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Maria Browne

Office Manager, Embassy Components Ltd.

Job Office Manager
Employer Embassy Components Ltd., Roscrea, Co. Tipperary
Education Bachelor of Business Studies, University of Limerick (2004),
Advance Diploma in Management Accounting (2007),
Chartered Institute of Management Accountants Award (CIMA; 2009)

After leaving school I worked for a sales and marketing company as an accounts clerk. I received in-house training from a consultant, who trained me in profit-and-loss accounts and reporting. He advised me to get a qualification, so I took a Business Studies degree at the University of Limerick. It was tough fitting it around my job, but well worth it. My employers funded the course and were very supportive, giving me days off when I needed them.

I currently work in the finance department of a company that procures electronic components. As Office Manager I oversee all the financial reporting, including month-end procedures and payroll. I liaise directly with accountants and prepare our reports for them. It’s pretty quiet at the beginning of the year, but I am flat out by Christmas time.

I particularly enjoy month-end procedures. These involve ensuring that all outstanding documentation is input on the system correctly and that the bank accounts are reconciled. I make sure that all the information has been entered accurately into the general ledger before printing off the month-end reports for management purposes. There's a lot of paperwork involved in my job, but it's very satisfying to see the results of my work, and its impact on the company.

Advice for graduates

Consider broadening your horizons with a professional qualification. CIMA will allow you to enter the financial sector in a variety of different positions, such as project management, general management or marketing; you won’t be limited to an accountancy practice. I attained an advance diploma in management accounting in June 2007 as part of the CIMA education ladder. On completing my final exams I was awarded my CIMA qualification as a management accountant and became a member of the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants.