Meet Kate Mansell, Finance Manager at INSTANDA

Posted on 26th May 2023

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Meet Kate Mansell, Finance Manager at INSTANDA

Posted on 26th May 2023

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Tell us a little bit about yourself

I grew up in small village called Buntingford in Hertfordshire and recently moved to a village near Cambridge with my partner and 3 dogs. Looking back, I was very fortunate growing up. We had horses and I was a member of Bedfordshire South Pony Club. I was selected by them on numerous occasions and competed up and down the country, qualifying and placing at national championships in various disciplines. I am now the acting Treasurer for the club and have been for 5 years.

Moving out of the family home led me to drift away from the horse world and I found myself falling into the Dog world. I currently own an XL Bully, a Miniature Bull Terrier, and a Staffordshire Bull Terrier. If you’re not au fait with dog breeds, they are the scary looking ones, but I promise they are friendly! I frequently attend numerous shows across the country and have qualified for Crufts twice, placing 5th in our Breed class this year. I have also just qualified as a judge and have my first appointment in June this year.

What does a typical day look like for you?

Depends on the time in the month. The first two weeks of the months are usually pretty hectic as it’s full steam ahead on wrapping up the numbers for month end. The revenue is finalised first which involves working with numerous departments within INSTANDA, as well as running SQL codes looking at the database and all policies transacted on the platform. Once finalised I’ll go on to review the Opex side of things and make any necessary adjustments to ensure all accounting principles are followed. The financial data is then collated, and I generate numerous reports and financial statements that feed into the board packs including Cashflow and reporting of the profit and loss account against budget.

I am currently working with our auditors to finalise our year end accounts as well as collating data for our R&D return. My time is also spent on ‘generic’ finance activities such as debtor chasing as well as working with the Legal and Commercial team to action and document any new agreements. Oh, and I can’t forget working with the HR Payroll team to ensure payroll is accurate and processed on time!

What led you to this career?

My mother is a credit controller and has been at the same company for 20+ years, she suggested that I go into accounting as I enjoy working with numbers. I started work 1 week after completing my A Levels and then opted to start my accounting exams at an evening college course in Cambridge. I had 3 ‘proper’ jobs before INSTANDA, all in finance but different functions. I applied at INSTANDA and was fortunate to get an interview, the rest is history!

Tell us about your career progression to date

I’ve been with INSTANDA since 2017, so coming up 6 years ago, around 3 years into my finance career. At the time the team consisted of myself and our previous Interim CFO, Ian Konrath. I was thrown completely into the deep end, but Ian and I were a great team. I believe that being exposed and trusted with the financial data increased my knowledge significantly. A few years in, INSTANDA hired a Finance Manager who was great to work for. He and I collaborated on various tasks and projects as well as frequently changing assignments, not only to make our work more exciting, but also to ensure we were both competent and capable of completing all tasks. His position became vacant as he was offered his dream job, however this ultimately led to my promotion, and gave me the opportunity to step up into the Finance Manager role at INSTANDA. I'm grateful that the previous 5 years of my career had given me a huge amount of knowledge and experience to carry into this role!

What do you enjoy most about working at INSTANDA?

Honestly, the people and the culture. It is an extremely understanding workplace. The HR team are continuously implementing changes to benefit our employees. INSTANDA really want their employees to thrive. They encourage us to use our annual learning allowance as well as implementing LinkedIn Learning as they want their employees to feel recognised. I had never been a people manager before stepping up into the Finance Manager role last year. The L&D team at INSTANDA hosts monthly management training courses which I feel have been hugely beneficial. We also have a Culture Committee and LGBTQ+ Network who both host various events, lunch and learns, and activities throughout the year to ensure INSTANDA remains a great place to work, and makes everyone feel welcome and valued.

If a new starter asked you for advice in their first month of being here, what would say?

Keep going! It may seem overwhelming at first, especially if you haven’t worked in Insurance or Tech before, there is a lot of jargon to understand! Get involved with as much as you can, take part in all of the committee led events and don’t be afraid to ask questions!! It truly is a great place to work.

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