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A Month in the Life of a Finance Director at ABF


I’m the Finance Director at Westmill Foods, a business with a very diverse portfolio of products and customers that primarily focuses on authentic Indian and Chinese Foods. We are based in Enfield and have three factories in the UK and an office in Amsterdam.
September is a particularly busy time for me, as the end of our financial year is in mid-September. As we approach year end, I need to ensure that we are tracking our expected performance especially carefully, so that we can deliver our profit commitment for the year. Thankfully, as we reach year end, everything goes as expected and we deliver another good performance.

We are going after a particularly significant profit target this year, but I am pretty confident in our ability to reach this as we’ve developed some great commercial plans and initiatives, and it feels like we have some momentum behind us. In particular, this year will see work commence on a large expansion of one of our factories, and I continue to be heavily involved in the key decisions behind this.
Year-end also means additional reporting to ABF, and a visit from our external auditors (who, like policemen, seem to get younger every year!). My team have ensured that they have prepared the information requested so that the audit can be as efficient and cause as little disruption as possible.
People issues and management also takes up a good deal of my time. As September is the start of our financial year, I’ve had sessions with each of my direct reports to agree their objectives for the year, as well as reviewing their performance for the previous year. I ensure that we talk about their development needs and career plans as this is also very important. Finally, I have spent a lot of time on recruitment this month, as one of my reports is moving to another grocery company to take up a role that will give her the experience she needs to take on an FD role in the future.
So, it’s been another busy month, with lots of variety, satisfaction at hitting our target (again), and then pushing / challenging the business so that we can keep on improving our performance in this coming year. 
If you would like to learn more about ABF and our career opportunities, please visit the microsite here. 


Guest author: Jonathan Willis, Finance and IT Director at Westmill Foods

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