Sandy: A Day In The Life Of… A Finance Manager

Meet Sandy — our Finance Manager here at Wessex IT.

Sandy is an integral cog in our team and is responsible for everything to do with finances within the business.

Sandy has two children and four grandchildren, who all live nearby in Horsham, so family is a massive part of her life away from her desk. Besides enjoying family time, Sandy likes to take long walks, read, and believe it or not, is a keen gamer — Candy Crush Saga amongst others!

We’ve asked our lovely Sandy to share a day in her life as a Finance Manager.

an image showing sandy garnham finance manager

Give us a brief history of your time with Wessex IT — weren’t you one of the first ever team members, Sandy?

I started working at Wessex IT on 2nd May 2009 as a bookkeeper. Other than our Sales Director, Andrew Sewell, and our Technical Director, Richard Maynard, I was one of the first ever members of the team. Over the years, I have seen the business grow from strength to strength — from practically the very beginning, all the way up to the present day with our continuously growing team.

I did briefly leave the company in 2012, as my husband was sent out to the USA on a work contract. However, I did still manage to keep in touch with Andrew via the charity accounts that I look after. While all of this was happening, I was coming back to the UK every 3 months to see family, staying for 3 months, travelling back out to the USA: and so the cycle continued.

During one of my trips back to the UK, I managed to catch up with Andrew, as my position had opened back up again — they offered me the position there and then and set me up to work from home in the USA, working in the office whenever I was back in the UK. This went on for another 2 years, until I made my official return back to the UK.

The rest is history.

Other than Andrew and Richard, I am the longest standing member of the team. However, our then Service Desk Engineer and now Projects Director, Jon McLennan, started working at Wessex IT while I was on my break — it’s now an ongoing debate between the two of us as to who has been here the longest!

What do you do in your role? Can your typical day change day by day, or do you have a routine that you stick to, Sandy?

As the company’s Finance Manager, I do exactly what it says on the tin — I deal with all of the finances within the business! From wages and accounting, to liaising with both our customers and suppliers. I also look after the accounts for our charity, Living Waters Ministries.

When it comes to my typical day, first things first: coffee! I like to be early, in order to ease myself into the working day, so that I’m not stressed when I start. I normally reconcile the bank, go through my emails, and flag those that will need to be worked on later.

As I have set tasks that I need to complete every month, my job is mostly quite repetitive with not a lot of change — the odd surprise here and there, but it keeps me on my toes! I thankfully don’t face too many challenging situations as I have been in the position for a long time — I am always aware of what is coming up and make sure to plan accordingly.

As well as the above tasks that I carry out, I also input supplier invoices, reconcile the statements with the purchase ledger; towards the middle of the month, I do the credit chasing. I decipher, figure out and release the payroll and the pension, pay and submit any returns; on the first day of any month, I make sure to run our monthly billing and deal with any queries our customers and clients may have about their finances.

I’m sure you have great working relationships with both colleagues and clients, Sandy!

We get on very well as a team! Steve Higgs, Becky Whitfield and I have worked together downstairs for a good while now, and although there is plenty of chatter, laughter and good times shared, we do manage to get through a lot of work and often help each other with any issues that happen to crop up. As well as Steve and Becky, Ian Allward joined us downstairs in 2022; Cameron Rowell, Jordan McGowan and Ryan Mills in 2023 — I love our little downstairs team.

As I have been at Wessex IT for 14 years overall, I do know a lot of our clients and have over the years formed a very secure relationship with them all. Although the client base and the business itself has grown (and is still continuing to grow exponentially) over the years, we still like to maintain a personal relationship with all of our clients. I am very lucky to have both Becky and Andrew by my side, who help with any billing queries that may crop up.

What role does technology play in your role and your daily tasks, Sandy?

Before joining Wessex IT, I was living in South Africa, and although I had used computerised systems before, they were nothing like they had here. Also, as I was joining an IT support company, computer literacy was an important skill to have — I was very lucky that we were only a small team at the time, and that Andrew was such a good teacher.

Before long, we had the technology all under control; as we grew as a company, so did my knowledge of these computerised systems. It has made my working life so much easier — especially with the sheer amount of tasks I have to complete using technology. I now try to embrace change wherever and whenever I can, as I simply couldn’t do what I need to do in a single day without all of the amazing technology that we have today.

Who is your biggest support at Wessex IT, Sandy?

I have a great support system at Wessex IT, but my biggest support has to be both Andrew and Becky. We work really closely together and are often there to help each other when we’re struggling with specific tasks. The rest of the team are fantastic and are always there for any technical issues or queries, or even just some emotional support or a good laugh!

What do you love most about your role, as well as Wessex IT as a whole, Sandy?

I absolutely love my job at Wessex IT. The whole team is amazing, my working hours are great, as they give me more time to spend with my family, and I love the fact that I know my job and what to expect — the days may bring some challenges and surprises, but we are always able to overcome them together!

Find out more about Sandy and the rest of our team in Meet The Team.

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