Hamzah Zafar | Finance & Admin | Internship Experience
They say we spend a third of our life at work. This means that your workplace plays a huge role in your mental well-being, as well as your performance in daily activities.
At Sabbar, I have found a workplace where the mentors are actually concerned about employees’ growth as well as their mental well-being. In addition to that, Sabbar provides a competitive environment where you can push yourself to explore your limits while having the flexibility to work from home or from a cafe if you do not feel like commuting 40 mins to work! 💆♂️
These are some of the reasons why Sabbar has been a great addition to my career as a finance graduate who came to KSA after spending 4 years in Australia.
I am Hamzah, and I have been working with Sabbar since November 2020 in the Finance and Admin team.
A bit about myself 🚀
I graduated from University of Melbourne with my bachelor’s in commerce, where I majored in Accounting and Finance. Since then, I have been passionate about helping businesses improve their accounting methods and achieve financial efficiency. After gaining work experience in Australia, I was looking for a meaningful yet challenging opportunity in Saudi Arabia where I could add value to the firm and provide service to the community simultaneously. In addition to that, I was always fascinated by the idea of FinTech and wanted to become a part of a fintech-related organization. This is where Sabbar came across my radar and after a few interactive interviews I was offered a position of finance and admin intern.
Real Finance Projects 💰
Since my first interaction with the directors of Sabbar, I was impressed by the culture and the spirit of the team, which convinced me to accept the challenge of taking the company to the next level. Having peers around that are friendly, supportive and smart was extremely valuable to me and I found it all in Sabbar.
During the internship, I was treated as a full-time employee where I was being trusted with confidential data, and being exposed to challenges that the company was facing. Along with the team, I initiated and completed projects that helped me grow both personally and professionally in under 5 months.
During the journey, I was mentored, consulted for advice, and very well appreciated for some of the tasks. This boosted my confidence and gave me a feeling of providing value to the firm, which was extremely satisfying.
Below are some of the projects where I added value to the growth of the company as well as myself.
1) Building Invoicing System 💲
During my early stages of internship, I noticed that the current invoicing system at Sabbar was not stable for the growth that we were anticipating. After bringing this to the team’s attention, we decided to take immediate action to build a reliable invoicing system that will be able to handle thousands of transactions on a weekly basis.
Alongside my mentor and CEO – Mohamed, I planned and designed an invoicing system that needed to be produced and implemented by the engineering team.
To convey our idea to the engineers, we had to follow a structure where we explained our requirement to the product team and the product team then explained the requirement to the engineers. This tested my teaching skills as we had to explain a few accounting and taxation rules to the teams to give them an understanding of the rules of the system.
Thankfully, our engineers, alongside the help of our product team, designed a beta invoicing system for testing. As a finance intern, I performed various tests on the system and provided my feedback. During these tests I improved my excel skills and in addition to that, I learned how to communicate via 2 different teams at the same time for the same project. 💪
This is one of the projects that I am most excited about as it will continue to help Sabbar generate reliable invoices for the future.
2) Audit and Tax consultations 💼
Just with 4 months experience at Sabbar, my mentor asked me to lead our engagements for Tax consultation with one of the Big Four auditing firms. This has been a huge learning opportunity for me as I was dealing with professionals outside the firm.
During the VAT consultation, I learned various important rules that will help us stay compliant with the KSA tax authorities. Audit was a challenging task that took 30 days to prepare and file the financial reports to relevant authorities. During this process, I compiled, organized and stored all the audit requirements. In addition, I provided required documents to auditors as requested and pushed them to work within the strict deadline. This required a great deal of attention to detail and depth of knowledge of accounting policies and procedures.
Thankfully my mentor Mohamed was always there to help me out in difficult situations. For example, he taught me formulas to calculate a few figures that would have taken me much longer if I tried to do it by myself. Mohamed is all about efficiency, so he taught me how to store data in a way that is accessible to the auditors which will allow them not to disturb us for small tasks. ⏲
3) Implementing HR system
I was asked to review a few options for HR solutions for the team and recommend a specific software that will optimize our HR and admin tasks. As an intern I was extremely motivated and felt the responsibility to execute the task with the best of my abilities as the company’s future was relying on this system.
During this journey, I learnt Saudi labor laws to ensure our compliance with the system, and I spoke with sales teams and directors of various companies, which improved my relationship-building skills. Abdulrahman Almudaiheem, the Co-founder and Business Development Director, was always there to answer any questions I had about government/HR related matters, and Mohamed trained me to ask specific questions that would help me think strategically and ultimately take the decision that’s in the company’s best interests. 😌
After recommending the system, I led the project to implement the system for Sabbar. Overall this project added great value to my learning about HR systems and labor laws in KSA which will help me protect the interest of the employees and Sabbar.
Sabbar & My Personal Goals 📈
Since I was young, I have had an entrepreneurial approach towards things, and I aspire to run a meaningful business one day Inshallah! During this very short period, Sabbar has taught me a lot about start-ups, budgeting and financial planning, taxation in KSA and much more that will help me in my career in finance. Furthermore, Sabbar has taught me how to treat its employees and how employees are the business’s most important assets. This gave me a clearer picture on things to consider while thinking about new business ideas.
In addition to that, my mentors at Sabbar push me to become a better person every day. My mentors not only helped me hone my technical skills in softwares like XERO, but also helped me overcome my weakness in areas such as powerpoint presentations and report writing by encouraging me to present and write more.
Moreover, Sabbar has a growth plan for me which includes paid courses and financial increments down the line which keeps me aligned with my personal goal of always learning and growing in life!
Why is Sabbar the Ultimate workplace? 🌵
Writing blogs or articles is one of my major weaknesses and I avoid them as much as I can (I just like reporting Numbers hehe). However, the experience at Sabbar has been extremely exciting to say the least and my willingness to write a blog about my experience is my way of appreciating the culture and spirit at Sabbar. 🙏
From the Inclusive culture to the monthly entertainments (Board games and movie nights) and ongoing hustle, Sabbar has been the perfect platform for me after coming back from Australia. Employees’ personal health is the priority here at Sabbar and their personal growth comes next along with the company’s growth.
If you are the kind of person that is hungry for growth, adaptable and up for spontaneous challenges, then Sabbar is the opportunity that you would not want to miss! ⭐