Lisa recently joined Interstate when Interstate Hotels & Resorts, Aimbridge Hospitality’s international division, was appointed to manage Jupiter Hotels’ UK portfolio in December 2020.
Here, Lisa shares an insight into her role, as well as a little-known fact about her.
Tell us about your role and what it involves?
LA: It is an extremely varied role. One of my responsibilities is to deal with external advisors from tax advisors to auditors as I look after the corporate finance elements of our owners’ businesses which makes it a slightly different role.
I also deal with a lot of the regulatory compliance work that we need to complete. It’s a hybrid role and can be quite a technical one at times.
There is lots of juggling as you would imagine with a big portfolio, but I have a great team of five at head office and teams out in the hotels who support this function.
To non-financial people this may sound very boring but it’s really not. I love it because it’s not just technical accounting. I’m a CIMA qualified accountant – not a chartered accountant – that is not where my passion is, I much prefer supporting the business.
What does a typical day in your role involve?
There is no typical day and that is what is great about this role. It is very cyclical, so we know we have year-end, and quarterly reporting to manage, but it is also driven by what is going on, so we’ve been busy supporting the transition of the Jupiter hotels to the Interstate systems, processes and ways of working.
During the pandemic I’ve been supporting our owners with managing their working capital requirements which has been a huge focus of my role over the last 12 months. Managing the cash levels within the business and ensuring our employees and suppliers get paid on time has been essential. Usually, the role is less reactive with more time dedicated to forecasting and reviewing the business to ensure we deliver our targets.
What’s your favourite part of your role?
There is so much that I love about this role, from the operational support I provide to the business partnering and the relationships. I’m a real people person and I like to know what is going on so having strong relationships with the general managers of the hotels is really important to me. It makes my role so much easier when I’m reviewing the numbers.
I also feel that is it vital to be visible and that has been extremely hard over recent months with the lockdown, I’m really looking forward to getting out into the hotels again.
What do you think makes Interstate stand out from the crowd?
I’m very new to Interstate but I’ve found the company extremely welcoming, and I can already see that their use of technology is fantastic, it is used well to drive efficiency and value to our owners.
It is also a really well managed business with great communication, it is fantastic to see that regular consistent communication runs through the business to keep everyone informed and engaged.
The finance team are great and I’m enjoying being part of finance again – my team is a small function but with others doing similar roles we can share ideas.
Tell us something about you that not everyone knows
I am a mirror twin! I have an identical twin, who is my best friend, and we live about a mile away from each other. She is my mirror twin, so we are identical but I’m right-handed and she is left-handed so we’re a mirror image of each other.
She works in a HR role and we have actually worked together in the past!