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Rory Hannan, Financial Controller here at Weetabix talks to us about why the culture at Weetabix keeps him smiling on his way to work every day, his advice for young professionals on how to break into a financial role, and playing for the village cricket team.
What’s your role?
My current role is Financial Controller, managing a team of ten. I am responsible for maintaining the financial integrity of the financial accounts and records, ensuring we deliver on our statutory requirements such as the filing of our annual accounts and tax returns. I also oversee our accounts payable team who are responsible for paying our suppliers.
How long have you been at Weetabix?
I have been with Weetabix just over four years. I had previously worked within accounting functions at other large businesses in retail and FMCG, but Weetabix is a brand that I have grown up with and it has always been close to my heart. Prior to working here, whenever I saw the Weetabix site from either a passing train journey or driving by, I always thought it would be an amazing place to work. When I got the chance to work here, I jumped at the opportunity.
What’s it like to work at Weetabix?
Weetabix is a unique business. It still has the charm and friendliness from previous family ownership but has the corporate governance and structure you would expect to find in a larger corporate business. I have never worked anywhere quite like it and I can honestly say I enjoy coming to work every day.
Weetabix has been through a lot of change in the four years I’ve been here. I have seen a change in ownership and leadership, which has also driven cultural changes. Our new owners have driven a need to report results faster and with better controls. This has posed a challenge, but the outcome has been hugely beneficial to both the department and the business.
What do you most enjoy about working at Weetabix?
It is the culture, people and brand that keep me smiling on my way to work each day!
My colleagues here are all very friendly, approachable and willing to support. For a business of its size, I have found that Weetabix offers a lot of opportunities, especially if you demonstrate the desire to develop and progress.
What’s it like to work in Finance?
Working in finance offers a variety of roles; from business partnering operations to computing highly detailed statutory and tax returns. I have been fortunate to experience a wide breadth of roles, each one has stretched me and broadened my skillset in a different way.
Why did you choose a career in Finance?
Since studying for A-Levels, I had been interested in a career in finance. It had always been something I was good at. I enjoyed working with numbers and analysing data. Accountancy offers a structured and professional career path which really appealed to me.
What advice do you have for anyone looking to start a career in Finance?
For anyone starting a career in finance my best advice would be to prepare for hard work. Particularly in the early stages of your career, juggling professional studies alongside work can be really challenging. If you work hard, you will get through it and you will find it really rewarding.
Try as many roles as you can. The more roles you experience early on in your career, the more informed you will be about what your strengths are and what you enjoy most.
Research your end goal. If you are clear on you career goals it will make achievement easier, whether that be Finance Director, Tax Manager or Finance Manager.
Research the route to get to your goal. There are many routes into accountancy. If you start in a practice, industry or specialise in an area such as tax, this will provide difference options and different routes as to how your career progresses.
What opportunities have you had whilst at Weetabix?
I have worked in three different roles in just over four years. Each role has been a step up and each role has pushed me out of my comfort zone. I have had good support in each step forward and in my experience, Weetabix really does support those who want to progress.
What do you love doing outside of work?
With two young boys, Henry (aged 8) and Hector (aged 5), my time tends to revolve around my family. Outside of the this I am keen sports fan. I play badminton at quite a competitive level, but I enjoy most sports and I also play football and cricket, representing the village team in the latter. We are quite an active family and spend most weekends out walking or riding bikes. My wife also runs her own business so some of my evenings are taken up supporting her.