Opus Services :: Resource Overview

John Halstead of Opus Services

John Halstead is a Chartered Accountant and, since qualifying his career has been directed towards commercial organisations rather than the profession. He has worked at senior and director level with several large PLCs and, in addition to his financial, general management and personnel skills, he has a well rounded appreciation of the techniques used by successful organisations to maximise efficiency, control resources, train and develop staff and identify the need for and management of change.

His extensive experience of working with computer systems ranges from PCs to mainframes, and he has excellent knowledge of a broad range of business software. He has advanced knowledge of the Microsoft Office Suite and its application for improving efficiency, business control and planning, accounting support, database management and high quality presentations.

Industry exposure covers the automotive, insurance and utilities sectors. In automotive he gained experience in contract hire and leasing, retail car distribution, group activities, internal audit and capital project work. He acquired extensive customer service experience whilst working in utilities.

Technical skills encompass business, financial and strategic planning, monitoring, management and reporting, including management and development of policies, systems, processes and personnel involved, reporting and accounting as per regulatory and legal requirements including taxation, dividends, annual report and accounts, financial staff management, motivation, training, recruitment and selection.

As with most experienced FDs he has handled responsibility for company insurance, import/export administration, contracts and agreements, legal areas and activities, corporate level negotiations, major supplier/customer/partner relationships, regulatory body relationships and strategies, approvals and accreditations, IT planning, management and control, health and safety and "Company Secretary" duties.

Working with several SMEs has led to an intimate knowledge of the difficulties faced in developing smaller organisations. The consistent difficulty faced by senior management is the lack of a skilled resource to trouble shoot problems. In most cases this has been in the administration and accounting areas where staff restrictions have led to "log jams". MDs invariably have excellent operational skills but lack the knowledge, detailed knowledge or simply the time to keep their financial arm in tune.

He has also co-authored several books including Best Practice Guides for Managers in Small / Medium Businesses, Health and Safety at Work in the Retail Motor Industry, Commercial Vehicle Workshops and also Office Environments. The latest publication is a guide for graduates and school leavers as they prepare for entry into working life written from the perspective of a business manager and entitled "Career Skills - Opening Doors into the Job Market"

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