We recently met up with Lydia Bacon, a PA at Mazars LLP, to learn about her role and how she handles booking taxis for her company’s clients and executives.
Who do you work for and what is your role?
“I work for Mazars, an international accountancy firm. I’m PA to the UK Head of Tax, (who is also on the Executive board) London Head of Tax and I also assist the manager in International Tax. I also provide administration support to the corporate and international team based in our UK head office in London.
“I’ve been there 10 years. I started as a team secretary in the Luton office. Five years ago I moved to the London office and have worked my way up from supporting the corporate director.”
Describe your typical day at work.
“Mazars is part of a globally integrated partnership, so things move fast and no two days are the same. As an example, one day recently I arranged client meetings in London and also worked on our International Client conference, arranging an evening private boat trip on the Thames. I think I liaised with most continents that day!”
What are some of the challenges you face at work?
“We have one of the fastest-growing tax practices in the UK, which means that the demands on the partners I work for are high. There can be numerous changes that I need to be ready for and adapt accordingly.
“One week could have a fully planned diary for my bosses, but others might be completely open, or I may need to reschedule everything so they can fit in an important client meeting, which sometimes even requires last-minute travel booking. If you like routines, PA is probably not the role for you.”
What is your favourite aspect of your job?
“Despite the constant changes, I really love the variety of my role and the ability to get involved in many aspects of the firm, even when we have dedicated departments for this. I also get a good feeling when all the hard work and late nights come together for the end of a successful project.”
How often are you charged with booking taxis for your company’s clients or your boss?
“I book taxis on a daily basis, sometimes in advance and other times at the last minute.”
Which service do you use and what makes it ideal for your needs?
“We use Gett because they use licensed black cabs, which means that they are regulated and have the ability to use bus lanes – especially useful in central London! Although there are other black cab firms out there, Gett has a strong business element as well as the leisure aspect. Their system offers really simple billing management, which is handy for expense reporting.
“We have used other private hire firms in the past but the service received by Gett is much better, particularly due to the number of drivers who have subscribed and the simplicity of the booking system. This can be done online, by downloading their app, or by traditional phone call. I have also found them useful when booking international taxis, as if they do not have representation in a particular country they can recommend another provider.”
What advice can you give other PAs who need to source a taxi service?
“Firstly, the service should cover your preferred area. It should also be easy to use and offer value for money, as well as providing a personal service. You could just hail a cab, but it creates a better impression, particularly for clients, if you have a good relationship with your provider.
“Working with a company you can trust is great because it gives you someone to go to if the service isn’t up to standard. You don’t get that with cabs you hail off the road. Gett is very good at providing top-notch service if you tell them you have a VIP client. We haven’t used Gett’s other services yet (such as Veuve Clicquot champagne delivery) but I can see them coming in handy in the future.”
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