FD in Five Minutes: Anita Flake

Third Sector speaks to the accounts manager at the Army Flying Museum, based in Hampshire

Anita Flake
Anita Flake

Why did you choose finance as a career? My first and only job within finance is working for the Army Flying Museum. I was employed as a bookkeeper to post invoices onto a computer. Twelve years later I am now the finance manager, producing financial reports related to budgets, accounts, payroll preparation, Gift Aid and other things. I love it.

What is the proudest moment of your career so far? For me, it was self-funding and successfully passing my AAT Accounting Qualification. As the only member of staff working in the finance office, I really wanted to learn as much as I could in order to support the museum. Being part-time enabled me to attend college one day a week and, after three years and hours of studying, I did it – I was very proud.

What do you do outside work? My children have now left home, so I spend all my time with my husband and two Labradors. We walk miles and spend time doing DIY around the house.

Who has been the biggest influence on your career so far? When I first started at the museum, the chief executive at the time was a lady called Marion Paviour. When I realised just how much there was to learn, I panicked and handed in my notice. Marion called me and told me that I was having a crisis of confidence and that I should give myself another month – if I still didn’t like it, she would accept my resignation. Ultimately, she believed in me, and here I am 12 years later.

If you were the charities minister for the day, what one thing would you do? As a charity trying to keep funds coming in, we spend a lot of money on marketing campaigns. This money could be better spent on the long-term preservation of the museum’s collection. If I were charities minister for the day, I would put forward a policy that would allow you to reclaim a percentage of the tax paid on marketing and use that money for the benefit of the charity.

Are you optimistic for the future of the charity sector? The museum has recently undergone a National Lottery-funded renovation project, so I hope we have a very bright future. I believe that well-known charities are well-respected, so funds tend to keep rolling in. However, smaller charities will always find it harder.

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