Jun 18th 2020
Meet Keelyn: Our New Head of Finance
We are delighted to welcome Keelyn to the team as our Head of Finance. Hear about her experience (working fully remotely so far), why she chose this path, and her advice to those considering a career in finance.
What interested you to start a career in Finance?
When I received my first allowance at 6, it didn’t take long for me to realise how finite my money was. If I lost it, it was gone. If I spent it frivolously, it was gone. The only way to increase its utility was to spend wisely. My fascination with increasing the utility of my money grew over time. I spent wisely and used my prized purchases to set up a rudimentary library loaning books to my brothers for $1. It wasn’t lucrative (I hadn’t accounted for differing “consumer” preferences 😉) but it did spur my interest in the business world.
Following this realisation, I was inspired and fascinated by the many different paths the Chartered Accountants in my family had taken. This interest was solidified in university with the help of an amazing professor – and so I decided to pursue the designation and see where it could take me!
Tell us about your journey to becoming Tempo’s Head of Finance
Prior to Tempo, I spent seven years in a professional services firm followed by a year and a half in a FinTech company as the Head of Finance. I really enjoy the startup world for many reasons – but the biggest one for me is the wide variety of work. A fast-growing business requires agility and financial data to support quick decisions – a process I love being a part of!
“When I came across Tempo whilst I was looking for a new opportunity, I was impressed by the product. I could see a real need for it in the market having hired team members previously in a very painful and manual process.”
I went through a series of video interviews prior to receiving an offer and although I wasn’t able to meet anyone in person due to COVID, I got a really good sense of the personality, passion and drive of the team. I was and still am very excited to be a part of the pursuit to change the recruiting industry!
What was your remote onboarding experience like at Tempo?
Although remote onboarding is a bit daunting, Tempo made the process as comfortable as possible. They set up introductions with members across different departments and the week ended with a cook-along social over Zoom, where we made a delicious two-course meal together! It was great having the opportunity to interact in a less formal setting and get to know everyone on a more personal level.
Can you talk us through a day in the life as Head of Finance?
Typically, I start my day by checking the company bank transactions. I am always looking forward to seeing who has paid us and how our cashflow is performing. After this, I will have a quick scan through my emails to see if anything urgent has come in overnight. The rest of my day is dependent on what is happening in the business. It could be spent creating a financial model to support pricing decisions, analysing last month’s figures against what was expected, putting together financial reports or working with external consultants on the financial statement audit or potential financing options.
Of course, there are also the less glamorous (but very necessary) parts of the job which involve a lot of data analysis, chasing down information, billings and making sure our record keeping is in good shape!
Having taken on a couple of managerial roles, what advice can you give for managing and motivating a team?
Communication is key. I am a strong proponent of sharing a tracker with the team laying out all projects and deadlines. If everyone knows what needs to be done and who is responsible, it is much easier to prioritise and work efficiently. I am also incredibly passionate about making sure that I understand what drives my team. If there are skills that they are looking to build or certain things that they would like to be involved in, then I want to make it happen!
What is your top working from home tip?
Don’t be afraid to try working from different locations. I find sitting in the same place every day can become a bit stale. Welcome the opportunity to move around as it resets the mind.
What advice would you give to those considering a career in Finance?
Keep going. Articling to become designated can be gruelling (and so can many of the entry level jobs in the Finance world!). You will likely have a lot of sleepless nights and stressful days – but once you’re through it all, you can use your newfound knowledge and apply it to any path you choose.
Take the opportunity. You might find yourself in a comfortable position and hesitant to move. I have personally found that taking the uncomfortable opportunities has kick-started a career that I love.
Keep in touch. You will encounter many great mentors and colleagues throughout your working life. These people may be busy on their own journey but there are so many ways that you can support each other. Never forget how important these relationships are!
Let’s learn a bit more about you outside of the office. What are your hobbies and passions outside of work?
I love to travel! My fiancé and I spent the Christmas holidays in India, Bangladesh and Nepal and are looking forward to another adventure post-COVID. I also appreciate the very eclectic mix of events in London and try to take advantage of all the fringe theatre, museums and comedy shows that the city has to offer. However, with none of this possible at the moment, I am finding a lot of enjoyment in cooking, running, knitting and reading!
And lastly, share a highlight from your career so far!
UFE (Uniform Final Examination) celebration day, 2013! The day I found out that I successfully passed the gruelling three-day final examination and last step toward becoming a CA. Also, the only day of the year where you will find thousands of accountants in Canada dressed in costumes, spraying each other with champagne and covered in confetti!
Want to hear more from the team here at Tempo? Meet Rikke, our Head of Marketing here.