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‘Great or awful, everyone has a personal brand’: Meet Becky Glover, Finance Director of the Year

25th Mar 2024
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Finance is not a “back office” function as far as Becky Glover is concerned.

“I think the finance function should be a driving force in a business for change and improvement,” she says. 

“I get involved in lots of things that aren’t strictly finance. Just this morning, I sent an email to our MD about a really good marketing idea to get more eyes on the brand and boost sales.  

“There are some finance individuals that just want to be ‘back office’ and sit there churning things out, the same way they’ve always done. But that’s definitely not me.” 

Becky Glover, Finance Director of the Year, sponsored by iplicit
Becky Glover

‘It’s important to be proud of what we’ve achieved’ 

Becky took the inaugural FD of the Year title, sponsored by iplicit, at the Accounting Excellence Awards. The award recognised the impact Becky has had in her business, Yutree Insurance, as well as the personal brand she has worked hard to build. 

In a profession where people sometimes hide their light under a bushel, she is keen for FDs to put themselves forward for recognition. 

“I think there are lots of people in finance who are quite cautious and prudent because that’s the way we have to work. Maybe they’re in a business that just sees them as someone who just gets on with the job and does a huge number of tasks,” she says. 

“But I do think it’s important that people pause and think of the incredible things they’ve achieved. It’s no bad thing if we can pat ourselves on the back and be proud of what we’ve achieved, because it then gives us a little bit of oomph to go on and drive some more change. 

“In technology and finance, everything is always changing, so it’s sometimes good to sit back, have a little breather, and then say: That was great, but now on to the next thing.”  

‘I couldn’t figure out how these courses would get me a job’ 

Becky left school at 17 to go into business. “It sounds awful, but I didn’t see the point of it any more,” she says of her sixth form education. 

“I went to a very good school, high up in the league tables, and did biology, psychology, business studies and geography in sixth form, but I couldn’t figure out how these courses would get me a job where I could earn good money, enjoy myself and do something interesting with my life. 

“I was getting more and more fed up and one day I decided ‘I’m done’. My parents were not particularly impressed.” 

She got a job in the finance department of a legal firm, where she was “pretty much just the tea girl”. 

“I decided to write a lot of letters and post them through the door of every accountancy practice I could find, hoping they’d offer me an apprenticeship. I got one reply, went for an interview and they offered me a job. I had to do my AAT apprenticeship at night school for a while before I’d proved myself and they allowed me to do day release,” she says. 

“After that, I moved to a bigger firm and did ACCA, but I knew I wouldn’t be the technical, traditional accountant that everyone thinks of. I always knew I was going to go into business. 

“I’ve always been thinking, what’s next? What more can I learn and what can I get involved with?” 

‘Starting a business changed my day job’  

In recent years, that eagerness to get involved with new things has included a side-hustle, co-founding Elizabeth Rose Wines, which sells English and Welsh wine to both consumers and the trade. 

“I definitely saw a step change in my day job when I started that business,” she says. 

“I think it’s something everyone should do because I learned so much and I wouldn’t have had that experience in my day-to-day role. If you have a solid background in finance, that should give you a little bit of confidence to try a business idea, because you know the ins and outs and you know the software that can make life easier.  

“Even if the business doesn’t go anywhere, and it’s not the next Amazon, you’ll have gained more experience and you can understand better how other businesses work.” 

Software has helped her fit that business around the day job. 

“I get up early and get a lot done before I start my day job at 9am, but with technology nowadays, you can automate so much,” she says. 

“Our wine business is online and when someone orders, everything behind the scenes is automated. An invoice is automatically raised and it goes into your accounting software, the bank reconciles, your stock automatically changes. You just have to put in the hours at the beginning to set up all that stuff. 

“This is where my interest in technology really ramped up because I saw how easy things could be, and how technology can take you out of the boring tasks and allow you to properly think about the business and how to add value. 

“I’ve done the hard graft of labelling boxes and doing deliveries as well, so it’s not easy, but if it’s your business, you can ramp it up or slow it down.” 

‘We recruit the people who are most like ourselves’ 

In a profession where women are still underrepresented, Becky is an advocate for diversity of all kinds. 

“There’s so much more that women could be doing but I’ve heard from so many women that aren’t as well connected or don’t have the confidence to go out and try it,” she says. 

“I think having a group of women that champion each other and clap for each other is important. I’ve seen how much good it did for me and for friends as well – but when we talk about diversity and inclusion, it’s not just about women. I’ve spoken before about neurodivergence as well.   

“We should all have a nice, wide-ranging team at work, but we all recruit people who we feel most comfortable with – and that just happens to be people that are most like ourselves. It’s just what happens in our brain. But by being aware of that and going out of your way to find people with different backgrounds, different experiences, people that have just had different lives than you, you can get this rich diversity of thought which can be put into your business and help grow it.” 

‘Your personal brand can be great or awful, but it’ll be there’ 

When she’s not working, spending time with her partner and two golden retrievers (“I’m a crazy dog lady”) and working on their Jacobean manor house, Becky spends a lot of time at events forging links with other people in her professional community.  

Some in the industry are reluctant to share their thoughts on LinkedIn or put themselves forward for awards, but she believes everyone needs to consider the profile they have. 

“People roll their eyes when you talk about personal branding, but it’s a fact that everyone has a personal brand. It’s just a question of whether you’re aware of what it is,” she says. 

“Someone once told me that it’s good to sit down and think: what are my beliefs? What are my goals? What am I putting out there and does it align with those beliefs and goals? 

“You can have a great personal brand or an awful one, but it’ll always be there. If it’s really strong and positive and genuine, you’ll find that when people are together and an opportunity comes up, your name will be thrown into the mix – even if you’re not there in the room.” 

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