Are you interested in making a difference in the world? You don't need to wear a cape to work every day, but you might need a keen eye for finances and a good idea of how to run a business. Using skills acquired over a long career, World Vision CFO Rebecca Glover is making the world a better place with her financial know-how and accounting savvy.
Here's how she breaks down a typical week:
My day starts at 5am, and I get in a couple of hours of work or some exercise before I head to the office. At 8.30am, I catch up with my assistant, Candice, and run through the calendar for the week to make sure it aligns with my priorities. Also, it is an excellent opportunity to catch up about the weekend.
Every Monday afternoon, my manager and peers get together for our Leadership Group meeting where we discuss both strategic and operational matters. Once a month, I present our monthly financial results more formally. In these meetings, we discuss historical financial performance and also some of the lead indicators for future financial performance, such as average donation values, the number of active supporters and supporter feedback trends.
I'm up at 5am again and at the gym by 5.30am for my personal training session with Tamzin, which is usually a legs session. On Tuesdays, I have formal catch-ups scheduled with my staff. For a half-hour each week, I dedicate time to checking how each team is positioned, how they are finding work, what their challenges are, as well as recognising their successes for the last week, providing feedback and discussing staff development opportunities.
Today I had a meeting with my Financial Controller to discuss some of her due diligence analysis for a company we are considering investing in. While we may be a not-for-profit, we need to seek broad income streams to fund our charitable activities - broader than just donations and government grants, which are traditional but important avenues for income. Social enterprises are growing in Australia and we are looking at how best to leverage this opportunity.
This morning I am back at the gym at 5.30am to meet my personal trainer - today's session is all about arms!
As CFO, I am Chair of the Management Risk Committee. At today's meeting, we covered off proposed improvements to our processes regarding working with children checks and criminal record checks for employees. We are a child-focused humanitarian and development organisation, and that means we have a zero-tolerance policy for child protection breaches, and all our staff and other key stakeholders are appropriately screened. We also looked at the effectiveness of risk management processes operating in the field, and how our processes here in Australia could be strengthened to minimise risk.
Today I had an 8am Skype call with World Vision's Global Treasury team, based in Los Angeles. Along with my Financial Controller, we discussed our hedge plans for the next financial year and the possibility of changing some of our initial plans in light of more recent financial forecasts.
I was also a presenter at a 'chat room', which is an open session with staff to inform them of changes going on in the organisation. My sessions were to update staff on our financial performance and our business planning activities in preparation for the next financial year.
Finally, I had a few meetings. One meeting was with my manager, Tim Costello, to update him on some priority matters. I then had a Lead Team meeting where we discussed our employee engagement results and identified areas for development to leverage and build upon for increased staff engagement.
Gym again. This time it's cardio day.
I met with my Performance and Planning Directors to discuss progress on business planning and current financial projections for the next few years. In designing our business planning process, we are aware of aligning our income generation activity, whether that be from fundraising, grant submissions or other opportunities to our planned field project commitments.
Today I also had a meeting with someone I am mentoring - another finance professional at a different not-for-profit organisation. I really enjoy the opportunity to share the lessons I have learnt and to hear about another organisation's challenges. I also find that I can learn from them at the same time.
After work, I head to a local restaurant with one of my team members. We have a glass of red wine and chat through some work-related challenges she has faced this week.
Becoming a Chartered Accountant equipped Rebecca with the skills to successfully lead the finance department at World Vision, a business that works hard to make the world a better place. You can start working towards a brighter future by becoming CA qualified.