Petra Nys shares her experience.
I’m a Manager at KPMG Accountants at the Berchem office. This means I’m responsible for a number of clients for whom we perform financial services. These are mainly accounting tasks such as preparing and filing tax returns and annual accounts, together with preparing legal documents like annual reports.
I guide our staff in these tasks; I review their work and answer their technical questions. Aside from that, I am responsible for the billing of the clients.
In the past, I also worked for KPMG Accountants, but as a Supervisor at the Brussels office, from May 2007 until March 2011.
During the last year that I worked for KPMG, I was working at a client that was located more than 60 km from where I lived. This was really challenging my work-life balance. When I received an interesting job offer from a firm situated at 10 minutes from where I lived, I decided it was time for a change.
After I left KPMG, I started working at a local company that was active in the metal industry, as a producer of doors and windows in aluminum, which had been purchased by an investment firm during the previous year. It gave me the opportunity to set up the bookkeeping internally and to choose the appropriate financial software for it, which was a rewarding challenge. After a few years, I got a promotion to become Finance Manager for the whole group, i.e. a holding company and three subsidiaries. Being a member of the management team also brought new tasks such as financial reporting and consolidation. I also became the contact person for financial institutions, insurance and leasing companies and the auditor. It was a very interesting and varied job package.
I stayed at the firm for almost 8 years. Eventually the overload of operational tasks hindered me from focusing on the financial matters, which I preferred doing the most.
I went to Moore Stephens Belgium where I was Chief Accountant at Shared Services. Although I really enjoyed working there - it’s a good company with nice colleagues - I stayed only very briefly because the job was a little too one-sided for me.
The ball started rolling at the Annual KPMG Alumni Cocktail. I was catching up with my previous Manager, who told me they were looking for a manager for the Antwerp office.
I have always had a strong bond with people at KPMG, even after I left. Some of my ex-colleagues are close friends and social media makes it so much easier to stay in touch. I also really believe in the values KPMG holds dear. Integrity, working together, collegiality, professionality and always putting the client first. It is a company I support and like to work for. The intensive attention for education, training on the job and guidance means you constantly keep improving. On top of that, the job offers a lot of variety, which is very satisfying.
After the Cocktail, I had several conversations about the open vacancy, but to be honest, I didn’t have to think for too long. I knew this was the job for me and I’ve started my new function with a ton of enthusiasm.