We asked Route Finance Director (Scotland) of Network Rail, Tom Greenan about his career and what his predictions are for the future of the finance profession in our new series, 5 burning questions.
Tell us a little bit about yourself:
I graduated with a Bachelor of Accountancy Degree from Glasgow University and qualified as a Chartered Accountant while training at Kidsons Impey. I always intended to move into industry and spent five years at Compaq and learned a lot about how businesses operate from the management team there.
To pick up some further Financial Controller experience I moved to Siemens and spent five years in their outsourcing / business services and then wind power generation divisions. From there I was asked by manager at Siemens to follow him to work on transformation projects at firstly BT and then Vertex. I then moved back to Glasgow to work at Network Rail which allowed me to get involved with my interest in engineering as well as financial management. Ten years on I am still enjoying the journey!
What is your career highlight?
Travelling with Compaq to Dubai, Boston, Budapest, Lisbon and Munich. I also spent a lot of time in Munich during my career at Siemens and made a number of friends there - I still visit every couple of years.
What is your biggest career learn?
Being right isn’t always enough - you also have to take people with you.
How do you manage work/ life balance?
Build (and be part of) high performing teams which will deliver outputs before they are required. Co-ordination of this effort is the key!
What one piece of advice would you give to someone who is at the beginning of their finance career?
Working as a Finance professional gives you access to senior executives and board rooms very early in your career. Use this experience to your advantage as you progress!
What does the future of the finance profession look like to you?
Reporting and analysis are already automated. The value-add from Finance is to identify and drive continuous improvement based on your business knowledge and experience. Our strong logical and ethical foundations also allow us to identify risks and challenge where others fear to do so.
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