New KPMG partner: Clients trust me. They know they always have support in me
New KPMG partner: Clients trust me.
Ivana Mazanikova remembers her beginnings at KPMG as a dream of every young ambitious professional after the Revolution in 1989 – to work for couple years for a company with an international background, meet experts from abroad, work with them on international projects and learn from them. She started at KPMG in 1995 while studying at the University of Economics in Bratislava, and back then she would not have thought she would work for the company for 23 years, and definitely not that she would become an audit partner in October 2018.
As a new partner, what are your new responsibilities and your long-term goals?
As an audit partner, I focus on commercial companies and I partly cover the area of accounting advisory. I am a Head of Retail and Consumer Goods Sector Group that focuses on providing of our services to this segment. My clients are from various industries, including Retail and Consumer Goods, Automotive or Engineering.
My main goal is to focus on our client satisfaction and quality of our services. Equally important for me is also satisfaction of our employees. Satisfied and happy colleagues and clients are a guarantee of sustainable success and prosperity.
How do you help your clients to overcome the challenges they face?
Our audit, tax and advisory services address and are directly designed to solve current challenges related to changes in regulatory requirements, changes in accounting standards, tax legislation, GDPR and so on. Within advisory, for instance, we assist companies in designing and managing customer experience. We also work with clients on solutions in the areas of digitalization, cyber security and automation of accounting processes.
To ensure the best customer experience we are always there for our client and our services portfolio is subject to transformation in terms of client and market requirements.
How have your clients' demands and requirements changed over the years?
In the past, our audit clients expected more detailed testing from us, which was related to lower level of automation of processes and transition to the new post-revolution accounting system.
In recent years, they have put more emphasis on digitalizing and automating of accounting processes on the one hand, and compliance with constantly changing regulatory requirements on the other. Our response in audit on this is increased testing of internal controls and process, including IT processes, by analyzing larger amounts of data, and testing compliance with new regulations.
The basic requirement of clients and financial markets to keep the quality and integrity of the audit has not changed. Clients know that from KPMG they will receive the services of the highest quality, that we act with integrity and we have zero tolerance of unethical behavior.
Our clients also expect daily cooperation with them. That means that we include them in each phase of the audit, communicate with them on regular basis and inform them about the progress of the audit. The aim is the audit without any surprise.
At the same time, apart from our finding, which could have been enough in the past, they expect added value we bring them through our proposed solutions. We are also available for any customer inquiries in the shortest possible time and we are delighted to share our experience and insights with them.
In what do you think you excel in your job?
I can set up a balance and fair relationship between the client, the audit team and me very quickly. Clients trust me, call me at all times, ask for advice, and they know they always have support in me.
How would you describe your relationship with your team?
I am grateful to my team for what we have achieved because not a single one audit season is easy. My role is to support the whole team to have the opportunity to use all their potential, and I know from their feedback that they feel it.
What brings you peace of mind?
I am satisfied when I see satisfied people around me – my clients, my team, and the closest people in my private life. For me, it is important that I can go home, where I always find support in my husband. We travel together, in recent years we have travelled abroad two or three times a year to visit some city or country. Last time, for example, we visited national parks in the USA. Nature is the greatest source of relax for me. At home, it´s our garden and daily walks with our dog near water reservoir, where I just look at the water, forests and take the energy. Nature is the greatest relax for me. From my experience I know that if people cannot relax, they can’t give a hundred percent performance at work.
What do you usually read when it´s not law?
Recently, it´s business literature. At the moment it´s John Muhlfheit: The Positive Leader and recently I have returned to the The Trusted Advisor by Maister, Green & Galford. I focus on resources that help me with further development.
Do you have real-life role-model who inspired you?
Literally, I am a KPMG “product” because I have been here since the beginning of my career. I am very grateful for the opportunity to cooperate with many leaders who are great role-models and inspiration to me. Specifically I would like to give credit to Richard Farkaš, with whom I have been working with for more than 20 years at KPMG. Richard is well-recognised expert in accounting legislation and he actively advises in the legislative process. But above all, he is a person with great compassion and humility who appreciates and values everyone. He definitely is a great inspiration to me. I have also been inspired by the openness of Ľuboš Vančo, whose doors are always open for each of us, by his direct communication and ability to see a „big picture”. Great inspiration is also Ken Ryan´s enthusiasm with which he has been constantly improving our services and processes and moving us forward as a firm, and the incredible professionalism and strong will of Marc Derydt.
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