Lee Douglas

Lee Douglas

Photo of Lee Douglas
Deputy Head of Finance


Hi! I’m Lee and I’m an accountant, and for some people nothing could sound more boring (and if you stop reading here that’s ok). I’ll admit it’s not a profession that everyone is going to be automatically interested in, and I certainly wasn’t when I left school. 

I grew up in Oxfordshire and went to the University of Chichester to study Sports Science. After university I then worked in a number of different roles before stumbling across accounts and finance. I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this line of work considering my plan was to work in a sporting environment. Having realised that the areas I enjoyed most about my degree were the analysis aspects and how these could be used to measure and improve performance, the jump to wanting to become an accountant wasn’t actually anything more than a first step – although my friends and family were a little surprised by the change.

Prior to joining the university I worked in both commercial and accountancy practice environments. The time spent in practice was particularly interesting as I worked on a number of different company and personal accounts, from sole traders to large farms. At times it was literally counting sheep!

Since joining the University, I have balanced my work commitments alongside studying towards my professional accounting qualifications and I’m now a fully-qualified member of both the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) and the Association of Accounting Technicians (AAT).

My current role

In my current role I am responsible for preparing Chemistry’s annual budget and quarterly forecasts, managing month and yearend processes, providing management with robust financial reporting, forecasting studentship and CDT expenditure, calculating SRF rates and supporting all of the departments financial transactions. 

With the support of my team, we process all purchases for goods from stores or using the financial system R12, book travel and conferences, process expenses, pay student fees and stipends, and invoice customers for services the Department has provided.

The best thing about my role is the wide range of requests that I come across. These can vary from providing detailed analysis to support departmental strategy, implementing a new inventory system, or even helping students with travel insurance claims, and everything in between. What makes my role so interesting is that you never know what you will be working on next and each new challenge or experience is another opportunity for development.

Other interests

Outside of work my main interests have always been sport-related. I’ve been playing rugby for nearly 25 years and over this period I’ve made some amazing friends. More recently I’ve really got in to cycling, which is something I only used to do when injured (which was more often than I’d like). It certainly wasn’t uncommon to see me hobbling around the Chemistry Research Lab on a Monday morning, or hear the click of my crutches moments before I appeared around the corner. With cycling I’m now getting much more enjoyment from it as I’ve swapped the daily commute (pre-Covid) of going nowhere fast in Oxford traffic, to cycling the 12-plus miles to work each day. Cycling to and from work whilst listening to a podcast, and exercise in general, really allows me to fully switch off from work so that I can spend quality time with my young daughter, who has me completely wrapped around her little finger.