In bookkeeping, it's not merely about crunching numbers

28 November 2023

Meet Siemen: a full-time project consultant fueled by a passion for bookkeeping and a 24/7 superhero for his 4-year-old daughter. Also, a soccer player at Jong Zulte.

After completing a Bachelor's in Accountancy-Tax and a Master's in Business Sciences, Siemen kicked off his career as a Young Hub at TriFinance, starting with his first project in accounts payable. Here, he also immediately took his first steps into process optimizations. Fast forward 9 years, and he's evolved into a seasoned bookkeeper with robust people skills. As a Finance Manager, Siemen guides companies and teams through transformation processes.

In a nutshell
  • From accounts payable and receivable to general ledger and financial controlling, and on to roles as Team Lead Finance and Finance Manager
  • Growing at your own pace, with the occasional nudge from our in-house TriFinance BaseCamp team
  • Diverse projects and the ambition to learn continuously

A broad field of interest and a spectrum of diverse projects

"During my studies, I developed both a strong affinity for bookkeeping and a broader interest in financial management. That's why the idea of working in a traditional bookkeeping firm didn't quite resonate with me. When I stumbled upon TriFinance through an informational session, I knew that project consultancy was the perfect fit for me."

Siemen has worked on a wide range of projects over the past years. Initially, he took on more operational roles in client and supplier bookkeeping before making the leap into general bookkeeping and Financial Controlling. "Along the way, I discovered that I am not only interested in dealing with numbers, but also in working with people. Roles such as Team Lead Finance and Finance Manager allowed me to nurture that aspect of myself. Because of this constant evolution, I still feel like I’m perfect at TriFinance after 9 years."

Siemen shares his story

No shortcuts

As a project consultant, you often work at companies in the midst of significant changes. Getting to the bottom of the day-to-day bookkeeping, setting up new processes, and fine-tuning existing ones – this was the dream challenge Siemen embraced at the outset of his career.

Thus, Siemen can still look back proudly on his first project in accounts payable at a major chemical company. "At the beginning, it seemed like a fairly operational project: entering invoices, handling payments, keeping tabs on outstanding invoices... However, it quickly became apparent that there was ample room for process improvement. By suggesting a few changes, I got the chance to lead this process and even traveled abroad to provide training to new colleagues. I look back on it with great pleasure because I learned so much, and it's solid proof that it's almost always possible to carve out your opportunities and redefine your role."

At TriFinance, you can grow at your own pace. For me, it wasn't about growing quickly but rather about not skipping any steps. Thanks to the support of the internal team, I also got that push I needed to take the next career leap.

Siemen deliberately opted for steady career growth, building from a strong foundation in bookkeeping. "Someone who has a solid grasp of the ins and outs of transactional bookkeeping will always be able to leverage that knowledge and experience in later roles in controlling or management. I didn't want to grow too quickly and, above all, didn't want to skip any steps."

Numbers and people

Through various projects, Siemen gained a clearer vision of the direction he wanted to steer his career: coaching and people management. As a consultant, you have discussions about your ambitions with your career coach from the internal team three times a year. From these conversations emerges a training plan to bring those growth aspirations to life. "This approach truly equips you with the necessary tools to take control of your career. TriFinance helps map out your career path, provides support through training and coaching, and ensures challenging projects to make your ambitions a reality. For me, the backing from the internal BaseCamp team also provided the push I needed to take leaps at the right moments. Self-doubt may creep in, and that's when objectively assessing your knowledge and abilities, coupled with confirmation from the internal team, instills the necessary confidence."

The internal BaseCamp team at TriFinance is your career companion. They are the perfect sparring partner to determine when to take the leap or when it's better not to grow too quickly to avoid skipping steps. They ensure the right project at the right time.

As the Team Lead Finance at a major retailer, Siemen faced the significant challenge of restructuring the finance department from scratch. "From a chaotic environment, I, along with the team, built a structured finance department that could deliver the necessary reports and analyses for the company in a streamlined manner. My experience in people management was relatively limited at the beginning of the project, and I'm quite proud of the evolution I went through within that project."

Looking ahead

In his current project, Siemen is Finance Manager at a biotech scale-up. He oversees both the operational bookkeeping and various ad hoc projects, all while juggling a management role. "The company is undergoing significant change and growth, which makes the project extra interesting. Moreover, the team includes several other TriFinance colleagues. I enjoy being able to work so closely with some fellow consultants."

As a consultant, no direction is ever final. That's what makes it so enjoyable.

What the future holds? Siemen doesn't have a clearly mapped out five-year plan, but he does have an ambition to keep evolving throughout his projects. "Nine years ago, I could never have predicted that I would continue working as a project consultant. I still enjoy taking on a different challenge each time and getting to know new companies. I'm amazed at how much I learn every day. For me, that's where my ambition lies, rather than in a tightly defined goal."