Making the move from practice to Boots UK

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From a business perspective, Boots is one of the leading employers in Nottingham, so I thought of it as huge business which is well-established and well-regarded in the area. "

David Hughes (Recruitment Partner for Finance) interviews Colette Jeffery. Boots UK Finance Manager and ex Audit Manager at leading practice firm.

Can you tell us how long you have been here at Boots UK Now?

CJ – I have just had my one year anniversary.

When did you know it was the right time to move?

There isn’t an exact science for knowing the right time to move onto another role, however I had been working as an Audit Manager in practice, and was looking for a new stretch opportunity. An old colleague invited me to the Boots UK Support Office to meet some of the senior managers as an introduction, and I applied for my current position through

What was your perception of Boots UK before joining?

From a business perspective, Boots is one of the leading employers in Nottingham, so I thought of it as huge business which is well-established and well-regarded in the area. Finance-wise it has a good reputation for promoting a good work-life balance and people are naturally proud of its history and heritage.

How difficult was the transition from practice to industry?

Some of my current role is review-focused so it was an easy transition from audit. The month end side of the role took a while to grasp (maybe about four – five months).  I joined at a very busy time for the business, we were implementing new reporting standards so was faced with the challenge of getting colleagues on board with this. This seemed to really align the finance function, however, so it was a challenge worth taking on.

What do you hope to achieve in your Boots UK career?

I initially thought my career would move into the world of commercial finance, however I really have a passion now for moving into a stores-focused support role.  I am really keen to see things on the front line in terms of how the compliance in stores transpires into the manual processing back here at Boots UK Support Office I would ultimately like to get involved with analysis of process and controls around stores.

What support can Boots UK give for someone making a similar move like yourself?

When I have had a new starter recently, I really took the time to mentor her through the induction process as I believe this is vital in starting a new job. The feedback we got was that she felt the coaching and learning she was given really allowed her a comfortable transition. People will be well looked after here at Boots UK. When I joined there were a few new faces and it was a busy time, but I used this experience to see exactly what people need when joining from audit (or anywhere else) in order to help them as much as possible.  I have also written a booklet for new starters regarding how to do specific things such as balance sheet reconciliations and how to post a journal into our accounting software. This is completed but yet to be rolled out but hopefully it will prove useful.

Do you feel you get adequate support form Boots UK in terms of career progression and development?

Yes – there are so many opportunities available.

Can you tell us a bit about the culture of Boots UK?

It really feels like a joined up approach. It also feels like one big team where everyone understands each others roles.

Finally, are you glad you joined Boots UK?


Interviewer – David Hughes: If you are looking for opportunities in finance, connect with David on LinkedIn

Colette Boots UK Finance Manager