1, 2, 3… Who’s accounting?

If you read our last
, you’ll know that finance is not the favourite job of our Program
Director, Ali. So we were very grateful to have had an accounting super-brain
on our team recently, belonging to Kate Emery (known to her fellow HOOPsters as
‘Kate from London’).
But what inspired Kate (who’s actually from
Sussex) to pack her bags and fly half way round the world to help a small
charity in Peru?: “I wanted to travel
around South America ever since I spent a month in Mexico ten years ago. When I
was made redundant, it was the perfect opportunity to have a break between jobs
and tie in volunteering with some travel.”
A while before joining HOOP, Kate had
stumbled across an organisation called Accounting
for International Development
(AfID). AfID matches accountants with small
NGOs to help them with their budgeting, bookkeeping and financial reporting. It
was the perfect opportunity for Kate to have an adventure (which you can read
about in her blog),
help a worthy cause (us!), and learn some Spanish (¡!).
So Kate jumped on a plane and brought her 15
years of accounting experience to HOOP, where she helped ensure we’re doing things
as transparently and professionally possible. Kate said: “It was great to be able to use my experience to help non-experts as I
know where to look for common mistakes. I guided Ali through the budget process
by thinking strategically and then translating strategy into numbers.”
So what advice would Kate have for any fellow
accountants thinking of taking a break between jobs?: “Volunteering is different for different people but I figured that someone
in my industry can have a really positive impact. You can actually pass on important
technical knowledge within the charity and hopefully leave them with more
confidence to carry it on. And I’ve got something different on my CV now so if
I decide to look at accounting jobs in the charity sector, then AfID placements
are really well respected.”
So overall, did Kate enjoy placement at
HOOP?: “I had a great time. I was still
using my brain but doing it in completely different surroundings and making new
friends, as well as being able to travel around at weekends. It was also nice
to be in one place for a while and really get to know it – repacking and moving
on every other day gets exhausting after a while. That said I’m doing pure
travel now and loving it!”
So it sounds like Kate had a good time here,
and HOOP saw huge benefits too. So, since we were such a perfect match, we just
wanted to say…

Valentine’s Day, Kate!

Words and images by Tom Hornbrook

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