My role involves looking at financial performance and compliance. I see whether we are meeting our short-term forecasts and our longer-term targets, such as business improvement plans. I support the management in two core operational teams – clean water and waste water – with all their financial planning and performance. That involves working with 15 to 20 stakeholders.

Scottish Water is a massive company that’s still in the public sector, unlike the water industry in England. All the water companies have a regulator, a water-quality regulator and an environmental regulator, and we have a six-year contract.

We have a huge investment programme to maintain and replace the assets. We overlap quite a bit as the impact of the investment affects the operational side, so there are a lot of discussions with the investment team.

However much it rains, our funding is fixed each year. Technology and innovation help us to manage flood events

Working from home is wonderful for anyone who otherwise has to commute, and we are comfortable that we can perform effectively without being in the office. The plan is hybrid working in the future, with two or three days in the office and the rest of the week working from home. We are also finding communication has improved because we are not taking it for granted now.

The two biggest challenges we face are climate change and technology, which is moving at rapid pace. Scottish Water has its own unique challenges, and we engage with our partners closely to develop and deliver solutions. Glasgow’s ‘smart canal’ is an excellent example of how we respond to the challenges of flooding.

Flood events do place great pressure on assets, which places stress on budgets. However much it rains, our funding is fixed each year. Technology and innovation help us to manage those flood events.

Before joining Scottish Water a decade ago, I worked in various industries. I’ve worked in an accountancy practice, in manufacturing, for a multinational and in the waste management industry. My skills and experience, plus having the ACCA qualification, meant that I felt comfortable going for any role.

I was a financial controller before I was 30, and there are not many who achieve that. When I worked in waste management there was an insolvency with a pre-pack administration, which meant we had to build up a company from scratch at 24 hours’ notice, helping to preserve jobs for hundreds of people and maintain services for customers. That was an experience and something I’m proud of.

My advice to a young accountant would be to get varied experience, travel if you can, and don’t feel that your route to qualification is the be-all and end-all. The ACCA qualification is so flexible you can find a route that is right for you.

Away from work I’m a sports fanatic. If I’m not watching it on TV, I’ll be out watching it live or playing golf on the Bridge of Allan course, which is over 125 years old, or in the gym or walking the dog. I try to stay active.

More resources

ACCA has launched a public sector hub offering further resources for members at the front line of public service