A Day in the Life of our Finance Manager

by Lauren Davis
Published on May 2019

Mark Dodd is our Finance Manager, who works closely with our CEO Sam Booth and the rest of the management team in the UK office to ensure that Just After Midnight delivers fantastic value to our clients. Mark started with JAM in May 2017, so has been helping to run the business from its early days. We sat down to reflect on JAM’s business growth, and how his flexible work schedule has maintained his work-life balance.

What does an average day look like?

My working week is split: Monday to Thursday, I work half-days, so that I’m able to pick up my two kids from school. The morning starts with the chaotic school run, before I head to the office and start my working day. Then I do another school run, and begin my dad duties as chef/taxi service/peacekeeper.

On Friday, I get to be a real grown up, and work in the office for a full day before enjoying a beer with the team at 5.30pm.

Day to day, I’m responsible for making sure people get paid, making sure we keep up with our company payments, and keeping the JAM management team up to date with company finances.

You’ve worked for Just After Midnight for 2 years now. What is your role like, and how does it differ from previous roles you’ve had at other companies?

Prior to working at JAM, I worked full time at an engineering firm, where I was the head of finance on a large infrastructure project in London. This could be incredibly taxing, challenging, and complex. It presented me with very different challenges than I face here at JAM, as it was a completely different project and company. I then took the decision to step away from the corporate world to become a full time carer for my then-preschool aged children. My wife works four days a week, so this left me with one day a week to carry on working. Luckily, I saw that JAM was advertising for a finance position to be filled for one day a week, which fitted into my schedule perfectly.

When I started, JAM had just onboarded our first clients. The company was advertising a relatively small role that included bookkeeping and general finance. At the time, the focus was on ensuring that we could get the ball rolling, bringing in new clients and growing our team further.

Fast forward to today, our focus is now making sure the business continues to thrive. We have grown hugely – a new dedicated office space, 28 employees in 3 time zones, and a whole host of fantastic agencies, clients and partners we work alongside.

How has your role developed since starting in 2017?

As the business has gone from strength to strength, my role has grown alongside it. As my kids have now entered full-time education, I have more and more time to be able to dedicate to JAM. I now work four mornings and one full day, which still fits around my schedule but enables me to focus more on business needs.

The bread and butter of the role has remained – I’m still responsible for making sure our team and clients get paid, and that we receive payments in return. However, rather than making sure the business survives, I am focused on developing business reporting and forecasting, so that we can focus on shaping the company into what the JAM team envisions. I have had to learn hundreds of new skills that I didn’t necessarily need to know in a corporate role. The learning curve, however, has been a steady incline – I’ve never felt like there was something I would struggle to be able to accomplish or achieve.

What are your favourite things about working for Just After Midnight?

Atmosphere

Our unique atmosphere in the office is conducive to getting things done. In many of my previous roles, I have known that there are things on my priority list that will have to slip. At JAM, I find that while there are periods of intense work, we are given the breathing space to be able to get things done, and get them done properly.

Work life balance

I’ve been able to maintain a fantastic work life balance with JAM. I have the freedom and flexibility to make sure that my hours work well with the setup I have at home.

Location

Living and working in South East London means no depressing, grinding daily commute, and I that I can run to work!

An honourable mention should also be given to the excellent coffee and even better beer on Friday at 5.30pm!

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