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Usman Yousaf

Usman Yousaf

Tell us about the company you worked for during your work placement?

Prolojik was founded in 2002. From the start, this institution served the scientific, educational, public, transportation and commercial sectors. The purpose and objective of this organisation is to deliver lighting control systems.

What did you do as part of your placement?

As the Finance Controller, I was responsible for preparing monthly management accounts such as income statements and balance sheets to see the company’s profitability level. I also prepared cashflow forecast, considering revenue coming from different lines of business as cash in and cash out by looking at expenses such as wages and supplier payments. I prepared budget for the fiscal year 2022-2023 to set targets and priorities for the coming year which also helped senior management to focus on activities which are vital for business growth. I also performed different variance analysis to see if targets are being met on spending levels. It helped to implement an expense monitoring system to control the spending, which helped to reduce expenses significantly. I also performed business analysis by comparing sales targets against actuals to monitor commercial performance.

Was there anything you found difficult and how did you overcome it?

When I joined Prolojik, the major challenge which I faced was that there was no procedure for daily financial activities. I was given the responsibility to structure the processes and implement standard operating procedures to boost efficiency and productivity. Initially I made a list of all the improvements required to run the department. Secondly, I set the priority for each task by looking at its level of significance to business. I decided to immediately start working on budget preparation, management accounts, Cashflow forecast and weekly reports as it is important for senior management to have visibility to make informed decisions. The experience I have gained during my financial career taught me that setting priorities makes it easier to focus on few tasks at one point so that it can be properly finished.

What skills did you learn?

  • Communication and presentation – I have developed the ability to be brief and relevant while communicating. While I presented during the formal meetings, I could engage my seniors and colleagues with many discussions.
  • Problem solving – When I arrived at Prolojik there were some missing processes to make certain arrangements in the finance department. I started to do detailed analysis with my senior peer to grasp the processes and propose solutions.
  • Numeracy skills – During my work placement with Prolojik, I have polished my numerical skills. I assisted the company with budgeting and expenses.
  • Leadership and team working – I believe that as my communication skills grew stronger, I was able to not only manage my meetings, but also I was able to direct my team in the right direction. The work and collaboration with mine and other teams helped to achieve certain targets and increase the company’s business.
  • Adaptability skills – Moving from another country made me adapt to the new culture, work environment and several different work ethics. My teammates and company helped me in adapting to the new changes.
  • Organizational and management skills – Managing the work, planning the day-to-day tasks, and producing weekly and monthly agendas in order to meet the deadlines on time.