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  • Writer's pictureHale Portfolio

A day in the life of a part-time FD

My weekdays typically start with the normal palaver involved in getting two children out of the door to their respective schools. Once they are on their way, I walk the newest member of our family, our chocolate Labrador Hardy. Like many families recently, we decided we wanted a four-legged friend and he’s been a brilliant addition. Armed with a cup of coffee and Radio 2, I get down to work.

One of the reasons I founded Hale Portfolio was to ensure a variety with my clients and work. As such, what I work on each day varies depending on which client I’m working with and where in the business and reporting cycle we are. The most common ways I help my clients are –

  • Reviewing draft management information

  • Investigating, trialling, and implementing software to solve their issues

  • Building or updating budgets and forecast models

  • Answering questions from banks on the performance of the business

  • Reviewing statutory accounts prepared by external advisors

  • 1:1 with finance team members to help them with their work

  • Providing hands-on help– I find getting my hands dirty on the “shop floor” really helps me understand the business.

A Finance Director’s day in any business would be varied but the fact that I work with several different businesses challenges me to think on my feet, switch hats at a moment's notice, and be a good communicator. There are times when one client may suddenly have an urgent need and so being able to juggle things around is a daily requirement. It helps keeps me young!

As a part-time Finance Director, I also need to make sure that I spend enough time working on my own business. The nature of my work means that, if I do my job right, I am repeatedly making myself redundant as once I have solved my client’s problems, it is time to move on and solve the next client’s problems! As a natural problem solver, this appeals to me, and whilst word-of-mouth recommendations are very helpful, I am aware I need to spend time marketing my own business to ensure a steady flow of clients. When I’m focussing on Hale Portfolio I spend my time in various ways, including

  • Networking with other professional service providers and business owners to grow future leads. Before the pandemic this would involve lots of face-to-face events in Harrogate and York, however, these are currently being held online. On one hand, I am looking forward to seeing people face-to-face again but on the other, online networking has been very time efficient!

  • Spending time on LinkedIn to grow and nurture my connections there.

  • Working with the latest team member Becca on bookkeeping as this is an additional service we now offer clients.

  • Working with my colleague Helen on my website, marketing materials, and social media content (it was her idea to push me out of my comfort zone and write this article – thanks Helen!)

  • Completing company finance admin. I am proud to say this is one area where I practice what I preach, and I’ve always managed to submit my year-end accounts within a month thanks to Xero and Xero Tax which makes the job quite easy.

Whilst I have worked from home for years, I am increasingly finding it helpful to try and separate my work life from my home life by finishing my working day planning out my next day. Blocking out time in my diary for specific tasks has helped me to switch off and prevents my to-do list from cycling around my head.

Once I’ve logged off for the day, a typical evening will involve ferrying the kids around to their various activities, before dinner with the family. I am currently Chief Supervisor to my 11-year-old who is responsible for cooking one meal a week for us all. After the usual battle over brushing teeth, once the kids are in bed I like to catch up on some TV and we have just started watching Homeland and Line of Duty – yes, we are late to the party and so no spoilers please! Around 10.30 pm it is time to collapse into bed ready to do it all over again the next day…





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