Taking on more responsibility at work

geek84geek84 Trusted RegularMAAT Posts: 527
Good Morning folks

I have been working in the finance department at my present company for 8 months now on a permanent basis. I am over qualified for the job and the reason why I took this job was because I was out of work for quite a while.

I am now getting bored since I can perform my daily tasks without any trouble – it’s the same routine every day. However, there seems to be a lot of backlog of work in our department and I am more than happy to take some more work on.
Could someone kindly advice how to approach the manager with this?
Shall I have a one-to-one with the manager and tell her exactly what I have stated above? I don’t want to sound like I’m showing off! Also, although there does seem to be a back log of work, I would need training up on the specific tasks in order to perform the additional work.
Finally, I don’t want to be taken advantage of where loads of additional way is given to me and I struggle to do it and I don’t want to fall into the category of ‘overworked and underpaid’.

Any advice greatly appreciated.



Comments

  • David BallantyneDavid Ballantyne DurhamRegistered Posts: 88
    Hello Geek,

    Yes, I think you should approach your manager in a one to one. Explain that because you have been carrying out your existing duties for eight months now, you can complete them more efficiently, ahead of deadline and therefore you have the capacity to take on additional work.

    Mention that you are aware that there seems to be a back log of work and that you would like to help clear it. Explain that you are aware that you would need training, but that you are keen to develop your skills so that you can help out more with the finance department's work.

    Do not under any circumstances say that you are bored, over qualified or that you are seeking an opportunity to develop your career. This would be a serious mistake.

    Regarding the issue of being overworked and underpaid. Being a little overworked is definitely better than being under worked, you have stated that you are bored, being over worked would resolve that. In respect of being underpaid, if you take these duties on and perform them successfully, then this may result in a pay rise the next time that your employer reviews salaries, or the next time there is a department re-structure there may be a better paid role that you would be able to apply for, or your marketability to other employers will be increased and you could look for a better paid role else where.

    If you manager seems to talk down the possibility of you taking on additional duties, or if she says that she will consider it and then over the next couple of months does nothing about it, then I would suggest that you review whether you wish to remain with this employer. You should at all times keep an eye on the job market for a better role anyway.

    Hope that helps.

    Kind regards,

    David.
    David Ballantyne
    Connect with me on LinkedIn!
    Ballantyne Accountants
  • geek84geek84 Trusted Regular MAAT Posts: 527
    Thanks very much indeed for your detailed reply, David.
  • geek84geek84 Trusted Regular MAAT Posts: 527
    Good Morning folks

    I hope you're all well,. I just wanted to report back on my situation.. I have had a chat with my manager a few weeks ago and she did give me a 'very small' pay rise along with some extra responsibility. However, that extra responsibility is just more customers to chase for credit control. Also, another person in our dept. who also did credit control and only qualified to level 3 of AAT, has been given an 'internal promotion' as an assistant accountant. I am not very happy about that !

    Can someone kindly please advice the next steps that I should take.

    Shall i keep plodding on with my extra work load and keep quiet or talk to my line manager about the other person who has been given this new job, or wait for another (say) 3 months and ask for more responsibilities etc?

    Any advice greatly appreciated.
  • David BallantyneDavid Ballantyne DurhamRegistered Posts: 88
    Hi Geek,

    I believe that you have posted on Aweb. Could you check my reply on that site?

    OK, you have investigated the opportunities for development with your manager. Your manager has tried to appease your aspirations for development by giving you a "very small" pay rise and extra responsibility which does not represent any form of real development.

    Despite the fact that you are AAT fully qualified, and (I assume) are doing your job well, and have expressed a desire for development, your manager has given a development opportunity to a less qualified member of staff who was also doing credit control. Unfortunately, this is all too common a situation, it has happened to me also. Once, when I described when I found myself in this situation to a recruitment consultant, his response was, "I have heard this so many times".

    In my own case, I have finally given up on attempting to develop a career in employment and have decided to go self-employed in the near future.

    Something that you have not stated in this thread is what your career aspirations are. You need to clarify this as it will inform the decisions that you need to make and any advice you may receive from the forum. You need to know exactly where you want to go if you want to steer your career in a satisfying direction.

    In my view, you should continue with your current role and keep quiet. Take time to clearly define to yourself what your career goal is. Then you can start identifying actions you can take which are consistent with achieving that goal. State your goal in this thread.

    Questions to consider:
    Do you want to remain in an employed career or would you consider self-employment?
    Would you accept a salary drop for the right role?
    Would you consider temping? This can be an excellent way to gain development opportunities.
    Would you consider a voluntary role if the experience was consistent with your career goal?
    Would you consider short training courses in skills consistent with your career goal? E.g. Sage Accounts, Sage Payroll, advanced Excel etc.
    Would you consider studying for a chartered level qualification? I would recommend CIMA as this leaves open the option of self-employment while still a student member unlike ACCA. Even only registering as a student of a chartered level qualification would be useful; merely doing that and putting it on your CV shows aspiration to potential employers.

    Think this over and post your thoughts on this thread.

    Regards,

    David.
    David Ballantyne
    Connect with me on LinkedIn!
    Ballantyne Accountants
  • geek84geek84 Trusted Regular MAAT Posts: 527
    Hi David

    Many thanks indeed for your detailed reply. I don't remember posting on Aweb and I can't get onto that site either.
    I would be most grateful if you post that response here unless the above is a copy of it anyway.

    Like yourself, I do feel like going self employed and am in the process of doing some research while I have this full time permanent job. In the long run, I would like to go full time self employed but we (I am married and have 2 teenage dependents) are looking for a bigger property, and it is usually easier to get a mortgage while you are working for an employer rather than self employed (guaranteed income etc).

    I would like to become a full time self employed bookkeeper (I have qualifications through ICB), but at the same time I also would like to advance my career with an employer to an (for example) assistant accountant level, while setting up my business.

    I don't mind a drop in salary for the right role since I feel my accounting skills are not being put to use with the present job and I feel my AAT qualifications was a waste of time. I qualified in 2013.

    The idea of going temping doesn't really attract me since I need permanent income, because of my personal situation (married and have 2 dependent teenagers).

    I would consider voluntary work to develop my skills but can only do that at weekends, due to this full time job that I currently have.

    I have already done a few short courses and have certificates in Sage Payroll, Sage Accounts and Excel.

    I did consider studying for the chartered qualification when I finished AAT but 2 things stopped me - I am 50 years old now and by the time I get qualified I would b in my mid 50s or more. Also, time commitment would be a problem, due to family commitments.

    Any further advice greatly appreciated.

    Thanks so much.
  • David BallantyneDavid Ballantyne DurhamRegistered Posts: 88
    Hi Geek,

    So is this not you? https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/any-answers/how-to-get-relevant-experience-in-accountancy

    Will post a more detailed response later.

    David.
    David Ballantyne
    Connect with me on LinkedIn!
    Ballantyne Accountants
  • geek84geek84 Trusted Regular MAAT Posts: 527
    Hi David
    Yes that is definitely me. However in your post you wrote Aweb and that confused me!

    Very sorry about that
  • David BallantyneDavid Ballantyne DurhamRegistered Posts: 88
    Hi Geek,

    Regarding your aspiration to achieve an assistant accountant position and set up your own business, I think you need to choose one or the other and then focus all your energy on that choice. Give yourself time to reflect on your feelings in respect of each choice and then choose the option that seems to have the greatest hope for happiness for you.

    Regarding myself, a couple of years ago I tried to take a step up the career ladder by getting a new job. Over two years of very pro-actively applying for jobs, I had 16 interviews, many for really good jobs, and although I came close a few times, I didn't get an offer.

    When I reflected on this and compared this to the experience I had of trying to start my own practice a few years earlier, when with very little promotion I gained two clients fairly easily, it seemed to make far more sense to try to start a practice again. The only reason I stopped the first time was that a change in family circumstances meant that I didn't have the spare time necessary for the business.

    In short, I think it is easier to gain private clients than it is to get a new job. I also feel that I would enjoy the greater level of responsibility for managing my own business.

    If I was in your situation I would stay in the existing job and start a spare time practice. This would enable you to make more money and develop your practice experience. Being in a permanent job would help you get a mortgage on a new house, and the extra cash from the business would help ease the burden of the higher mortgage payments.

    At some point in the future, you may be able to contemplate going full-time in the business, or going part-time in the business and part-time in your job.

    Regarding the ICB and the AAT. If you start your own practice, I think you may need to choose which body you want to be in. I don't think they would recognise each other for practice license purposes. It is my understanding that the ICB does not require members to have experience before they start a practice, whereas the AAT does, so in this respect it may be easier to leave the AAT. You could always rejoin the AAT after a couple of years of being in practice and gaining experience.

    If you do choose to practice under the ICB, if you have not already done so, it would probably be worth your while to complete their Level 3 diplomas in payroll and self-assessment tax in order to offer a fuller range of services.

    Additionally, as a slightly irrelevant point, the Institute of Financial Accountants seem to offering full membership to fully qualified AAT members. Just though I would mention in case it would be of interest to you.

    Hope that helps,

    Regards,

    David.
    David Ballantyne
    Connect with me on LinkedIn!
    Ballantyne Accountants
  • geek84geek84 Trusted Regular MAAT Posts: 527
    Hi David

    Once again, many thanks indeed for your informative post. I have decided to practice under ICB for the very reason you have stated above, and continue to build my business 'on the side', as well as going to work on a full time basis, for now.

    I have also received the course material and will start studying self-assessment. There just seems to be too much to learn and I don't think the pass rate is very high !

    Hopefully after completing this, I will go on to study their Level 3 diplomas in payroll and self-assessment
  • burgburg Experienced Mentor GloucesterModerator, FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,421
    Some great advice from David.

    I'd suggest that you should get yourself to a point where you have suitable experience (not qualifications necessarily) in accounts production and taxation.

    With upcoming changes in the accountancy world and automation becoming much easier in our industry bookkeeping may not be a long term career choice.

    It does sound like this employer is not for you and maybe you should start putting things in place for what you want to be doing long term.

    I made that tough decision 9 years ago and I went through some tough times getting our practice off the ground. Now though with a proactive modern vision for the future we are flourishing. I'm very glad I took control of my own career when I did.
    Regards,

    Burg
  • geek84geek84 Trusted Regular MAAT Posts: 527
    Thanks for your reply but the million dollar question is how do i get the suitable experience?
  • burgburg Experienced Mentor GloucesterModerator, FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,421
    Apply for practice based positions. Someone somewhere may be willing to take that chance. It is easier said than done though.

    From my experience typical problems with taking people from industry to practice:-

    1 - The main one - struggling to chop and change between clients numerous times per day.

    2 - Doing incomplete records jobs - jobs where not all info is present and you have to obtain info from various sources

    3 - Understanding how and what to prepare as working papers to prove workings

    4 - Understanding in detail the various deadlines for VAT, tax, Payroll, etc.
    Regards,

    Burg
  • geek84geek84 Trusted Regular MAAT Posts: 527
    Thanks very much indeed but I would much prefer to work in industry rather than a practice
  • burgburg Experienced Mentor GloucesterModerator, FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,421
    geek84 said:

    Thanks very much indeed but I would much prefer to work in industry rather than a practice

    In which case I would definitely suggest you need to gain experience either in your current organisation or another organisation which can enable you to get a position in Industry that matches the type of work you want to be doing.

    The number of companies who outsource bookkeeping but not tax work is small.
    Regards,

    Burg
  • geek84geek84 Trusted Regular MAAT Posts: 527
    Thanks burg however I'm in a catch 22 situation.
    My current employer doesn't seem to have any openings at the moment and I can't get a job elsewhere without the suitable experience!!
  • geek84geek84 Trusted Regular MAAT Posts: 527
    Hi Folks

    I hope you're all well. Let me start off by saying how much I appreciate the valuable advice which you kind folks are giving me.

    My current situation is as follows:

    Another month has past and I seem to be getting towards the end of my work load in credit control for this month. I have got all the big payment promises including dates and figures etc.

    Obviously now, I am in a position to take on more work. But as you know, I don't want additional credit control work. Some of you have suggested getting business analysis and reporting experience. What do you think is the best way of doing that? If I speak directly to the financial controller, then my line manager may get upset, in that she may think I am undermining her authority.

    Shall I have another meeting with the line manager and say I have the capacity to take on more work but not specifically credit control work? Don't you think that would be a bit cheeky? The line manager may get the impression that I am just working for the organization to get more accounting experience and then move on to another employer! Or, shall I ask her that I would like to shadow the accounting team on specific days of the week?

    To be honest, I feel so awkward asking to take on more work but not credit control work!! How do you folks suggest I do this?

    Once again , any advice given would be greatly appreciated.
  • dsg1978dsg1978 MAAT, AATQB Posts: 21
    My advice would be to keep talking. Any employer of value would recognise an employee who just wants to progress. It's more about how you ask than what you ask but the simple saying 'if you don't ask you don't get' rings true for most employers.
  • burgburg Experienced Mentor GloucesterModerator, FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,421
    I'd approach them and say you have realised you have some spare capacity coming up and see what they say. If they mention credit control work you could explain that you feel ready to take on more responsibility.
    Regards,

    Burg
  • geek84geek84 Trusted Regular MAAT Posts: 527
    Hi folks

    I hope you're all well. I emailed my line manager a few days ago, asking for more work and responsibility..

    Below is the outline of the email:

    As you know, I have now been working with the additional branch debts for the last few months. I feel that I can quite comfortably deal with all 4 branch ledgers, and have the capacity to take on more work.

    Hopefully, you agree that the timing and quality of my work is to your satisfaction? If not, then please do let me know.

    However, to take on more work, I am fully aware that I would or may need further training/explaining in order, but I am keen to develop my skills so that I can help out in other work areas of the organization. I am willing to volunteer for other tasks/projects and work outside my normal working hours i.e. I am able to come to work earlier or stay late, if necessary.

    Perhaps we could have an informal chat (face to face or via email) about how I am doing and how I can grow my role?

    Thanks



    Do you think the above is ok? Could I have worded it differently? How long should I wait until sending a follow up email or the same email again?

    Thanks in advance for your responses.
  • burgburg Experienced Mentor GloucesterModerator, FMAAT, AAT Licensed Accountant Posts: 1,421
    It's difficult as I've not been in employment for almost 10 years now and the way I run my practice staff would just approach and talk to me. I wouldn't expect them to email me or have to email me to get a face to face meeting.

    Anyway I think you raise some useful points. I possibly would have held back on the voluntary bit as that could be your next step if they had raised any objections.

    good luck
    Regards,

    Burg
  • David BallantyneDavid Ballantyne DurhamRegistered Posts: 88
    Hi Geek,

    I think the email is fine. It is professional and to the point. Clearly your feelings about your potential and progressing your career are very strong. My view is that because you feel so strongly, you have to take action to deal with your frustration. You are making the right decisions in line with your strength of feeling. As someone previously stated, "shy bairns get nowt". Sometimes you just have to take risks to further your happiness.

    As always, however, keep an eye on the external job market, maintain contact with agencies, go to branch events for AAT, CIMA and ACCA and network, make sure your LinkedIn profile is up to date and connect with people.

    Kind regards,

    David.
    David Ballantyne
    Connect with me on LinkedIn!
    Ballantyne Accountants
  • geek84geek84 Trusted Regular MAAT Posts: 527
    Thanks David
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