Ben Lee

Commercial Accountant

"I manage a team of 3 people. We are responsible for accounting for the money coming into the business and reporting the performance of our customer contracts. We support and challenge the Commercial Team to help grow company and our profit. I enjoy the variety of work on offer, no two weeks are the same and nothing seems off limits. A lot of my job involves building good relationships with people across the business. I enjoy finding better and easier ways of doing things, it’s really rewarding."

Any career advice?

Knuckle down with your studies before life got in the way too much! I feel that if I had found an apprenticeship role that would have given me the structure that I needed to just get them done.


From an early age I really enjoyed maths, probably because I was naturally good at and didn’t have to try overly hard to do well! I went to a grammar school that had a good track record of sending people to sixth form and university. Towards the end of time there I realised that I learnt better with hands on experience and that I wanted to head into the world of work and earn money whilst doing so. There wasn’t much support in terms of next steps for me and it was very much down to me to find a way of doing that. I set out to be an accountant as that was all about maths and I thought would be an easy way to build a career. Little did I know that the further you go in your accounting career it becomes less about numbers and more about what they mean!

Into work

I joined GBRf at 16, shortly after finishing my GCSEs. I had originally planned to undertake an apprenticeship but after struggling to find something I returned to GBRf for two weeks of work experience having previously spent time with the finance team whilst still at school. I was offered a job at the end of that work experience and have now been with the company for 15 years! During my time at GBRf I have undertaken almost every role in finance from Accounts Payable to Treasury and Sales Ledger. I also spent some time in a split role between Finance and Production, working closely with the planning team where I learnt about how the operational side of the business works.

Training and qualifications

Since being with GBRf I have completed all levels of AAT, the professional accounting qualification, so I am now a fully qualified accounting technician. I am currently studying and have almost completed my Level 4 Apprenticeship in Transport Operations (PTOM) which includes a Level 4 Diploma in Leadership and Management (ILM L4) and IOSH, a widely recognised qualification in health, safety and sustainability.

Outside of work

I am a Charlton Athletic season ticket holder! And I love spending time with my family, especially my two young daughters.