FD in five minutes: James McDonald from Diverse Abilities

The finance manager at the Dorset charity for people with severe disabilities gets medieval in his spare time

James McDonald
James McDonald

Q: Why charity finance? It really interested me because it was a new discipline and a bit of a challenge. It's not overly different from the finance industry, because the accounting is pretty much the same. The product is very different, though.

Q: What's the biggest challenge in your current role? I'm relatively new to Diverse Abilities, and the biggest challenge is knowing how everything works.

It's meeting new people, finding out how people operate and do their jobs, and developing and tailoring what we do in the finance department to meet others' needs.

Q: What hobbies do you have? My major hobby is archery, especially mediaeval barebow archery. I also make my own arrows. I have an interest in the Middle Ages - it's a period of history that fascinates me. My wife and I go to a lot of mediaeval fairs and re-enactments. I got talking to one of the traders, and they talked me into buying a bow. I haven't looked back since.

I have had the opportunity to take part in tournaments, but I don't think I'm good enough yet - time will tell.

Q: Do you have any advice for charity finance professionals? I think they should find out what non-financial people do, how they think and what they need. The better you know what people want, the better you'll do your job.

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