If you think the profession of an accountant is boring and stuffy, I’m afraid you’re mistaken. My job is very diverse and challenging. If you don’t believe me, I’ll take you along with me for a work day in my blog.
6:45 am: My alarm goes off, and I fight my first instinct to hit the snooze button, because I have a busy day ahead of me and then it’s always better to have a nice, relaxed start. After the usual shower, getting dressed and breakfast, I get in the car around 7:15 and drive to the office of Zirkzee Accountants and Tax Advisers in Oegstgeest (click here).
When I get in around 7:45 the first thing I do is turn on my computer, and then make a cup of tea. I go over my schedule for the day before my first phone call with a client at 8:00. The client speaks English, so everything I say is in English too, which is quite a switch to make this early in the morning. For this energy entrepreneur, I compiled their financial statement, and we dot the Is and cross the Ts over the phone. After the call, I enter the last details in the financial statement and send it to the controller and to management. That’s another check, check, and double-check off my list – which is nice, because the deadline is this week!
At 9:00 I have a meeting with the Zirkzee ambassadors, and today I am chairing the meeting. Luckily, I have time to prepare before my colleagues start to come in from the offices in Gouda and Noordwijk and of course the office I’m at: Oegstgeest. The Zirkzee ambassadors are a group of colleagues that get together to brainstorm about commercial and internal projects, and carry out these projects themselves or with other colleagues.
For example, we organise client events for clients about various topics, we get active by running the Leiden Marathon and we have a green taskforce to encourage sustainable entrepreneurship. In our (monthly) meetings, we discuss the progress of the various projects, and ambassadors have the opportunity to pitch new ideas. Meetings like that are good for team spirit and give you a different perspective on your job and your employer.
By 11:15, the meeting is over and I can process some e-mails and chat with other colleagues: we talk about this and that, analyse the achievements of the Dutch women’s soccer team, the usual. 😉 Around 12:00, I get ready to go see a client, a flower bulb trader, for their financial statement review. Once I’ve got everything going at 1:00, both of us are ready for a break. We go out for some fresh air, a little walk and lunch, which I am craving, and luckily, so is the client.
The rest of the afternoon is taken up by the financial statement review, which I conduct with my colleague, the authorised signatory. Since we have such a small team, we can coordinate a lot with the client directly. There is also a lot of room for supervision and knowledge transfer. That is something the client highly appreciates, and which makes my job more enjoyable. Entering numbers on auto-pilot is not why I became an accountant – well, I am currently finishing up my course to become an accounting consultant (AA).
By 5:30, I’ve seen, entered and discussed enough numbers for one day; yes, even an accountant can tire of numbers after a while. So it’s time to go home; tomorrow is another day.
This is just a sample of my activities in both the compilation and the review department at Zirkzee. In basic terms, it means that as a senior compilation accountant, I compile financial statements and as a starting division finance leader, I assist in reviewing financial statements for companies that draw up their own financial statements. I have worked for the Zirkzee Group for five years now, and I enjoy it very much. They offer great guidance, I have fun colleagues and there’s a great, approachable and informal atmosphere. We have a lot of expertise in various fields, like wages, fiscal matters etc., and because of that there’s always a colleague you can ask if you have a question. They’ll always make time for you, even if it’s only for a chat. 😉
At Zirkzee, you structure your own job, and are really in charge of how you fill your hours and how you do your work. That can take some getting used to, because you have to be able to make a good schedule. For example, sometimes I spend an extra hour or so at the office in the springtime because the workload is higher during that period. I just think: the start of the year is a busy time for accountants…
Do you also love playing with numbers and does balancing accounts come easy to you?