PracticeAccounting FirmsAwards 2006: Simon George – Accountant of the year

Awards 2006: Simon George – Accountant of the year

Accountancy Age Awards 2006 winner: Simon George – Accountant of the year

aa awards 2006

Sponsored by BPP Professional Education

This year’s Accountant of the Year Award goes to Simon George, an assistant
director of finance at Ealing Council. At 34, this CIMA and ACT qualified
accountant has made his presence felt in a variety of roles at Mobil Oil, where
he did his accountancy training, the BBC and now Ealing Council.

At Ealing, George is responsible for financial management and control for
adults’ social care, children’s social care, the education service and housing
and environmental health.

He oversees 100 staff and a £500m budget, and in a little more than a year
since his arrival at the council, he has turned a legacy of overspends ­ £2.6m
in 2003/04 and £1.8m in 2004/05 ­ into a service managed within budget for the
first time in years.

In fact, George has played an important role in a complete turnaround in the
council’s fortunes and culture. Putting an emphasis on open communication, he
restructured the finance team so that it better reflected the council’s
operations.

He has also encouraged members of the finance team to attend all operational
meetings, helping to build bridges with other departments and establish the
profile of the finance team across the council.

By making sure that the council’s executive directors and officers understand
the financial implications of their decisions, George and his team have helped
enforce financial rigour at a council that was struggling financially.

Today’s financial culture at the council is very different. Overspending is
no longer an option and the team works to explore ways of reducing costs and
increasing income so that the council’s budget is balanced.

Over the past year, George’s achievements include: retendering the contract
for day centre transport, resulting in savings of £400,000 on a £1.5m deal and
£1.2m in capital costs; leading the budget process for his £500m division, which
represents two-thirds of the council’s expenditure; and successfully balancing
the budget for his sector, resulting in savings of more than £5m.

George has also worked to ensure the council implements the requirements of
the new Children’s Act, working to identify the financial implications of a
major internal restructuring. This has involved undertaking a fundamental review
of key social care and education budgets.

The judges paid tribute to George’s dedication and determination: ‘Simon is
driven and clearly places professionalism high on his agenda. He delivered
significant savings and led his team through a crucial restructuring to rave
reviews from more senior members of staff.’

DISABILITY CHAMPION

George takes a keen interest in disability issues. At Ealing Council he is a
member of the corporate qualities working group. And at the BBC he acted as a
champion of the disability placement scheme, where individuals with disabilities
were offered work experience at the BBC and often went on to take up permanent
jobs at the corporation.

Related Articles

Where is your next client coming from?

Accounting Firms Where is your next client coming from?

21h James Noble, Propero Partners
Specialist VAT service provider joins MHA

Accounting Firms Specialist VAT service provider joins MHA

1d Austin Clark, Reporter
Grant Thornton expands financial services regulatory team

Accounting Firms Grant Thornton expands financial services regulatory team

1w Austin Clark, Reporter
Top 50+50: Revenue rises spark rankings shake-up

Accounting Firms Top 50+50: Revenue rises spark rankings shake-up

2w Emma Smith, Managing Editor
BDO strengthens Bristol team with new audit partner

Accounting Firms BDO strengthens Bristol team with new audit partner

2w Austin Clark, Reporter
FRC closes investigation into PwC over Barclays compliance

Accounting Firms FRC closes investigation into PwC over Barclays compliance

2w Alia Shoaib, Reporter
Top 50+50: Firms fall short on diversity

Accounting Firms Top 50+50: Firms fall short on diversity

2w Alia Shoaib, Reporter
Top 50+50: Big Four hold steady, shake-up outside Top 20

Accounting Firms Top 50+50: Big Four hold steady, shake-up outside Top 20

2w Emma Smith, Managing Editor