A Day in the Life Of… Michael Lynn, Systems Accountant

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From Product Engineers and Procurement Managers to Software Engineers and Systems Architects, there is a range of roles and expertise that help us deliver our intelligent train technology and high calibre customer service. To introduce you to the team behind the technology, we have created A Day in the Life Of article to share with you. Here Michael Lynn, Systems Accountant, shares an insight into his role at Petards Rail.

 

Please provide an overview of your role at Petards Rail…
I have been working at Petards Rail since June 2022, initially as a Management Accountant and currently as a Systems Accountant.
Digital systems and finance go hand in hand, and I have an interest and experience with both, something which I get to utilise within this role. For example, we have recently invested in a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system and one of my core responsibilities is the implementation and development of this. I also have the financial side of my role to undertake. For me, I am predominantly involved in the manufacturing side of the business, from a finance perspective.

 

What is a typical day in your role?
There is no typical day, every day is quite different, as my role is so multi-faceted. For example, there is the financial element of my role in which I undertake tasks such as month end finances, and then there is my work on our ERP system.


The implementation of the system itself is very varied. In fact, I would say, it is two pronged – there is the ongoing implementation as well as the development of systems and processes. Day-to-day on the ERP I am troubleshooting and guiding colleagues through any questions or issues they may have. I am also training all employees on the system to ensure they can maximise on its benefits and the data it holds.


My aim is to implement the system and establish it in a way in which it improves efficiency and effectiveness, benefiting our employees and in turn allowing us to better serve our customers. In line with this, I am developing a report suite from which the business can get critical and live information, accessing data in real-time so we can make quicker and better-informed decisions. I am also building approval processes within the systems, in line with our frameworks, controls and auditors.

 

What is the most enjoyable element of your job and what is the most challenging?
The most fulfilling part of my job is being able to help people. One of my strengths is problem solving and being able to utilise this to help people resolve their issues, navigate challenges or to answer their queries with regards to the ERP system – and anything else they may need – really makes the day worthwhile. This can also be the most challenging part of my job. As I am helping people with the ERP system and resolving issues as and when they arise, so it can be hard to plan in larger scale project work. I have to be very reactive and agile.


In summary, while the volume of people I assist and the unpredictability of this are demanding aspects of my job, they also present opportunities for growth and improvement, making it a rewarding experience overall.

 

What advice would you give to others looking to move into finance?
I have more than 25 years’ experience within the finance industry, and I have witnessed a lot of change in recent years with regards to the role of finance within businesses.


Previously in-house finance roles were solely, or predominantly, focused on ‘crunching numbers’ so to speak. You would produce and analyse data day in, day out. Now I am seeing that roles are more that of a management accountant or finance business partners. The difference between the traditional accountant or finance person – and I am talking about a management accountant here and not a Chartered Accountant – is that as a management accountant or finance business partner you provide a lot more support throughout a business. You are heavily involved in wider aspects of a business, and you act as advisor to a multitude of different areas and departments of a business. Whilst this is great as it can integrate you into wider aspects of the business, it does mean you have to have a strong business acumen.


Within finance, not only do you need to have a knack for numbers, but you need to be organised and incredibly thorough as it is a stringent and deadline driven field.

 

Find out more about our intelligent train technology here.

A Day in the Life Of… Michael Lynn, Systems Accountant