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A day in the life of an accountant

09 March 2015

I get up early in the morning, because I know the day will be packed with chores. An accountant's work is never done, so getting a jump start on the day often helps me leave on time by the end of it.

As I arrive at work and turn on my computer, I soon notice the sheer number of emails that have arrived in my inbox. I now have 30 that are classed as "important", and a further hundred or so that I've made a note to handle when my urgent workload dies down.

With a cup of coffee at my side, I begin to work through the emails. Payroll problems - well, that needs addressing right away. A member of staff is worried that he wasn't paid last week, but he certainly should have been.

I begin to load up our payroll system, but before I can log on, I hear the door shut and the director approach my desk. He begins asking me if I've made plans for the business trip he's going on - it's certainly not part of my contract to organise such things, but I want to help.

Before leaving, he asks me about a certain troublesome client. It's been getting on to 90 days since we delivered their products, and yet we've still not been paid. Perhaps that's why this employee did not get his wage on time; is there enough money in the account to pay him? I need to check on that.

But first, let's ring the client - again! No answer; typical. Our invoice terms say 30 days, and yet they seem to be avoiding us.

Today is not going to be my day!

Alternative scenario

I arrive at work on time, just as my boss is entering my office. After a quick chat he asks how arrangements for the business trip are going. It's not technically my job, but I have a bit of extra time this month so it's OK.

I open my inbox. A few pressing matters, but nothing to worry about. Fortunately our payroll finance provider looks after some of our most pressing tasks.

Checking our company accounts, I see that our latest round of invoices have just been paid. Thanks to our invoice finance partner, we have received the cash for 80 per cent of our outstanding orders, and the remaining 20 per cent will arrive shortly - minus their small fee.

I put my feet up and relax. At this rate I might be able to clock off early!