Coffee Break Chat with Clare Dillon, Financial Controller
Can you tell us about your background and how you ended up at Roomex?
“I moved to Dublin from Limerick to work for Workday [who provide enterprise cloud applications for finance, HR, and planning]. I was part of an international finance team for the Dublin office and I had a broad range of responsibilities from the day to day operations, month end procedures, US GAAP & statutory audits, direct and indirect tax returns. In basic terms they provide financial software and they develop their own Tech product, which is similar to us here in Roomex, and it’s really interesting and rewarding to see the product being developed from the inside and how it benefited the customers.”
Any other learnings from your past experience that you brought to Roomex?
“Yes indeed. Workday are a big multinational, but their Dublin office was small when I joined them. As a result you get to dip your hands into everything, as you're dealing with suppliers and customers, and you have your normal account functions but you're also really involved with other members of the company as well. You feel you can really make an impact.”
“And being part of a team which was growing all the time means that you have to grow personally and professionally to keep up and it’s a similar theme here in Roomex with the rapid expansion plans we have in place now. We’re all excited at what the future holds here. Anything feels possible”
Can you tell me about any particular big projects that you’ve being involved in with Roomex?
“Diners Club International was an interesting project for us here. We partnered with the charge card company to provide our customers with an easy and secure way to pay for workforce hotel bookings. There was a lot of integration involved with our engineering team to ensure there was a seamless link between our clients’ hotel bookings and the Diners payment facility. Getting that project live, working through the challenges and familiarising our customers with this new process was an interesting and rewarding challenge.”
If you were on the other side of the fence, as a financial controller of a company who uses Roomex for its hotel bookings, what benefits of Roomex would really appeal to you?
“Definitely having the one invoice at the end of the month is a huge benefit. Otherwise I would be chasing down expenses from colleagues to get processed and dealing directly with all the various hotels involved. With one invoice, pulling in all the correct cost centres, it goes straight to the relevant people, they can review it and import it into their systems. As a result, it’s easy to reconcile and get the credit approval and overall it’s a huge time saver. With Roomex you also get a credit line so that you can make bookings for the future and never have to prepay for bookings.”
Outside of the office, what do you enjoy doing in your freetime?
“I train for triathlons when I leave the office in the evenings. I’ve always been active and like to stay fit. I got into triathlons about four years ago as a way of settling into Dublin when I moved up here. I really enjoy it and find it’s good for the head, the heart, the mind, the body, everything really. And there’s the social element to it as well of course. You get out and about in the countryside which is always great. In Dublin we’re blessed with the sea, the mountains and everything in between; it’s a great place for triathletes. I also completed a triathlon in Austria this summer. There was a beautiful backdrop to the race. About 20 of us from the club participated and it was great craic - although I’m still recovering!”
Do you see any parallels between the dedication needed for Triathlons and your work environment?
“Yes definitely, it’s goal orientated, it keeps you driven, you get that sense of achievement, of getting over the finishing line...you train with your team, there is real camaraderie, we’re all in it together and help each other - all of these things translate over into the business world. I remember in college when I was involved in sport and one of the guys told me the years that he failed his college exams were the years that he wasn't involved in sport. When he got back training and immersing himself in sport again, he flew through his exams. I guess it goes to show how sport helps keep you focused and driven and it keeps you disciplined with clear goals in mind. Much like in the business world.”
Roomex is attending the FD (Financial Directors) Surgery event in Manchester on Nov 1st. Just to finish up our coffee break chat, can you tell us a little about that?
“Yes, we’re sponsoring the event this year and it’s a great chance for those in Finance to learn, share and network with their peers. There will be keynote speeches, roundtable discussions and some world class case studies on innovative financial tech and how to raise your game to be the commercial Financial Director your business needs to grow. I would highly recommend attending if you can make it.”