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Day in the life of an accountant: Balancing motherhood, studies and job with few promotion opportunities

“Each company has its own culture and, where I work, we are a private company and the boss has all the say. If your supervisor doesn’t like you then it is difficult [to get] promotions and a salary increase.

“In the workplace you will meet various kinds of people. Some of them may come with their own personal problems and take it out on others. Some supervisors are fair and get the best for their employees.

“Then there are employees who suck up and even sleep with those in charge…”

Are you willing to figuratively try on someone else’s shoes? Wired868 aims to highlight the day-to-day lives of everyday Trinbagonians in this new series entitled: “A day in the life…”

Today, we start with an accountant, who must balance her work life with her role as a mother and part-time student:

Photo: An accountant on the job.
Photo: An accountant on the job.

What is your profession and what encouraged you to pursue this career?

I’m an accountant—precisely ACCA Accounting—and I’ve been working since I was 21. I did accounts for CSEC and I liked it and preferred a desk job that wold allow me to be ‘behind the scenes’. Since it is nothing like a bank job and I will not deal with a lot of people, I would be able to get the job done as soon as possible.

What are you job duties and your hours of work?

Well, I’ve had this job since 2010 and I work 8am to 4:30pm. I prepare financial statements, statutory payment, payroll, purchasing and paying suppliers, reconciliations.

What is your typical day like?

I usually took 45 minutes to get to work and, with traffic, about one hour. But now we’ve been temporarily relocated and I take one hour and a half to get to this new place. That is presently stressing me out since I had to change my morning routine. I now have to wake up at 5am.

Co-workers with children have it difficult because they have to drop their kids to school and may run late with traffic. Some have flexi-time and then some of them do it the hard way and wake up at 4am. We were not compensated for this move until recently when the employees voiced their anger and the added expense we now face. Fortunately, we were given a gas allowance.

How do you spend your lunch time?

I get 30 minutes for lunch and I sometimes order in food or leave and purchase lunch. HR monitors our moves sometimes and reports us if we do not clock out when we leave for lunch. Or we receive warning letters for not using the clocking machines.

Photo: Okay, that is going to be a problem...
Photo: Okay, that is going to be a problem…

What happens when you’re late to work?

If I have a lot of work then I will stay back but this is the easiest job I’ve had. We only stay back if there are auditors. Your attitude to work and to get your work done without complaining is important. This is my third job and it is the easiest. However each company has its own culture and where I work we are a private company and the boss has all the say. If your supervisor doesn’t like you then it is difficult [to get] promotions and a salary increase.

In the workplace you will meet various kinds of people. Some of them may come with their own personal problems and take it out on others. Some supervisors are fair and get the best for their employees. Then there are employees who suck up and even sleep with those in charge. Sometimes you will work hard and get no reward. If you are significantly late then deduction will occur.

How do you manage work and school?

I face a lot of traffic and that gets me frustrated—and then I have to get to school. This is repeated almost every day. My advice to those who work and study is to have self-discipline. Time management is important or your chances of failing will increase. I am still pursuing my studies and I have had times when I failed because it was all too much to balance.

Photo: Mother dearest...
Photo: Mother dearest…

How do you deal with this frustration?

On afternoons when I get home I love to relax in bed for an hour. The days vary but most of the time I take this hour to unwind. I then have to get my chores done and prepare for the next day.

Why are you doing this degree and what do you plan to do with it?

I’m doing ACCA to become a qualified accountant to upgrade myself and find a better paying job within the accounting field. By doing ACCA, you can branch out into other areas such as taxation, financial accounting and costing. It opens up the doors for more opportunities. People with ACCA have become CEO of companies.

What is rewarding about your job?

I enjoy the socialization when I meet my co-workers and have lunch with them. I have a good salary and benefits like medical. The recession isn’t affecting us since we are not oil and gas based. Some employees do favours for those high in office but I avoid that kind of conduct. I learnt how to deal with issues well and how it’s all about your attitude towards the problem.

My job is not too demanding but there is not much room for promotion since our accounting department is small and only if someone in a higher position leaves that you stand the chance of being promoted. But I highly doubt anyone will leave since it is an easy job. We also get complimentary tickets to events and I do enjoy the carnival fetes.

Photo: Soca star Machel Montano moves the crowd at a fete during a previous Carnival season. (Copyright The Playmakers)
Photo: Soca star Machel Montano moves the crowd at a Carnival fete.
(Copyright The Playmakers)

You’re now a mother and how do you think that will change things?

Well I have to be on my toes unless I have help and my husband’s family also does help. I got 14 weeks off from work plus I was granted three months with no pay leave so I can spend a total of six months with my son and adjust to this new lifestyle. My son is nine days old so I look forward to this time with him. The only stress I have is to get to work with the temporary change in location.

About Camaleena Ajodha

Camaleena Ajodha
Camaleena Ajodha is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication at COSTAATT. She is passionate about family, nature, travel, photography, reading and loves to meet new people.

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7 comments

  1. Nice read. Looking forward to the rest of the series.

  2. It would really be enlightening and instructive to learn about what goes on in a private entity, never having been employed in one before. Having to adjust to different corporate cultures, efforts to access fringe benefits without the aid of trade unions etc. This would really be an interesting and insightful study. Wish you all success.

  3. Good stuff, Lass. But I would say that, wouldn’t I? 🙂

  4. We hope to do people from a range of occupations.

  5. Interesting. Sounds as though she’s working for an accounting firm.