My job is to ensure effective quality assurance for all software. In doing this, it is important for me to understand the progress made by each of the teams (by acting as line- manager to the QA testers) and to make sure that everyone is motivated to do their job effectively.

City Index’s Quality Assurance Manager enhances skills at LCT to enable more effective supervision of staff.

City Index is a world-leading brokerage firm which provides an online trading platform for investors to buy and sell financial instruments (tradable assets). City index provides the software and technology to enable investors to undertake spread betting, Contract For Difference (CFD) trading, and Foreign Exchange (FOREX) trading. Established in 1983, City Index has grown to become a household name, with over 400 employees worldwide and offices in the UK, Singapore, China, Dubai, and Australia. More than two million trades are carried out each month, across fifty countries, using the City Index trading platform.


The Delegate

The assistant controller, in the accounts and finance department, has many responsibilities. These include:

  • Financial administration
  • Monthly closing
  • Financial statement’s preparation
  • Cash-flow forecasting

It is regarded as essential for employees working within this department to have the skills to cover each others’ responsibilities when required – for example during business trips, annual leave, or in other instances when employees are out of the office.The course participant had a good understanding of finance but felt she needed further training to be able to perform functions that are usually undertaken by the senior controller and chief accountant.It was therefore important for her to gain more of an understanding of:

  • The oil and gas industry and a whole
  • Financial statement composition and analysis
  • Financial reporting
  • Treasure management
  • Cash management
  • Cash-flow analysis
  • Financial modelling

Gazprom Sakhalin Holdings B.V. therefore booked her on the ‘Oil and Gas: Finance‘ training course that would help her develop these competencies.

The Course

The five day training course she attended was designed for public sector officials with responsibility for the state management of oil and gas resources, the course covered:

  • Financial management and cost control systems
  • Effective budget preparation and management of expenditure
  • Cash-flow management and forecasting
  • How to interpret key financial statements and elements within the balance sheet
  • Financial ratios and analysis
  • Global treasury models and their structure and management
  • How to structure return, income, and defensive portfolios
  • The roles and impacts of financial instruments and traded options over time
  • Risk management and minimisation
  • Financial modelling and scenario planning

It was an intensive one-to-one course facilitated by an experienced and personable training consultant who has worked extensively in finance and the oil and gas industry. Consequently, the participant felt very much at ease during the training:

I really liked the consultant. He was friendly and knowledgable.

The fact that the course was one-to-one meant that discussions could be tailored to the individual needs of the delegate, making the training much more relevant and effective. Asked how significant this was, she commented:

I think it was really useful. We were able to cover aspects that are particularly important to my job role.

The initial stages of the training focused on the delegate herself to enable the consultant to understand her job role, responsibilities, challenges, and what she wanted to learn from the course. Once known, it took the form of consultancy, with instructor-facilitated discussions using real data.

We had financial statements and went through what the numbers said to us, what we can work out (and how), and what it shows us.

In order to ensure effective learning the consultant blended theory with practice in two ways:1. Firstly, case studies were provided in order to help demonstrate how organisations have adopted various forms of best practice.

The real world practical examples were really informative and interesting. we looked at different organisations to see what they did, where they succeeded, anything they did wrong, and the results of their activities.

2. Secondly, when it came to important calculations, the consultant provided practical, scenario-based, problem-solving exercises where the participant had to apply what she had learned in order to find solutions.

The exercises where I had to interpret data to obtain a result were really useful.