Rising Star interview with Hina Khan – Head of Financial Control & FPA (UK & Ireland). Copart

  1. Tell us about your role. What do you do, and what do you find most interesting about it?

I joined Copart UK as Head of Financial Control & FPA (UK & Ireland) in October 2020. My role primarily focuses on providing insights, reporting on our financial performance, and ensuring that we have robust financial controls in place, especially around cash management and business partnering with key stakeholders to help drive profitable growth.

On a day-to-day basis, I take responsibility for the following areas:

  • Management Accounts:  Producing Copart’s monthly financial statements, Profit & Loss account, and Balance Sheet, providing insights into our financial performance.
    • Financial Planning & Analysis: Preparing budgets, forecasts, and analysis to support the business in making operational, financial, and strategic decisions.
    • Accounts Payable: Processing and paying our supplier invoices.
    • Accounts Receivable: Invoicing our customers and chasing debt.
    • Treasury: Reconciling our bank accounts and ensuring our cash is appropriately managed and invested.
    • Payroll: Calculating and processing individuals pay  

The most enjoyable part of my role is working with a great team and being part of their development and growth. I love interacting with all areas of our business and providing support for the various decision-making processes.

It’s a high-pressured and fast-paced environment, but I love how rewarding my role can be. It’s been great to be part of many different initiatives and projects that have improved our supplier and customer experience and it’s always nice seeing the buzz and excitement when a supercar or classic goes into the auction!

  1. What made you want to work in this industry? 

I’ve always had a keen interest in the automotive industry so was very excited when the opportunity at Copart came along. Looking at the business stats, I was intrigued by how successful and resilient Copart has been, especially during the COVID pandemic, and I’m pleased to now be a part of that continuing success story.

The industry is constantly changing and evolving, and technology is always at the forefront of everything we do. Ensuring that our processes and procedures stay up to date with those changes can present various challenges, but at the same time keeps you engaged and motivated.

The role itself certainly hasn’t disappointed either! I’ve been given opportunities to make positive changes and take on more responsibility in a short space of time.  The culture here is very inclusive and everyone is encouraged to ‘challenge the norm’, which is one of the Copart Values.

There’s clear commitment to ongoing training and development, as well as a very supportive leadership team. Your role is really what you make of it!

  1. What do you see as the biggest challenge to your industry in the next year?

The impact of COVID has undoubtedly hit a lot of business hard and many will still feel the impact during this coming year.

Copart has had to adapt to changes in the market and customer behaviour to ride through the COVID wave but has still come through with very positive financial results. That’s testament to its business model and amazing people, who always ensure that our customers are at the heart of everything we do. This will undoubtedly help us to overcome any similar challenges this year.   

The impact of Brexit and the skills gap this has created is likely to be another challenge facing many businesses. Copart has already implemented various initiatives to attract and retain talent and potential candidates will soon realise that our culture, opportunities, rewards, and strong financial model, make this a great place to work and develop a long-term career.

New technology, in particular Electric Vehicles and online sales, have steadily increased year on year. This next year will be no exception as customers strive to find more economical and greener ways to make purchases.

Copart are already ahead of the game – and have been since our inception – with our 100% online auctions using the latest technology. Our customer experience is second to none and something we have always prided ourselves on.

In addition, Copart has already been successfully managing electric vehicles for many years. We have the infrastructure and expertise to cope with increasing numbers and we are well placed to cope with Government’s ambitious target to go electric by 2030.  

  1. How would you like to see the industry improved next year / 5 years / by the time you retire? 

One of the things I would love to see is the common myths about vehicle auctions being debunked.

In this digital age, anyone can view vehicles from the comfort of their own home in their own time and carry out all important history checks online. It’s an extremely inclusive space as everyone from beginners to experienced salesmen can bid, so there’s no intimidating atmosphere.

It should also be recognised that a huge variety of cars, not just damaged ones, go into our auctions. I’ve even seen a few Lamborghinis over the past few months…and most importantly  they’re still great value for money!

Something I’ve been very passionate about is seeing more women in senior roles across the industry generally. Whilst some great strides have been made towards this, there is always room for more progress.

I’ve been very fortunate with all the opportunities I’ve been presented with at Copart, and I have worked with some very inspirational leaders. I hope that similar opportunities will continue to be presented to others across the wider industry and it would also be nice to see more women in the F1 Grand Prix!

  • If you could give your 16-year-old self a piece of advice, what would it be?

Celebrate all your successes no matter how small they may seem, always expect the unexpected, and remember that chocolate is good for you!


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