Accounting for Channel Television


Accounts and office management

Tim Parker-Garner
Tim Parker-Garner is Channel’s Company Secretary – his job includes control of the canteen and all management services

AFTER looking at our photos you will, I’m sure, wish to know what we all do here in the Accounts and Admin, area at Channel. I am the Company Secretary and Accountant of the Company and as such am responsible for the completion of various tasks and the control of a variety of staff. Let me firstly tell you about the accounting side, then continue with the other functions.

Once a month the Accounts Department of the Television Station stars in its own production — yes, we produce the payroll. For a few hours we are popular, then in come the queries on overtime or tax and we fall back to being a bearable nuisance.

Accounts offices the world over are treated as such; engineers do not want to be harassed by a young accounts clerk wanting an invoice to be signed. Sales executives do not want to have to account for all their expense floats and so on ad infinitum.

Being the ‘new boy’ of the Management Team — I only joined in December of 1979 – I am still learning the ropes. My predecessor as Company Secretary was Miss Betty Fearon, who retired in 1980 and had been with Channel from its first days, but only from the mid seventies as Company Secretary. Prior to that Betty kept the Managing Director in order.

Perhaps a brief resume of the functions catered for by the Accounts Department will indicate the varied nature of the business. At present we rely on a Computer Bureau to provide detailed sales and purchase information, but the arrival of “Micky the Micro” our own computer will soon make the trips to the bureau unnecessary.

The Sales Accounting side, once back from the Bureau is handled by Mary Wilkins and we find that by Mary signing letters as M. Wilkins, the cash comes flooding in. (To all non-Jersey readers, the Viscount’s name is M. Wilkins.)

Our newest recruit in the accounts office. Sue Clifford, is responsible for the purchase ledger. Sue also looks after the petty cash and is thus popular when expenses are claimed. We are at present teaching Sue to use the computer for her purchase ledger but she will not go ‘live’ on this for a few months. If ever anyone rings the office they will almost certainly hear the clatter of the typewriter and Pauline Murphy is responsible for this.

Pauline ably assists the Channel accounts with typing and filing but also helps on one of the subsidiaries. You will note that the payroll, on which I started my discourse, has not yet had a mention — well, here we have Doris Faulkner, who not only prepares all the payroll details for the monthly staff, but also for the weekly paid personnel. In between bashing numbers on her calculator and detailing wages to the Social Security and Tax Department Doris writes up the General Ledgers.

My right, or is it left hand, in the office is Sandra Stringfellow and apart from quelling irate callers who I’ve forgotten to call back, Sandra coordinates the tasks in the office, ably plays with the computer, and is always willing to assist when we are attacked by the Auditors or whatever. Thus, with this team I just about get all the cash in, in time to spend it. Somewhat similar to the Forth Bridge — i.e. once it’s painted it’s time to start again!

Well now, what of results. I don’t think I go beyond my brief to tell you that in the first year of operation Channel Islands Communications (Television) Limited made a £25,000 loss; last year the Company made approximately £113,000 profit and the forecasts for the current year are for a profit in excess of that figure. To achieve this growth sales obviously have increased and we now have a turnover of some £1.4m compared with £79,000 in year one.

Nicola Benest
Nicola Benest: Canteen Manageress

Unfortunately, expenses have continued to grow and last year these were some £1.3m, 1962/3 being £104,000. The cost of our assets in the early days, excluding the land and building was some £48,000 and at last year’s audit this was some £455,000. From these figures you will note that the Company has had a steady growth and providing the current sales trends continue, will do so for some years to come.

One of the other facets of Company Secretarial and Administration is Personnel which is shared between myself, the various heads of department and a very able lady, Pat Dorgan. If ever any of you receive a missive from me it has invariably been typed by Pat. If it has not been typed by Pat it’s because I’ve pinched the M.D.’s Secretary, Dorothy Duffield, who assists me in Pat’s absence and also takes the Board and General Meeting Minutes and types them up as well as looking after the M.D.

The Canteen, a place near to my heart, is also under my control and Nicola Benest, our newest recruit in the Company, runs this. Nicola was featured some time ago in the JEP running her own catering business, but the lure of the bright lights has brought her to us.

Around the town you may at times see a white Mini Metro with the CTV logo on it. This will most likely be driven by John Collins, our Station Messenger, handyman and gofor, when we can get him out of the back of his new motor home. John and I have started the CTV Camping Club and to date we are the only members.

I expect that visitors to Channel have been attended to by our bevy of beauties on Reception, headed up by Lynne Roberts. Lynne is assisted full time by Sue Jones and part-time by Elaine Lumsden.

The final area to be covered by the Admin, banner is possibly one of the most important — the cleanliness of the building. Responsible for this is a part-time army of cleaners headed by Fay Cavanagh, ably assisted by Anne Dibbens and Doreen Renshaw. As the cleaners start at about 6 a.m. the only evidence of their visit in most of the offices is the freshly lined bins and a pleasant odour of furniture polish.

With the thought of Glade or similar in your minds or nostrils, I complete the resume of the Accounting and Admin, areas of the TV Station.


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