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A day in the life of Adam Ford, Head of Payroll Services

How did you get into your career?

I started my first ever job at McDonalds when I was 16. I worked there part time throughout 6th form and my entire University life. Once I had graduated, I decided to go full time at McDonalds and became Assistant Store Manager. After 13 years, I decided it was time for a change but I really wasn’t sure what I wanted my next move to be.

I had a think about what my strengths are and decided I definitely wanted to pursue a career that involved numbers and maths. After deciding that numbers were my thing, I began a home learning accountancy course. Whilst I was in the middle of that, I had a look around to see if I could find a job where I could put my learnings into practice. I applied for a Payroll Assistant role at Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service and despite having no prior experience, they gave me a chance and hired me. That is where my payroll journey started, and I haven’t looked back.

What are the key responsibilities in your role?

I oversee all payroll activity at Phase 3. This entails ensuring that everyone is paid on time, managing the payroll team, training the payroll team, running demos of our payroll system and speaking to potential clients about our services and how we can help.  A major part of my role is having regular reviews with our customers to ensure that everything is running smoothly and they are happy with our services. I hold regular team days with the payroll team too to ensure they know exactly what they need to do and have the correct training to do so.

Describe a typical day

When I first interviewed for the job with Phase 3,  Kate Wadia (1977-2019) was Managing Director. She warned me that no 2 days are the same at Phase 3 and that has been so true since I joined- and that is also why I love my job here. I’m always kept on my toes and never bored.

The typical day to day activities include checking pay reports and checking BACS files. I speak a lot with the team, helping with queries and scheduling meetings with clients.

What skills are needed for his role?

Attention to detail is a must! A decimal point in the wrong place could have disastrous consequences. Being good at maths is a massive bonus also. Having an advanced knowledge of excel comes in handy in this role too, it makes life much easier! A big one that you might not think of in this role is having excellent communication skills, customers need to be able to trust you and your team.

What challenges do you face in this role?

When pay days are approaching it can be difficult to fit in all the work whilst also having time to speak to the team. Every job has busier days in the month though!

What keeps you motivated to go into work every day?

How great and supportive the entire team are at Phase 3! I think our recent Payroll Provider of the Year award at the CIPP Annual Excellence Awards speaks for itself too!

What advice would you give someone considering a career in Payroll?

Take the leap and do it!  It is the best decision I’ve ever made. In such a fast paced environment you will be kept on your toes and never bored, it is only getting more exciting as the technology advances too!

Adam Ford is our Head of Payroll Services at Phase 3

Our team of HR tech and Payroll experts cover all aspects of HR & Payroll systems consultancy. If you’d like to learn more about our team or more about our business and what we can offer, you can contact one of our specialists today. 

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