Monday 28 January 2019
When he is not hard at work as our Commissions Analyst, you may be surprised to learn that Kevin Raffles is ‘jockeying for position’ as a horse racing tipster at tippit.co.uk!
With a passion for horse racing and a daily blogger, it is clear to see that Kevin’s natural role as an analyst seeps into his leisure time. With many excellent horse racing tipster websites out there, Kevin brings his own expertise and top tips to horse racing punters from across the region.
Kevin shares his career journey
Having left sixth form, I was not sure what to do with my career. By chance, I happened to be in Morpeth with my mum when we bumped into a career advisor who recommended that I apply for a position at Fone Logistics.
This is where my career journey with Ian Gillespie started. At the time, Ian ran the hugely successful Fone Logistics, until it was bought out in 2010.
Back in 2002 and aged 17, I joined the company as an accounts assistant, which involved a lot of administrative duties. I remained in this position for nearly three years although I did take on the management of the dealer commission run before I moved into a commission receivable role. I had to ensure that the company received payments for goods and services and it required me to record the transactions accurately whilst dealing with customers and buyers on a frequent basis.
I began to realise that my strengths were within my analytical approach as this was a skill the role required and I started to learn a lot more about Microsoft Excel and that it could be used to perform a lot of the existing, manual processes a lot more efficiently.
In 2010, Fone Logistics was sold to Daisy Distribution. I remained for six months but found the transition unsettling and tough as I was somewhat restricted. I felt like the advances I had made had gone backwards and there were lots of regulations in place working for a big company.
Having worked for Ian throughout my career, I felt a natural pull to join his new company, Activ Technology. There was a lot more freedom to implement changes as I required to get things moving a lot quicker, as Ian entrusts his staff to do what is required.
In 2011, I was appointed as a commissions analyst at Activ. My role saw me managing and developing models to record the commissions payments. Working for a smaller company, I could be more hands-on and was able to interact with all of the divisions of the business.
My position also sees me manage billing processes with 300-plus customers and I make sure that we are paid from our various suppliers. I also handle credit control to ensure that all payments are up-to-date.
Activ offers an encouraging and friendly environment. I work closely with the finance drector, Michael Hearns, who also encourages me to do whatever is needed to get the job done and he is on hand to provide support and advice.
Working with Michael, I am also involved with handling accounts reconciliations and employee expenses as well as management reporting which is sent to our various teams. I create the reports in Excel and they enable me to analyse and draw out system information and report it accordingly.
For anyone looking to pursue a role in our Finance team, you need to be flexible, creative and have the ability to solve problems. Teamwork also comes into play, as you have to be able to share knowledge and collaborate as a team.
It is an interesting and in-depth role, which sees you work across a variety of departments.