Today, we’re introducing you to Marie Hughes; Billing and Finance Manager here at Trail.
I’m Trail’s Billing and Finance Manager. If there’s a pound, euro or dollar sign attached to anything it’s likely been through my hands at one point. I set up subscriptions, answer invoice queries and reconcile payments.
I’m with our customers from the start of their Trail journey to the very end in that sense. I also do all the ‘boring’ finance stuff like preparing financial reports, the P&L, VAT etc 😴
I didn’t actually plan on working in finance! I studied Forensic Science at university and had lofty plans of becoming a CSI agent which didn’t quite pan out after the Forensic Science Service was dissolved...
My move into finance started when I was working as an Admin Assistant for an IT company in 2015 and was asked to help out with inputting invoices into Sage. This turned into a larger role with more billing responsibilities. In 2017 I started working at an aerospace manufacturer processing their sales ledger and looking after credit control. When the pandemic hit I was processing purchase invoices as well, and also managed the freight and shipping logistics for outgoing systems. I’ve donned many hats!
I started working for Trail in late 2021 and now look after the entire finance function at Trail.
I’m going to be sneaky and use two.
Grow our own - “We believe that any skill or talent can be learned through deliberate practice. Hire for these values and support others to become the best they can be, invest in each other and grow together. “
I’ve discovered a passion for analysing data since starting at Trail and I’ve been supported in exploring that avenue. I have learned SQL and how to truly be proficient in Excel/Google Sheets. I’m using my new skills to help push Trail forward and make the right decisions for us, and for our customers.
Make the Tea - “Be thoughtful, generous and kind. No politics, no games. Put yourself in the shoes of others, act with compassion and cover each other when life happens”
I think this is the one value that makes Trail Trail. We always put ourselves in other’s shoes and support where we can. Whether this helping a colleague if they’re sick, or helping our customers if something goes a bit awry - we always try to go above and beyond. Everyone is human at the end of the day.
Calendar blocking! I take 30 minutes each morning to look at my emails and priorities for the day and block my calendar out accordingly. Hardest tasks always go first so it feels like a reward when I get to work on things I enjoy.
Keeping distractions to a minimum is also essential for me so when I’m working on big tasks I turn my Slack/Teams notifications off.
Our annual retrospective in December. When you’re working continuously on multiple projects it’s sometimes hard to see what’s going on in a larger scale. It was great to look back and see all that we had achieved in Trail in 2022. I felt really proud seeing that that we’d all individually and collectively achieved so much in the last year considering all the changes. It gave me that extra push and has made me excited to see what the rest of 2023 will bring.