Accountant of the year: David Bloom

In David Bloom the judges found a winner who had demonstrated sound judgement and technical skill along with innovation and leadership ability. Working for Getty Images, the commercial picture library that describes itself as the world’s leading imagery company, Bloom led a cross-border finance team responsible for migrating more than 20 different acquisitions by the business each with their own financial systems and processes onto one common system with standard processes.

Following the appointment of a new CFO in October 2000 the Getty board realised that earlier integration attempts had failed. Last November Bloom was asked to relocate to Seattle to run the integration project, creating a single image website through which pictures can be accessed with a single web-based sales order system.

Largely thanks to Bloom’s input the project went live in North America in October 2001 and in Europe in February of this year. By the end of this summer the project was 90% complete and the company had achieved positive operational cashflow for the first time in its history Ñ despite the advertising and media slowdown in 2001.

The project also helped Getty increase its gross margin by selling more pictures per transaction, reduce headcount and expenses and to cut the number of images distributed by post, as opposed to online, from ten million to one million a year.

All that Bloom achieved impressed our judges. ‘He’s been presented with a big all-round challenge and done a good job,’ said one. ‘He’s shown innovation, leadership and sound judgement.’

The Accountant of the Year category is open to any accountant below the level of finance director or partner. But David Bloom has demonstrated this year that could be precisely where he is heading.

Other shortlisted candidates:

  • Peter Smith, Dickson Dees
  • Karen Sands, Critchleys

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