Self-proclaimed Excel geek and Accounting lover Hannah shares how her experience at a Big 4 Accounting firm prepared her for a career at Groupon.
Tell us about your job! What do you do? What do you love about it?
I am part of the EMEA Accounting team based in London. We look after the accounting for various entities in EMEA. Right now I work primarily on our Belgium and United Kingdom entities, as well as on various tasks for our EMEA region. What I love the most is that it’s a fast-moving environment so it never gets boring. For example, I was recently given the opportunity to travel to a couple of the other offices such as Paris and Warsaw. It’s been busy but has also been so to great meet and work with new people.
What’d you do before Groupon? How’d you get here?
Straight out of school I joined the School Leaver Program at Ernst & Young. I was just out of school when I joined EY, and working for one of the Big Four at 18 was a bit of a shock if I’m totally honest; I definitely was not ready to balance working long hours as well as studying for my accountancy exams. I was really devastated when it didn’t work and was a bit lost with what I wanted to do as I always had my heart set on the world of Accounting.
I then joined a Mini Prime Brokerage on the accounts team. This was the opposite of my previous experience: a small firm with about 50 employees in total. Here I learned more than I could have ever imagined. I became a huge Excel geek and by the time I left I was running the month-end process for the company, it was a huge responsibility. I was there for over two years, but when I heard of the opportunities at Groupon I couldn’t miss the chance. I felt like I had a career opportunity at Groupon rather than just a job.
Your role probably exists at other companies aside from Groupon…so what makes your role at Groupon unique?
Groupon is continuously growing, there is always something changing and something new is always on the horizon. It can be challenging at times, keeping up with the changes but I get to work with some really experienced colleagues that are all for sharing their knowledge which allows our team to grow so it’s a great opportunity. I am again, studying for my accountancy exams and Groupon is invested in my professional development. It is a different environment to my previous experience which is much more suited for me. I get the support of colleagues who have been through similar experiences which is a huge help when finding a balance between work, studying and everyday life.
What’s your favorite Groupon memory?
My favorite Groupon memory was our trip to the We Work festival. A number of us were invited by the company for an all-expense-paid weekend trip. I got to spend a weekend with my colleagues/friends, and the biggest highlight was that I got to see Florence and the Machine which was always on my bucket list! It was a great way to network. Another one has to be the Halloween Quiz we had. Our team name was the ‘Skelle-tubbies’. We had the best masks that moved when you spoke, we won best-dressed team!
What’s been the most challenging thing you’ve worked on?
When the new Revenue Recognition Standards came into place recently, we had to amend the way we recognized Business Developer’s Commissions in EMEA. There was a lot of challenging work in the beginning but it’s been really rewarding. I worked to develop this new process, and I post entries across multiple countries which has been a first for me.
Who inspires you?
A bit different, but Ellen DeGeneres is an inspiration for me. She is commonly known for being a talk show host but she is much more than that. Her career was not plain sailing and she was awarded a Freedom Medal from President Obama for her courage. She speaks for those who feel they can’t, uses her platform to gift generous donations to those in need, isn’t afraid to be different, and she stands up for what she believes in. We need more Ellens in the world.
What was your first impression of Groupon as an employer?
In all honesty, I was nervous to work for a big company again… but I was so relieved it was a completely different atmosphere. My team is great and they were so welcoming when I joined.
There are a lot of amazing Groupon stories. What’s your biggest accomplishment?
Like I mentioned before, the most challenging task was probably my biggest accomplishment in the last year. It was a new revenue recognition that hadn’t been done in Groupon before and I got to work with many teams across EMEA. I have also recently been chosen to help on the cash reconciliation transition to the new team in Poland. I’m really excited to travel and meet new people. I get to share what I have learned in the last year. I’ve surprised myself with how much I have learned and how far I have come.
What do your parents think you do?
And I quote… “Sum things up.”
You probably have a life outside Groupon; what are you up to when you’re not at work?
When I’m not at work, I’m most often socializing with my friends or family. I love food, so it normally includes going out for dinner or cooking new recipes and hoping for the best!
If you could do another job for just one day, what would it be and why?
I would probably find a job where I could play and look after dogs all day, that would be the dream!
What’s your favorite local business?
The Goudhurst Inn, a local pub. It does the best roast dinners!
Can you write a Groupon haiku?
Nothing is better – –
Than a “bright” sunny day in – –
Summer in London
Tell us something that might surprise us about you.
You can spell Hannah backward and forward. (Cue the laughs.)