Wendy is a Chartered Management Accountant with over 25 years’ experience across the Media, FMCG and Retail sectors. She is commercially astute with a strong track record of identifying issues and implementing solutions.
When working for Condé Nast, Wendy was responsible for accounting for its media barter activities and is our media industry expert.
Wendy’s background and approach
Here’s a recent interview with me to give you a little more background on who I am and what makes me tick.
What prompted you to start contract compliance auditing marketing agencies?
After completing a role resolving contract-related queries, I saw that the review of a contract between parties at ‘arms length’ was of great value for both sides. Given my previous experience working in advertising and marketing, working in this area was a natural progression.
How have your many years in finance teams at various media owners helped you at Financial Progression?
Having worked at Vogue and across all the Condé Nast titles, the Daily Mirror and also for over 70 football club websites, I’ve a greater appreciation of what’s involved in booking and serving advertising in different formats than many people. The insight I have gained provides me with a good instinct as to where issues may exist and where improvements could be made.
How have your previous experiences in business helped you at Financial Progression?
I’ve been privileged to work in a range of businesses and across disciplines (Marketing/Sales/Finance). As such, my life/career experiences have left me trained to see end-to-end processes as opposed to a snapshot of an activity. This ability means I am well prepared to review a contract, taking into account all aspects of what is involved in its delivery from both parties’ point of view.
What were your best experiences working in branded businesses directly with marketers?
When I was totally involved in supporting their goals and being given free rein to support them with all my skills – I have even worked at marketing events!
What is the most challenging situation you have come across in a senior finance role?
Whilst I have been faced with numerous challenging situations, the theme that has run through all of them is change and the management of that change. In one instance I walked into a role where contracts had been set up by consultants, all of whom had left months before I joined. No one understood what commercial agreements had been made and whether they made sense for the business on an ongoing basis. It took some time to understand and renegotiate them, but in the end all the parties agreed it was essential to enable a long-term working relationship to exist.
How would people describe you?
Recently I undertook an exercise to find that out – some of the comments that came back were: ‘energetic and enthusiastic with a sense of humour’; ‘a person with a ‘can do’ attitude and determination’; and ‘someone with an eye for detail and possessing a high level of integrity’.
Which part of your work gives you the greatest sense of achievement?
There isn’t a single part, but one sense of achievement I feel is when working with agencies, gaining their confidence, understanding that our aim is to ensure visibility and an enhanced working relationship moving forward.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
‘Spare’ time doesn’t exactly exist! When I’m not working, you can find me playing the saxophone (or at least one of my 5!), swimming, cycling (only in fair weather) or trying something I’ve not done before. Each year I have a list of new things to try out. Previous lists have contained windsurfing, bodyboarding, sailing, trekking and the current one includes going up in a microlight, punting and tandem cycling.