I’m a relative newbie to the world of the speaker bureau, and most definitely to the daily 9am-6pm, five days a week grind! A recent graduate in political science and philosophy, I have been plucked from my somewhat lackadaisical student lifestyle and placed into the fast-paced environment of speaking events ranging from motivational speakers to after-dinner comedy. So, how does an armchair philosopher and future prime minister (in my dreams!) end up in the mayhem of balancing books? I am the current receptionist and office administrator for JLA. In the last three months I have gained a lot of knowledge about accounts, a world I admit I never thought I would enter. I am a support to the hard work of our accounts manager Hyacinth and office manager Suzy. I am in charge of invoicing our clients for fees and expenses, and I process the invoices from our speakers from their various events. I have begun to pick up on the different logos and names these invoices present, I have an odd sense of familiarity with our speakers, one that comes entirely from an A4 page. I have learnt that charm and persistence is often essential to relieve people of their money!
I have encountered a number of trials and tribulations in this time. The most common being the existence of Purchase Orders – who knew these collections of random numbers could cause so much havoc! I have taught myself to keep a look out for these tricky POs and deal with them as efficiently as possible. We pride ourselves on efficiency and ensuring our hard-working artists, such as motivational speakers Dame Kelly Holmes or Mandy Hickson, are recompensed promptly for their time and inspiration. Further trials include the confusion of currencies; lack of bank details and at times, the lack of invoice altogether! No invoice is like no passport – a disaster! However, these tribulations provide challenges that keep the day interesting. Only three months ago I was unaware of Speaker Bureaux altogether, now I am learning everyday. Furthermore, I am acquiring knowledge all the time about the intricacies of accounts, and despite my profound dislike of maths, I am somewhat masochistically enjoying it.
What’s next? An invoice for an event in Edinburgh for one of our motivational speakers. Accounts and admin at JLA is certainly never dull, despite the reputation the moniker “Accounts” holds in general!