In Finance, we’re involved in every project across the company, assessing business cases, evaluating cost against benefits and giving final authorisation. This means we’re right at the heart of the business, ensuring it’s prepared to meet its objectives as it continues to change and grow.
To succeed here, you’ll need a proactive approach, with a keen eye for detail, a focus on accuracy and strong numerical skills. You’ll also need to be a decision-maker, with the ability to see the bigger picture.
We operate in a business that’s always evolving to stay ahead of the market, so we’re constantly exposed to change. This dynamic atmosphere encourages personal and professional development - in fact, some of our senior managers started in one of our teams. So, join us and you’ll find we’re not a typical finance department - there’s a real buzz that comes from the passion our people have for their work.
We monitor and post transactions to help ensure the company’s incomings and outgoings are accurately and appropriately recorded, and treated in accordance with the appropriate accounting technical guidance. We also collate and summarise these transactions so that we can report externally, to the public markets and our regulators on the financial performance and soundness of the company.
We act as a trusted and knowledgeable service function to business and to management. We work collaboratively with business areas to craft and agree financial budgets, prepare forecasts and deliver sensitivities to accountable executives and leaders, and for the Group boards. We prepare action-focussed reporting on financial performance against targets and work with the business to identify opportunities to improve financial performance.
We review and challenge day to day decision making, providing advice to dozens of senior management meetings. We support the business as partners and advisers in crafting business cases, ensuring that change delivers the best value for the Group. We also offer independent insight into risks to these plans to ensure decision making is well-informed. We support the business in monitoring benefits and costs from projects throughout delivery.
We support the company’s daily transactions through five teams: banking, payables and receivables, sales ledger and reconciliation, purchasing and purchasing ledger.
As well as reporting the half year and annual results and communicating with external stakeholders, we handle technical accounting issues such as the application of accounting policies.
We maintain all of the key finance systems to ensure they run smoothly, troubleshooting and fixing problems when they occur. This includes upgrading and developing the systems to accommodate changing requirements and continuous improvement. This often involves defining user requirements, working with other teams across the organisation and then testing systems changes prior to launch.
From dealing with tax returns to monitoring tax changes and their potential impact and liaising with HMRC, we handle all tax matters. These include ensuring that we comply with all legal requirements, both in the UK and in other countries where we operate, and collect and remit taxes on behalf of the relevant tax authorities.
We manage the company’s banking relationships and treasury activities, always making sure that there is enough cash in order to meet the company’s obligations. As part of this, we allocate the excess funds that we have between banks and other counterparties, always ensuring that monies are safe, earn an appropriate rate of interest and are accessible. We oversee the main cash payment and receipt processes throughout the company and keep detailed cash flow forecasts, ensuring that there is sufficient cash flow to meet the working capital needs of the business.
Not all of our teams operate from all of our offices. Below you can see the offices in which these teams are based.
I joined Hastings Direct in 2010 as a Sales Agent straight out of College and after a few different roles in Sales, moved to the Finance team. I have been supported by the business to complete my CIMA (accounting) qualification and this has led to me doing a variety of roles I otherwise wouldn’t of had the opportunity to do. Within these roles there has been great encouragement to collaborate with various parts of the business and be involved in some interesting projects. I have always found Hastings Direct keen to promote from within where possible and there are always plenty of internal opportunities to develop.
I joined Hastings Direct in 1999 and over the years, I’ve seen the culture develop into a friendly and co-operating environment, which makes it a great atmosphere. We’re not the stereotypical dull finance department - we’re a lively and collaborative team where everyone’s always happy to help, including senior management. I value this sociable environment, because it makes work far more pleasurable. There are many development opportunities here. I’ve always felt empowered and encouraged to put forward my own ideas and to shape my own role and team. I personally have moved into a managerial role and I’ve seen many colleagues develop and progress.
I have been on the Finance Graduate programme for 7 months working in the Financial Accounts Team. My first rotation was extremely rewarding - working on a variety of projects and regularly cooperating with senior leaders. It has been a great opportunity to develop my technical knowledge and understanding of the wider business. One of the best things about the Finance Graduate programme is being part of the agile and fast paced culture; there is always something new and exciting. Moreover, I receive great study support for my company funded ACCA qualification – it’s the perfect platform to kickstart my career!
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