Empowering and Encouraging Women in Finance: an interview with Andi Lonnen of www.financetrainingacademy.com
Andi runs a business called the Finance Training Academy which makes learning about business finance fun!
Andi, tell us about you do..
Previously, i was an accountant and I’m experienced to Commercial Finance Director level. I’m also author of ‘Be Fabulous at Finance’ published by Oodlebooks. I currently chair the ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) Corporate Sector Network and previously chaired their Yorkshire Womens Network and Business Leaders Forum.
How did you get into this. Did you train straight out of school/Uni or was it a more roundabout journey?
It was more of a roundabout journey! I started off in sales and marketing after university (I’d studied an Economic and Social History degree at Exeter University) before trying my hand at accountancy. I discovered, probably to mine and every else’s astonishment, that I thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved the business element rather than just numbers for numbers sake. After working my way through the ranks in various blue chip and SME organisations, I now love training those who are bamboozled by their monthly finance and budget reports and making finance enjoyable and engaging for them.
Can you explain what a typical day for you might be?
One thing with running your own business is there is definitely no typical day! I might be delivering a 1, 2 or 3 day training programme, speaking at a conference, travelling from one part of the UK to the other, working on course design, attending business development meetings or networking events or I might be doing some marketing, admin or, the thing I should be best at, my bookkeeping and accounts!
What’s your experience from a women’s point of view. Would you say it is a good job for a woman?
Accountancy is a great career option for women. There are so many different aspects to it, it provides an excellent business background and it can lead to you doing absolutely anything as a career, it opens so many doors. Everyone needs a basic grasp of finance in their work whether you are a manager, run your own business or are a technical expert – finance is the language of business after all.
What would your advice be to someone thinking of entering this profession?
I’d say just do it! No learning is ever a waste of time if you don’t like it. Talk to as many people in the profession as you can to gain as many different perspectives as possible. The exams are not easy but perfectly do-able with some hard work. The feeling of achievement is fabulous! And the exams are your passport to a fantastic career in finance and business.
What’s your best financial advice for any woman?
Know your (business) numbers. You can make smart, well-informed decisions when you know your numbers that boost financial performance. No one can pull the wool over your eyes when you have a good grasp of your financials.