We caught up with Novo UK’s Finance Assistant Laura Bullard to find out all about the evening’s events…
Last Thursday I was lucky enough to be asked to attend the AAT Professional Member Awards with our Finance Director – Hayley Lavens – who was shortlisted for this year’s Professional Member of the Year (FMAAT) award.
The awards, held at the beautiful De Vere Beaumont Estate in Windsor, celebrated the many talented individuals involved in the accountancy sector over the last year from all walks of life including representatives from both client side and from accountancy practices.
As the awards ceremony started it became obvious that we were going to have a long wait to find out if Hayley had been successful as it was the final award of the night.
But we patiently waited and cheered on the other shortlisted candidates across the various categories until finally the magic words were uttered “And now for the Professional Member of the Year award………..”
Hayley had entered the awards with no real expectation other than trying to show how far she had progressed in her career and demonstrate that you don’t always have to go down a traditional education route in order to succeed. I’ve known Hayley for a long time and her progression has been ridiculous. I also sit with her on a daily basis and see how much work she puts in and what Novo UK Recruitment means to her – she treats the business as her own and always strives to do everything possible to help the business move forwards. This is massively inspiring and also makes me want to work hard and succeed as well.
“And the winner is……………Hayley Lavens”. Cue me going a bit crazy and screaming while Hayley – calm as ever – walked up to receive her award. She did let this mask slip a bit later when she was off the stage and we could celebrate with a few more glasses of bubbles.
I was so proud of Hayley and so happy I was there to celebrate with her. As were the Directors who – after being engaged at another function in St Albans that same evening – decided to jump in a taxi at 11pm to come down to Windsor and help celebrate, finally leaving at about 3am.
Darren Heneghan, Director at Novo said: “This is such a fantastic achievement. I have seen Hayley grow from an administrator/financial assistant at the start of her accountancy journey in to a fully-fledged Chartered Accountant and an indispensable member of the Novo UK team. This was recently acknowledged with Hayley’s promotion to Finance Director but to also receive external verification and validation from such an important body like the AAT is testament to her dedication and application. We are absolutely delighted for Hayley”
Hayley is an exceptional member of staff and a true ambassador for Novo UK and the Accountancy community.
Since joining the business in 2014, Hayley has played a key role in completely revolutionising the way in which we work from a back office, strategy, accounting, forecasting and operational perspective.
Her loyalty, professionalism and knowledge have proved utterly invaluable to the development of the business and she has become truly indispensable – recognised by her rapid progression to Directorship.
Aside from efficiently managing the traditional ‘finance’ aspects of the role, Hayley has used the knowledge gained from her professional development and networking events to bring back and implement new ideas to improve the business from both a strategy perspective and an operational efficiency standpoint. Examples of which include fully automating our time sheet /payroll procedure, introducing an annual strategy meeting for Directors and Senior Management, designing and developing our core competency framework and associated benefits package, refining internal processes and workflows to save time and improve efficiency and working closely with our Sales Director to set realistic budgets and targets based on our Minimum Accepted Standards (MAS).
Her commitment to her professional and personal development is unquestioned. She is an active participant in AAT events and she has recently started the process of completing the CIPD qualification in order to enhance her own skillset while also providing the business with the HR knowledge required of a business our size.
Well done Hayley!!!