It’s not just technical abilities Barbara Shortall looks for when recruiting for her team. Communication and relationship-building skills are high on her list, as well as the ability to “enjoy the complexities” of treasury. And if any of those complexities ever prove to be unusually tricky, she sometimes finds the answer while reading a good book.
How did you come into treasury and what attracted you to the profession?
Like many treasurers I came into the job through an unexpected opportunity. I studied Accounting at university and trained as a charted accountant with one of the Big Four firms.
On applying for my first role in industry I was offered a treasury accounting role with Viridian, one of the few large groups of companies in Northern Ireland that were listed. Before that I hadn’t come across a treasury team, nor knew what it did. When I researched treasury a bit more I found it to be such an interesting and vibrant area of the business, and always looking to the future, so I grabbed that opportunity and haven’t regretted that decision once.
Being in such a central role to an organisation, ensuring that cash and facilities were available to enable the company to follow its objectives, was an exciting start to my post-practice career. Treasury also gave me opportunities to report directly to senior management at an early stage of my career and gain the ability to see how different company functions worked together.