Name: Johanna Taylor
University: University of Wales, Cardiff
Degree: BA English Literature and German (2000)
Employer: St Mary’s NHS Trust in London
Job title: Assistant Finance Manager
What do you do in your job?
Much of the work involves going through the monthly accounts for any of the departments that end in an "-ology". My time is spent talking to budget holders, forecasting, and costing new ideas on how to make services better. There is a lot of communication with frontline workers.
What was your motivation in applying?
After university I did some temping in a financial consulting company. I realised there was much more to finance than just numbers, and the people were interesting. Then I temped for the NHS, and decided that accounting would be for me. I specifically decided to go for the NHS, as I feel the public sector is really interesting.
What did the application process involve?
I decided I wanted to do the CIPFA qualification, so I looked on its site to find the latest jobs on offer. I applied for a couple of jobs, and got a graduate trainee finance role at St George’s hospital, which rotated me through the different financial disciplines. I later took a management accountancy role at Queen Mary’s hospital, and then qualified.
What do you enjoy about your job?
The NHS is an exciting place to work as there are so many changes. It also offers chances to move around. I enjoy problem-solving and getting things resolved. I also do budget training, and seeing that moment when it ‘clicks’ is great.
Most challenging part of your job?
It can be difficult if someone doesn’t want to listen and has a prejudice against the idea of budgeting and finance.
Advice to readers considering a career in your field:
You need to be disciplined to combine work and study, and succeed in both: try a and get through your exams as quickly as possible, and don’t be afraid to change jobs in order to advance yourself. Also get involved in your accountancy institute. I volunteer as chair of the National Student Forum for CIPFA ,and this gives me the chance to meet interesting people both in and outside of the NHS that give me more of a perspective on accountancy and the paths you can take.