Staff Profile: Alison Shaw – Finance Officer

Continuing our regular profiles of members of our staff, this time we’ve asked Alison Shaw, our finance officer and office manager, a few questions about her job and life outside the office.

Alison is one of the staff members who have been with CLS the longest. She joined the company 9 years ago expecting to stay with us for a few months but she proved to be an invaluable member of staff and continues to support not only our project managers but some of our clients too.

1. Describe the typical day of a finance officer at CLS. If no two days are the same, provide some examples of what might be on your to do list.

Well, I feel as if there is no such thing as a typical day; I often come in with a plan of seven things to do but by close of play I’ve not got past the third item on the list!  Having said that, routine jobs include monitoring income and expenditure including client and funder payments, preparing finance sheets for the management board meetings, coordinating payroll, liaising with our landlord and IT support team and additionally ensuring health and safety compliance. More off the wall activities include helping out at community consultations  (Oban in a snowstorm was fun!), helping project managers with inputting and results analysis, organizing conferences and other CLS events. But – if anyone needs help setting up a spread sheet, proof read a document or organize the coffee and cakes – I’m your woman!

2. What do you like about working at CLS?

I joined CLS as a 3 month stop gap following redundancy from a previous job – that was 9 years ago and so I must like something about it! Working with third sector organizations was new to me and I found it interesting as our client base is very varied and no two projects are the same. We are a hard working and committed team and I enjoy being a part of that atmosphere.

3. What is the most challenging part of your job?

Monitoring the spend on projects and chasing people, including staff, for the paperwork to help me do this! I have to find 20 ways of asking people to provide me with what I need and by when I need it!

4. If you weren’t in this job, what would you like to do?

I love coordinating and organizing; I also love things to look stylish so I think I would like to be a wedding planner! Or some kind of events coordinator. In the background, but ensuring that everything ran smoothly; attention to detail and looking classy.

5. What would be a perfect day when you’re not at work?

Apart from winning the lottery, a combination of a walk with the dogs, caring for my daughters’ horses, a good bowls match and a lovely meal with my daughters (both of whom are pregnant just now!) and their partners.

6. What is your worst habit at the office?

Muttering to myself when I am not in a good mood!

7. What is your greatest work accomplishment?

Staying here for 9 years!

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