25 August, 2016

Keeping rein on the purse strings

Before joining M&S five years ago, Joshua worked in the financial services, telecoms, FMCG and utilities sectors. This breadth of commercial experience gave him the insight to develop solutions for a retailer that’s totally at home in the digital age. So how has he found the transition to M&S and retailing?

“It’s been really enjoyable. Retail is an industry going through a lot of disruption and this means a lot of change and things never stand still. I thrive on this as it means there’s never a dull day. I always wanted to work for M&S as it is a brand that has meant so much to me from an early age. I feel proud walking round our stores knowing that I’m part of an organisation with such a rich heritage.”

Joshua’s early career with M&S moved quickly. As a Finance Analyst in the Process Adherence team at the Business Service Centre (BSC), he was responsible for reviewing the controls in the finance master data processes to ensure that they were well designed and operating effectively. But within three months he was promoted to manage a team responsible for the governance and development of the M&S Financial Control Framework as part of a new project initiated by BSC. The team also monitors the performance of internal controls through KPIs and a controls testing programme to protect M&S from financial loss.

“The team I manage is exposed to a variety of activities and we work on many strategic initiatives. It makes for a very varied and challenging role,” Joshua explains. “A typical day could involve reviewing the output from a controls test and any new risks identified with the leadership team, and identifying appropriate actions to mitigate those risks. I also work closely with my team to ensure access to our financial systems is granted appropriately, and also prepare reports and papers for the Finance leadership team on various internal control matters.”

It’s a full-on, responsible role, but Joshua is adamant about one thing: “I always make sure I take time out for lunch. Well, when you look at our delicious selection of food products, who wouldn’t break for lunch working for M&S?”

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