What is your name?
What is your job title?
Lead Project Manager
What do you do?
I manage and support the Project Management Team based in Edinburgh, UK.
What key skills do you bring to activpayroll?
Having worked in most areas of implementation, operations and solution design, I have good knowledge and understanding of the whole process.
What gives you the most satisfaction about your job?
It gives me great satisfaction when projects and payrolls go live with no real issues, creating a happy customer
How did you get into the payroll/tax industry and why?
I worked for an accountant many years ago and I had a choice – accountancy or payroll? And the rest is history (so they say!).
What has been the most challenging project you’ve worked on at activpayroll? Why?
Working in implementation, I guess there could be a few…However, one particular project was immensely challenging as there were many countries with huge headcounts and the customer was trying to data cleanse whilst in flight of the project. In addition, there was also no customer knowledge in particular countries. The first phase eventually went live with all countries and I put this down to the to sheer hard work, determination to succeed, teamwork and building a great relationship with the customer. Keeping up the communications was key to this project and of course, smiling and having a few beers.
What do you consider to be your greatest achievement outside of activpayroll?
I took a group of young swimmers (the youngest being 9 and the oldest being 18) from our local swimming club, Swinton Swimming, to a gala in Germany. They competed in a 50m open air pool and most of them had never swam in a 50m pool, never mind outdoors! I was one of the Team Managers and we actually came 2nd overall, competing against 27 other teams. A lot of the swimmers went home with a good number of individual medals.
What company value means the most to you and why?
Well, I would say all of them, however if I had to pick, it would be a choice of two. Being flexible is a key value. Payroll is not always black and white, sometimes a little grey, there is red, green and amber too. Having no flexibility means we do not bring other colours into our world, only black and white. Service excellence is also vital and works together beautifully with flexibility.
Do you have any hobbies/ what do you like to do in your free time?
I love to watch my children compete, whether it be in a swimming or gymnastics competition (although not at the moment). I also love to craft and make cards, since lockdown I have learnt to cook! I now make an excellent hot chicken curry and turkey pasta bake, those being my specialties.
Who is your professional role model and why?
An old manager of mine, I was going through a very difficult period in my life and she was everything at the time that I needed from a manager. She knew just when to act and she was such a support – she was the manager I aspired to be and hopefully her values shine through me in the way I now manage people and projects.
If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be and why?
There are so many I would want to have dinner with, but if I had to pick one it would be Sir Alex Ferguson. He was the most successful manager in the club’s history and he managed many different teams during this time and such huge personalities. He could also tell some very good stories and I would love to sit around a table with him.