The role of the CFO and finance function in any company is centred around the management of risk. First and most obviously we have to make sure that that we get the basics right in terms of paying/receiving the right amounts of money to/from the right people at the right time. But secondly we invest a lot of time and effort scouring all areas of the business to identify, assess and ultimately address a whole range of challenges that are thrown at us every day in an effort to mitigate any undesirable financial consequences. Opportunities also bring risks which need to be assessed. Every year we agree financial expectations with our shareholders which we then manage through the use of budgets and forecasts to compare to our actual performance, always on the lookout for events that might knock us off track.
The list is endless but it means that no working day is ever the same which makes for a thrilling role and one which I absolutely adore. Add to that the enormously enjoyable environment that publishing creates and then the particular atmosphere of working with so many wonderful people within PRH and it really is the perfect job.
A book that's left a deep impression on me: The Colony of Unrequited Dreams by Wayne Johnston for a tale of endurance, suffering yet ultimately triumph.
My literary hero: John Irving. If anyone can spin a literary yarn he can. From The Hotel New Hampshire, Garp, Owen Meany and Cider House Rules to Widow for One Year it is hard to think of anyone who has strung together so many irresistible sentences!
A book I'd recommend to everyone: The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas. For me the best adventure story ever written. I have never forgotten the experience of reading it from start to finish over a couple of days or so. Oh that I had the time to do that now!