Meet New CILNI Finance Officer

Tom Coard, our new Finance Officer, joined CILNI back in March. Here is a short interview discussing his previous roles and favourite pastimes.

Tell us a little bit about your career to date:

Hard to condense almost 40 years’ work life into just a few lines. I started life after school as a Civil Servant, moved to the private sector with an accountancy firm as a tax advisor and then to the community and voluntary sector in the very early 1990’s working with a variety of organisations including Disability Action NI, Marie Curie Cancer Care and Nexus NI. My roles have always been of a back office nature – counting and recording the money, building budgets for funding bids and generally maintaining the financial records to demonstrate good governance and correct financial management.

What is your role at CILNI?

I was appointed as to the role of Finance Officer in mid-March and am responsible for maintaining the organisation’s finances ensuring that our bills are paid in a timely manner and keeping a watchful eye on our cash flows.

Describe a typical day in the office:

At the moment still on a steep learning curve discovering what we do and how we deliver our services. Adding up numbers and agreeing them on bank statements, finding differences and reconciling them are generally the same however you work with figures. Learning more about the culture of the organisation is the challenge for the newbie.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The satisfaction of getting all the figures to agree! However, that’s not the most critical element to my job. Coming to work with CILNI has been almost like a homecoming! I can remember during my time at Disability Action the introduction of a Direct Payments Pilot programme and worked alongside Debbie and Philomena as colleagues and friends. It is really great to come almost full circle and join the team here.

What is your favourite pastimes?

I am a keen (if often frustrated) Ulster and Ireland Rugby supporter and hold a season ticket for games at Ravenhill. My principal pastime / hobby however involves music. I sing with Belfast Philharmonic Choir and have the privilege of performing regularly with the Ulster Orchestra each season singing mainly the larger classical symphonic works by Handel, Verdi, Mozart, Beethoven, Orff, Mendelssohn and whatever other composers the UO cares to add to the mix. I also sing regularly with New Irish Arts and occasionally in Down Cathedral with a much smaller choir. I also make time for family and friends (when not performing or rehearsing).


What is your favourite song? Mozart’s Requiem – the whole work

What is your favourite movie? Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

What is your favourite book? If you want to walk on the water you’ve got to get out of the boat.