A Day in the Life of an Administrator
Audit Yorkshire’s aim is to provide high quality internal audit and anti-crime services. But I don’t do internal auditing or counter fraud work. My role is to work behind the scenes, supporting the staff who do provide these services. As I’m usually hidden away in an office, I thought I’d write “A Day in the Life of…” article, lifting the curtain so you can look backstage and see what I do.
Much of what I do appears rather mundane. Activities like updating spreadsheets, scanning documents, answering emails and filing, take up much of my time. However the management team consider these tasks vital to the smooth operation of Audit Yorkshire. What I aim to do in describing my day below, is select representative tasks from the wide range of things I do and try to show why it matters to Audit Yorkshire and in turn, to our members and clients.
10:00am Thanks to Audit Yorkshire’s flexi-time policy, I can choose to start work late. I’m not an early morning person. The commute to Dewsbury is quicker as I avoid school run traffic. My first task is to fire up the computer and read my emails, looking especially for any urgent tasks.
10:15am A member of staff is unfortunately off sick. I inform the managers so that they can make appropriate arrangements to cover their absence.
10:30am The Managing Director wants me to send an urgent circular to all staff. It comes to me first as I maintain an up-to-date group list of all Audit Yorkshire staff. With 47 staff (at last count) spread across the whole of West and North Yorkshire, emails are the most effective way of communicating within Audit Yorkshire.
10:45am A supplier is wondering why they haven’t been paid. It turns out that their invoice quoted the wrong purchase order number. This shows the importance of accuracy at all times in doing routine administrative tasks like issuing and checking bills.
11:00am A client manager sends me the latest Audit Committee dates for their clients. So I update a scheduling spreadsheet showing all the audit committees for all of our members and clients (28 at the last count) and when the committee papers are due beforehand. This schedule helps the managers to plan their diaries – vital when there are over 100 Audit Committees a year for Audit Yorkshire to attend.
11:10am Interrupted by a delivery. I sign for the item and then log on to our Oracle system to record its receipt. If I don’t do this, then when the invoice comes, our Payments Team will refuse to pay.
11:45pm I leave the building to visit the post room in another part of the hospital. On the way there, I stop by the Estates office to log a request that the flickering light in the corridor needs to be fixed. It is important to me that our team’s working environment is as good as it can be. At the post room, I pick up some private & confidential post for the Counter Fraud team, which I take back and hand deliver to one of our Local Counter Fraud Specialist (LCFS). I also have to record all the post we received in a log book. This is very important – particularly in support of investigation work being undertaken by our excellent anti-crime team.
12:15pm A new person is joining Audit Yorkshire. There are a large number of administrative tasks to do before they arrive. The relevant IT people have to be informed. HR require scans of their passport and other personal documents proving their ID, home address and qualifications. Also their name needs to be added to local paper and electronic systems, such as timesheets, personnel files (also known as “P Files”). I calculate their pro rata annual leave entitlement. When their phone number & email address is known, I will update a central Staff Contact Details sheet and email this information to everyone. As a large NHS internal audit organisation, we always welcome enquiries from people wanting to work for us, even if we aren’t advertising a vacancy at the time. For current vacancies see the Careers page on our recently revamped website: https://www.audityorkshire.nhs.uk/careers/
1:25pm Quickly I check our Twitter account. In the last year, we have been using Twitter (and our website) much more regularly, sharing information about ourselves along with updates on internal audit, fraud and relevant NHS issues. I encourage you to bookmark our website and follow us on @AuditYorkshire.
1:30pm Lunch time – usually a sandwich from the local shop or something zapped in the staff kitchen microwave.
2:00pm I check my emails and reply to a few short enquiries.
2:15pm A responsibility of my job is to know the policies and procedures for the different types of leave and to alert the line manager when necessary. Following on from this morning’s news that a member of staff is off sick, I now update their P File. I fill out the initial boxes of the HR Sickness form and email it to the line manager to complete when the staff member returns to work. It is important that we collect this data to make sure we support any employee when they are absent from the office and to ensure that their return to work goes well.
2:45pm Regularly I search the internet for any forthcoming internal audit tenders being advertised. We are a not-for-profit organisation with a NHS focus, but we also work with other public sector and third sector clients.
3:05pm An interruption by a colleague arriving from another site wanting to use a spare laptop, so he can access the audit files stored on our local network. Before handing it over, I make a note of the laptop’s unique number which is linked to the equipment inventory I look after.
3:10pm I continue going through various tender websites. Apart from the very large tenders which are all advertised via the EU website, TED (Tenders Electronic Daily), there is no one single website that contains all available tenders. I regularly check 15 different websites or portals.
3:45pm A manager forwards me an email from Occupational Health that specifies a piece of equipment we need to purchase for a colleague. It is really important to us that our staff have the right equipment to do their work effectively and efficiently. It’s quite a complex process ordering the item on Oracle – not like Amazon with just a few clicks! Once done, the order is checked by the Deputy Director and then finally by the Purchasing team before it is placed with our supplier.
4:15pm Next I do some work on one of our newsletters we produce for our clients. We regularly disseminate important information such as anti-crime alerts, notices of events and briefings on key topics.
5:30pm One of our printers has run out of toner, so I replace the cartridge. Then I go online and order a new toner cartridge. As it is more efficient to order stationery at the same time, I check our stationery cupboard in case we need to restock. Fortunately we don’t. Our need for stationery is much smaller now - we are now almost paper free as an organisation - and we are careful to keep orders to a minimum to keep NHS costs down.
5:55pm The day’s nearly over. I fill out my timesheet for the day before closing my laptop & locking everything away. At Audit Yorkshire we are very focussed on ensuring confidentiality and security and this extends to the Admin Office too.
6:00pm Time to go home. Before I leave, as I’m usually the last person in the office, I check the building for any windows left open or lights left on. Then away I go on roads that are clearing up after the evening rush hour - another benefit of flexi-time working.
Andrew Smith, Admin and Marketing Support