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28 November 2016

A Day in the Life of... a Professional Services Consultant

By Tom Ryan
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Our blog explores what it’s like to work at Ideagen and today we chat with Peter Adams, Ideagen’s Internal Audit Management Professional Services (PS) Consultant.

Introducing Peter Adams

Peter Adams has more than 25 years’ experience as a risk and audit professional, working primarily in the public and charity sectors. He is a Chartered Internal Auditor (CMIIA), holds the IRM diploma in risk management, and has a degree is Applied Computing. As part of his degree course he developed his own Audit Management system so has first-hand knowledge of the benefits, opportunities, and pit falls of audit automation.

Peter joined Ideagen in September 2015 having previously worked as the Risk & Assurance Manager for Action for Children, one of the UK’s largest national children’s charities. In that role he implemented a complete risk management framework, as well as managed the assurance function which included an outsourced internal audit provider. He also developed an assurance map based on the ‘Three Lines of Defence’, which was a key element of the risk management process and helped to drive the risk based audit plan.

Peter is one of the first people Ideagen clients communicate with when they decide to go ahead with our Pentana audit management system or when any form of training/consultancy is commissioned. From pre-sales support through to proposing software solutions and actively researching the marketplace, Peter plays a crucial role in the journey from when software is acquired to successful implementation.

A day in the life…

So what does a day in the life of Peter Adams look like? I’ve asked Peter himself to shed some light on his working day.

“Morning usually starts with emails and a cup of coffee”, Peter says. “It sounds obvious but it’s easy to get distracted and miss an important email from a client or from someone internally and move on to the next thing on your list. I’ve recently been assigned to a new client, so keeping on top of it is my No1 priority. With every new assignment I need to review requirements and arrange an initiation meeting to get the ball rolling.

After I’ve caught up with my emails I then need to complete the specifications for a customised audit report for one of my banking clients. Once the specs have been completed I’d arrange a meeting (usually via a conference call) with the Development team to hand them over, and review progress with ongoing development work.

Late morning going on to early afternoon I deal with a number of functional queries from clients, for example:

  • How can I create a report to show the top risks?
  • How to change our risk assessment criteria?
  • How to import audit programmes into our library?
  • How to change the terminology in the system to align with our audit manual?

And so on...

This also gives me and my clients a chance to generally catch up and answer their other questions they may have, such as features they might expect in subsequent versions of the software.

In the early afternoon I catch up with colleagues to co-ordinate planned work over the next few weeks. Planning is essential in my role and enables me to stay sharp and allow room for any unexpected work that might come in. I’m also currently organising a trip to Europe in a couple of weeks’ time to implement the software with a financial regulator – travelling is definitely one of the perks of working at Ideagen; you are part of a global client network.

Later in the afternoon I catch up with a couple of clients to see how they are getting on with the software I helped them to configure a few weeks ago. A number of topics could come up in conversation, such as around functional queries, and this time is really important as it helps to tease out any other issues and allows us to build strong relationship.

The role of a PS consultant also requires doing some software testing, particularly when it comes to a new version of the software. We have a new version of Pentana in test to be released next month (Is this 5.1?). The Development Manager has asked me to QA from a functional /client point of view, so this is also running in the background throughout the day.

Finally, our sales team is currently working on a tender and has asked for suggestions as to how to address some of the functional questions, all of which I address towards the end of the day.”

As you can see from Peter’s story, a day in the life of a Professional Services Consultant is really varied and packed full of client engagement, analysis and planning. At the end of the day, client satisfaction, excellent customer service and care along with being responsive, flexible and affable make an excellent PS consultant at Ideagen and these are the values we aim for on a day-to-day basis.

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