying backgrounds, so there are also social events that make the company a fun place to work.
"I have learned that it’s important to be passionate about what you do and try to learn something from each person that you meet along the way"