I am Neal Jeffs, I am Interim Head of Finance for the Northern Region. So that's Norway, Sweden and Denmark, so combined with the UK, that's the Northern Region. And this is directing the finance for the entire region so both the financial planning and analysis side, and the financial reporting side.
For me, it's a great opportunity to get close to the operations side of the business, having worked in the EMEA HQ function for 15 years.
A normal day is, most recently, helping oversee the annual planning process; the rest of the year is really about making sure that we're on track to meet our financial forecast.
An unusual day would probably be coming in and doing all the things that I had set out to do at the start of the day. I think the main challenge for us at the moment is operating as a Northern Region, Sweden, Denmark and Norway have got individually different markets and cultures to our own. It's been particularly challenging, just aligning all of the systems and the processes to make sure we're all talking the same language.
Customer-focused, very customer-focused. My team, the finance guys, the ethos is around how we serve the people that we're engaging with in terms of providing them with the right financial information to make informed decisions. The team are great, they're a really strong bunch, they like to have a bit of a laugh as well, but they're, you know, extremely committed to their day jobs, they do put in the extra hours when needed.
There is an active social site: there is a sports and social club that has more formally organized events. I think you have to be intellectually curious, so you don't just accept something at face value, you know, you want to challenge the information you've got and make sure that it's correct. It might be that there is car parked up in the car parking you want to why it's there and why is it not on rent. And equally, you know, to be able to work hard as well, and putting the hours and make the difference that way. A lot of what we do is learn on the job, but there is a really good training and development setup here. In my 15 years, I've worked for a number of really good managers and they're also really supportive, and they've helped me get where I've got today.
I think it's the people, definitely, you know, the time I've been here I've worked with some really great people: the people are fantastic. You know, everybody's got time for you, whether they're in the most senior position or the most junior position. There is a whole range of opportunities in the organization and I believe it's a great opportunity for anyone coming into the business to get an entry into the company and be supported through for example, their professional training if it's an accounting qualification afterwards. Number 2, I think it's just the people in the team themselves, they are a fantastic group, they are great to work with, like to have a laugh, but equally, they'd be serious and professional in achieving their objectives.