Meet Our Finance Team: Sophie Ward

This week, we are proud to be shining a spotlight on our Finance department as part of our ‘Meet the Team’ series.

Each member of our finance team plays a key role in allowing us to create our great tasting, market leading products. Throughout this week, we are sharing the stories behind some of our talented colleagues to help inspire you to consider a career in Finance with The Compleat Food Group.

First up is Sophie Ward, our Senior Group Accountant. Learn more about Sophie’s journey below…

How long have you worked in Finance?

I started working in Finance in September 2016 at Deloitte, after graduating from the University of Exeter. After qualifying as a chartered accountant in 2019, I then went onto work in Internal Risk Management followed by Financial Accounts at Greencore. I joined TCFG back in January 2022 as a Group Accountant and since then, I’ve been proud to be a part of the Group Finance team as it’s grown from myself and the Group Financial Controller, to the team it is today.

What made you consider a career in Finance?

I studied Maths at university and always said that I didn’t want to be an accountant, as I had always presumed accounting meant living for ‘month end’ and doing the same thing again and again. However, during my time at Deloitte, I got a taste for the food industry and found myself attracted to the fast-paced environment and saw that there’s so much more to finance that I originally thought. Personally, I really enjoy the variety of project work, the ‘unpicking’ of trickier areas and working on process improvement while still keeping the numerical side to tie it all together.

What is so great about being in Finance at TCFG?

The development has been fantastic within Finance at TCFG. I’m incredibly well supported and have seen my role develop massively since I joined. I’m trusted to make decisions and step up where I need to, but know I have support when I need it. The business is on a massive growth trajectory at the moment and internally we’re encouraged to support that through continual process improvement, which is something I really enjoy. It’s great to look at something and think ‘is there a better way of doing this?’

What opportunities are there within TCFG for Finance?

There are so many opportunities both within teams, broader finance, and even elsewhere across the Group. As the business has developed, I’ve been fortunate to step up massively in my role compared to when I started, including taking on more people management, more functions within the team and a wider breadth of responsibilities. I’m really grateful for the opportunities I’ve received since joining and the support in growing my career. Elsewhere though, I’m really proud of how we’re able to support those looking to branch into other areas of the business due to the close working relationships we’ve got with both wider finance and other functions. We recently had a member of the team step into Ops Finance, which is a fantastic demonstration of internal progression across the business!

Why should you consider a career with TCFG?

It’s a really exciting time to be a part of the business as we’re in the midst of such a growth period, and there’s such a variety of ongoing projects. The business is really supportive of fresh ideas and ways to improve, which is really wonderful to have in an employer. There’s also such a variety of projects going on across the Group, it’s a great opportunity to flag any areas of your own professional and personal development that you want to build on as it’s likely there’s something ongoing that you can get involved with to bolster your development!

Describe an average day at TCFG.
Every day is different and varies based on the projects ongoing at the time. Currently I’ve got the Group statutory accounts to finalise, so I am spending a lot of time liaising with various stakeholders across the business, and the external auditors. Alongside that, we’re implementing a variety of system automations within our Accounts Payable and Accounts Receivable functions. We’re also looking at ways to improve our month end reporting through a new consolidation system and automating our reporting to our Private Equity house.

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