Behind the scenes: Meet AJ
This month we’ve put the spotlight on AJ (Financial Accountant and unofficial Moneybox DJ) and delve into his first year as a Moneybox team member. We explore how his role has evolved, what he’s learned and how he’s found the transition from a large corporate to a start-up.
Tell us about what you do at Moneybox and how its evolved over the last year. What have you learned?
When I started we had around 25 people. We are now three times the size and the office space has become a much buzzier, vibrant space.
I began as Finance, Operations and Compliance Officer, which apart from being a mouthful to say, meant that I was exposed to many areas of the business early on. The growth of the company accelerated quickly, so I started to specialise primarily in finance. The Tech team are always working on new products, so we are kept on our toes at all times.
I’ve learned a lot from the team who have been with Moneybox from the start, as they have experienced milestones like the first customer ‘round up’ through to hundreds of thousands of people using the Moneybox app. I’ve also learned that working towards building products that you genuinely believe in, that help people like myself, has allowed me to gain real job satisfaction!
In three words summarise your experience at Moneybox so far
“I’m gonna give you three, and two more if you need ‘em. Efficiency… Turnover… Profitability.” “Sorry David, that still sounds like management speak, you hate that” (David Brent, The Office, S1 EP2)
All jokes aside: Fast-paced, Synergy, Running
Your first job straight out of university was at a large corporate – what attracted you to Moneybox?
Initially, it was the small team that attracted me to Moneybox. I could tell there was massive potential for success as the product and mission is something that is beneficial to everyone.
Working as part of a finance team of three means that I have the responsibility of managing many moving parts in the finance team. It also means that I need to have the knowledge to be able to chip in to other aspects of the finance operation too. For example, I head up the Lifetime ISA house purchase process. We have now helped our customers purchase over £30 million in property just this year alone!
I am also completing my ACA exams alongside work, so the work/study/pub lifestyle is still the same as my peers working at the large accountancy firms and corporates. We now have an established ACA accounting training programme in place so that graduates can obtain their Chartered Accountancy Qualification alongside working in a great, dynamic finance team.
Tell us about your contribution to the Moneybox Culture Committee
I was hot off the blocks and set up the Moneybox running club, which has now developed into a fortnightly event. We have a great route, running along Embankment, through Horse Guards Parade, past Buckingham Palace and then along Southbank to the office definitely breaks up the day. I am pleased to have built the team of running club regulars but, of course, it’s important to remember it’s not a race…
At Moneybox we have a great culture in which anyone can bring their sporting or social ideas to the table and make it happen!
How did your role as Resident DJ at Moneybox come about?
Back in the ‘good old days’ there was a Friday afternoon meeting that included most of the team apart from myself and the deputy DJ, Sam Cheesman. At that point, we curated the sounds of Moneybox Friday afternoons, which has developed into meticulously planned playlists to get us over the line at the end of the week. Say what you will about accountants, but the Moneybox ones know how to set a vibe.
It is important to recognise the mood early on, and ease in with some 80’s classics. Once you get the crowd on your side, you can be a bit more experimental and see what works. The best time of the week.
Here are some of the team reviews from the past year:
“I had a tough week with a lot of things going wrong and was feeling quite stressed. 4pm Friday came around and AJ made all my worries disappear. Thank you” – Jack
“The way he lowers the volume and fades into the next track by increasing the volume is seamless, and really helps when I am finalising my admin for the week. 5 Stars.” – Laura
“Slammer after slammer. An inspiration” – Sam