[foundation-board] FYI - update on Michelle

Laura James laura.james at okfn.org
Wed Oct 22 18:15:09 UTC 2014

*All, Just to let you know I spoke with Michelle today.  She is now
returning to work part time starting with finance activities 1-2 hours a
day.  This will ramp up as her recovery allows, staying just with finance
for the moment.  We will look to add in other duties as and when and have
no fixed plan for these yet. She will be avoiding the pressure of general
email and general team meetings for now. I expect to have a clearer long
term cover plan in 2-3 weeks as Michelle's recovery continues and we see
how the part time tasks work out. I am prioritising that she continues to
rest and is not placed under pressure at this time. I will also work up
some alternative plans around different scenarios here and share with the
board as soon as I can (speaking with Tom about this on 3/11). An interim
accountant starts monday (already has been getting up to speed with Xero
etc) and I will be briefing him to handle [in priority order] (1) year end
accounts, (2) audit (due end nov), (3) project financial management
support.  I expect he will be with us for 4-6 weeks in the first instance
but we will review and see how things go. Cassandra and I have been getting
matters ready for briefing him and a quick start on the accounts and
audit.  He will be handling direct liaison with Buzzacott on the audit. I
am writing a role description for a grant manager who will take on
financial management for projects especially grants, including tracking and
reporting to funders. This will relieve the burden off Michelle and also
our project managers.  The PMs are gaining in financial skill but this sort
of tracking and reporting is not a strength or passion and we have enough
work to justify a 0.6-1FTE appointment. This was anticipated by Michelle
and I before her illness and so should proceed. Cassandra has been getting
& staying on top of bookkeeping, payroll etc nicely in Michelle's absence
and Nigel, recently promoted to senior sysadmin, has IT under good control
too. Meg in HR, who is still learning a lot about this sort of role as it
is her first HR position, has a higher workload and is less good at
prioritising, needing daily management support, which I am covering at
present. Michelle's return to work will mean I no longer need to cover
payrun and banking duties although I will continue to help with higher
level finance work. Laura*
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