Friday, 20 June 2008

Bolton Backstage - Finance

You may remember me talking a bit about the Bolton Backstage event we have coming up next week. As I mentioned then, I thought it would be nice to tell you more about some of the jobs the rather smashing people at the Octagon do.

Next up is Mr Keith Jones. Keith sits next to me (albeit with a partition divide) and is a thoroughly nice chap. Of course, I have to say this as he holds the Octagon's purse strings but I am glad to say it is also true. He also reads the blog (hi Keith). You can read more about our rocking Head of Finance (and mate of Johnny Ball!) below......


Keith 'The Axeman' Jones.

Ed - really it is just Keith Jones, I added Axeman myself due to his skills on the guitar of which I am very jealous!


What do you do?
Head of Finance. I have recently been involved with booking special events for the Bar and Studio

How long have you been at it?
I have been here 2 1/2 years, as the Head of Finance.

What was your very first role in the theatre?
Head of Finance

Have you got qualifications?
Business Studies, Accountancy and IT

What did you do before you worked in theatre?
I worked throughout the North West for multi-national textiles companies as a Management, Cost and Financial Accountant.

How did you make the move to working in theatre?
I was contacted by a job agency and put forward for interview.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
I never really knew, only thought of accountancy when I went to College, and it seemed like a good way to earn money. I suspect I was born an accountant, either that or a lion tamer (old Monty Python joke).

What do you do all day?
The Octagon Theatre is of a size were I must be involved with the day to day running and managing of the Finance department, monthly accounts HMRC and funding returns etc, as well as looking after the financial state of the charity at senior and board level.

What’s the best thing about your job?
Too many to mention! For me being involved with a creative process that can give benefit and pleasure to many different communities is so rewarding. I have met so many different and interesting people and feel I personally have gained so much from my short time at the Octagon. The people can make an organisation and my colleagues here help make this Theatre an enjoyable place to be for staff and attendees alike. From my background of commerce and light industry, the not for profit sector is a breath of fresh air and opened my eyes to a way of working I knew little about and I think makes me appreciate my role much more.

And the worst?
I really can’t think of a downside to my job, being an accountant is pretty much the same wherever you are and isn’t affected by being in the theatre, the basic rules are the same. I get the same amount of ribbing here for being an accountant as anywhere else, nothing changes.

What’s your dream job in theatre?
A musician, but that really is a dream and probably doesn’t pay that well, I think I will stick to Finance.

Got any wise words for someone who wants to be where you are now?
Get experience of other industries and sectors, this isn’t the job to do straight from University or College and is unrealistic to think you might get it. Larger companies or accountancy firms will help you pass exams and gain experience, due to the cost the theatre sector may not be able to help fund your studies. As well as that, I have benefited from seeing the harsh world of commercial life and made me appreciate this role and company.


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