What does the term 'Admin' actually mean?
A BLOG BY HELEN WILCE (FINANCE AND ADMINISTRATION MANAGER AT TRIDENT MARKETING)
When I tell people that I am a Finance and Administration Manager, they seem to generally understand what I do for the finance side, but admin is a word thrown around so much, and yet, being such a broad term, many people do not know what it actually covers.
I really do love my job, and I am not just saying that because this is a company blog, I actually mean it! It is hard work, but I love it. I have worked in various roles during my 41-year career, starting in a post room, then as a purchase ledger and various other roles over the years, such as payroll and finance controller. I had the opportunity to be an accountant, but I turned it down because I wanted a more varied role.
My job at Trident is the perfect split between finance and admin, which is what makes my role interesting. It is so much more than just numbers. It also helps that I get on so well with the people here and love to work with them, including the doggies who know to come to my drawer when they want a treat. I am definitely the office mum to the team’s younger members, but that’s a badge I am happy to wear. Plus, my job is fast-paced, and I love to keep busy.
The finance side of things is all about accuracy. We review the accounts every month to monitor money in, money out, profit and where we are heading as a company. I am human and make mistakes, but it is important to be on the ball and leave as little room for error as possible. Over the years, I have seen so much change in how finance is done. I remember the countless hours spent manually inputting figures and am so thankful for how we do things today. Excel is an enormous help for creating our bespoke reports and finance packages. It saves so much time and helps further improve that all-important accuracy.
As for the admin side, it is a term that covers a vast range of responsibilities. To briefly surmise, it is a range of jobs that help an office to run smoothly and efficiently with various clerical tasks and projects. The reason people need help understanding what admin covers is that it is different in every company, as the duties are dependent on what that particular office needs. The term ‘admin’ or ‘administration’ comes from the mid-14th century term ‘administracioun’, which means the ‘act of giving or dispensing’. This makes a lot of sense when you consider the tasks it covers.
To be successful in administration, you need to be highly organised, have good communication skills and these days, you need to be confident with IT. In other instances, the term ‘admin’ can refer to a court-appointed person in charge of overseeing a deceased person’s estate or, more commonly, someone who has overall control of a website, forum, or network.
My admin roles include answering the phone, greeting visitors, research, vetting sites for clients, event organising and bookings. I think working in a marketing agency really brings admin to life as we have a broad range of clients, all with different needs, which means no two days are ever the same in my life. One day I can be booking a golf course for a client’s event, and the next, I am vetting prominent advertising spots in London. Our work is not confined to the local area, so I spend a lot of time booking hotels for team members that are away working with clients, such as our videographer and drone pilot who have recently been around the country filming adverts for retirement homes.
I guess the only real way of defining admin is to say that it is exciting and I love it. I would strongly recommend considering a career in admin for anyone who wants a varied role with great career progression, but they do need to have a high work ethic.