Over the last decade Ingeborg has risen to the level of Director of Accountancy and she is now responsible for the regional office in Dendermonde. Prior to 2000 she worked in business in an accountancy department. "I would always tell new starters that they needed to thoroughly understand the difference between internal and external book-keeping", she says. "When working within a company you know everything about a single dossier, but as an external accountant it is important to know everything about many different dossiers."
For Ingeborg this explains the emphasis placed by Moore Stephens on support and the development of expertise. "It can easily be a couple of years before you are properly settled in", she says. And that period isn't just about acquiring knowledge of accountancy and tax matters: "When you are with clients you need to get to know the person behind the paperwork. Every job comes with a package of fixed tasks, but everybody has the space to develop their individual talents and interests. The support we provide is matched to the individual staff member and their tasks and responsibilities."
Ingeborg heads a team of ten in Dendermonde. "This works well for me", she says, "a regional office is the best of both worlds. We are free to develop our own team culture, and the collaborative atmosphere is outstanding, but at the same time we can take advantage of the facilities offered by the key centres." Her team come into contact with the key centres when they carry out joint activities. "One notable initiative that has been taken with the aim of keeping internal communications as transparent as possible is ‘De Schakel’ (= The Link), a group made up of staff from different offices who meet together every two months. The role of De Schakel is to identify live issues within Moore Stephens and discuss these with management."
We have chosen to lead on the basis of mutual trust, and we evaluate employees on the basis of their output rather than the hours they put in.
Topics like work-life balance are also up for discussion. Ingeborg's experience as a manager is that Moore Stephens have made clear choices in this area. "It's about putting together a good team, providing appropriate training and learning to delegate. But also about providing a good example", she adds in conclusion. "Our CEO runs several marathons each year, and demonstrates to his people how with sound organisation you can strike a good balance between work and private life."