Deliveroo's ambitious Finance Manager: Jonathan Christodoulides CA
We talk big opportunities, taking centre court, and the buzz of start-up culture with Jonathan Christodoulides CA, as he takes us on a tour of "fun and collaborative" Deliveroo.
Think of food delivery and you'd be forgiven for thinking of paper menus, phone calls and limited dining options. But London based Deliveroo is a world away from the traditional. Delve into the Deliveroo ethos and you'll discover a tech start-up success story that has disrupted an entire industry.
And it's a start-up on a mission: a mission to change the way we eat. An ambitious statement, but one that fits with the Deliveroo attitude.
Jonathan Christodoulides CA has been Finance Manager with Deliveroo since 2017. He relishes the energy around the business: "The main reason I am at Deliveroo is because of the culture. The culture here is fantastic; everybody is energetic and keen to do a great job as the company is still young and there is so much to do. We all get things done in a fun and collaborative environment, where employees are encouraged to work together."
Working at Deliveroo
Like it's app, the headquarters of this foodie phenomenon are state of the art and culturally aware of what appeals to their digitally savvy audience. 'Roo HQ' employees can boast of a workplace that is fun and dedicated to keeping their team happy.
Speaking about the company, Jonathan said: "There are over 400 people in our London office and the vibe here is fantastic. We work in the most amazing offices right on the river, overlooking the Shard.
"Our office has its own centre court (used for firm-wide meetings, as well as exercise classes), a gym, two gaming areas and nap rooms. We also have our weekly Friday lunches where we order from 20 to 30 restaurants from around the area and all get to socialise in our massive break-out area."
Influencing the agenda
Since launching in 2013, Deliveroo has helped create 7,200 jobs, and in the 12 months to June 2017 had added £372 million in value to the UK economy. Reports estimate that if Deliveroo continues to grow at its current pace, in 2019 the company will have created 23,700 jobs and grow the economy by an impressive £1.5 billion.
Jonathan describes his role in the organisation: "I have been working at Deliveroo for almost a year now, where I act as Finance Manager for the UK and Ireland. I look after Financial Reporting (monthly reporting to our investors and statutory annual reporting) and work closely with our Commercial Finance team to understand monthly variances as well as variances to our budget. I am the main point of contact for our auditors, and also work closely with our tax and VAT team on all areas affecting the UK and Ireland."
Another positive side effect of the Deliveroo culture, Jonathan added, is: "As the company is so young, there is lots of opportunity to get involved in the setting up of new controls and processes, which I often find myself doing. What’s great about working for a young company is that you can really influence how things are set up."
On the lookout for opportunities
There are of course challenges on the horizon, not least the rapid rate of growth. Jonathan said: “The biggest challenge from a Financial Reporting stand-point is the rate at which the company is growing. As the company grows so rapidly, the method for collecting our monthly data changes regularly, new initiatives are rolled out and we sometimes enter new markets.
“This means that a lot of thought needs to be put into how we account for all of this, and it normally needs to be done very quickly.”
Ever the optimist, he looks forward to the opportunities these challenges bring: “This presents great opportunities for learning and development as working in such an environment is quite unique. No two days at Deliveroo are ever the same, which keeps my job both fun and interesting.”
As for working in London – city stressful, or start-up extraordinary? “Working in London is amazing,” Jonathan notes. “I have been in London for six years and have loved every minute of it. Being part of the tech start-up space is great. I get to work with so many smart people on a daily basis who truly believe in what the company is trying to achieve.”
Jonathan studied Accounting and Financial Management at University, before going on to complete a graduate scheme in audit/assurance at BDO LLP in London, where he qualified as a CA.
Describing his journey into the world of start-ups, Jonathan said: "After qualifying I spent a short time working for an investment bank and then decided to join the world of start-ups. Before joining Deliveroo I worked for another tech start-up which focused on augmented reality and the recognition of objects and faces.”
Being a CA has been an integral part of Jonathan’s career journey: "The CA qualification has opened many doors for me, career-wise. It is such a respected qualification which means that I could choose to work in most types of company, in most parts of the world. Not only did the qualification provide me with excellent technical skills, it also allowed me to gain invaluable business experience as you need to complete 450 days of work experience before you can qualify.
“I am proud of being a CA as the qualification is so well respected throughout the world. It also gives me a sense of achievement as the exams are tough and require dedication and hard work.”
Jonathan would “most definitely” recommend the CA qualification and said: “It is worth the hard work you have to put in to qualify as it opens up many career opportunities.”
Long term goals
Looking to the future, Jonathan sees vast changes ahead: "I’m very passionate about the tech start-up space and will no doubt continue to work in this area. I envisage a very different world in 10 years’ time and hope to look back knowing that I have helped shape it.
“My long-term goal is to be able to assist in setting up start-ups, or even start one of my own."