EMPLOYEE STORIES – FINANCE DEPARTMENT
At Mona Vale on the northern beaches of Sydney, a team of Active professionals is hard at work each day, managing cashflow, reconciling accounts and budgeting for the future of the company.
Comprising six accounting experts, they are the finance department and their role sees them involved with almost every area and person within the company.
Group financial controller Amanda Neilson explains the department features a tight-knit team of women who all bring unique expertise to their field.
In addition to Amanda, there’s accountant Annabel Lantin, accounts payable officer Gabriele Forster, assistant accountants Natalie Grove and Julie Lazich, and payroll manager Kay Lomas, who after more than 10 years with Active now works remotely from her hometown of Wauchope.
Between them the team is responsible for handling payroll, processing about 3000 invoices each month, and ensuring the timely payment of a large contingent of sub-contractors.
They are also tasked with the huge responsibility of allocating funds, setting up fixed assets and ensuring every cent the company spends is accounted for while navigating a vast array of contracts across the country, each with different terms and requirements.
“Anything that has a dollar attached to it, we’ll be involved in,” Amanda explains. “From profit and loss to BAS, budgeting forecasts, and right down to reconciling individual supervisor’s credit card payments”
Amanda notes most of the team have been with Active for about a decade, while Natalie joined the company about a year ago. Together they come from a variety of backgrounds and industries, including the public sector, private corporations and even the military. Most are also working mums and outside the office they have a range of interests.
Amanda notes since she joined Active, she’s climbed Mt Kilimanjaro and paddled down the Grand Canyon a couple of times. Annabel volunteers in nursing homes, while Natalie is currently studying to become a chartered practicing accountant, and Gabriele enjoys spending time with her two-year-old granddaughter. Meanwhile, Julie has two young boys who keep her busy and is their chauffeur on the weekends.
Each month their work ebbs and flows culminating in busy periods like month-end, end of year, and setting the budget for the year ahead.
“At Active one of the biggest things is learning the intricacies of all the contracts and what works for each one,” Amanda says.
“Each has different pricing types and that affects things like sales recognition. It can be quite challenging because the contracts are quite sizeable and every one is different.”
The team is also acutely aware their job directly impacts all areas of the business.
“Active teaches you the need to be flexible because basically any process we create needs to be as efficient as possible for the operations team. We’re a serviced-based business so we can’t slow them down.”
Amanda says the challenge is one the team thrives on, and a role they all enjoy where they have the privilege of interacting with staff, supervisors, and managers across the company.
“It’s the people who make Active,” Amanda states. “The work is complex, but the team has a lot of experience. It’s a group of girls who are very good at their jobs.”