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Interview with 3 new partners
Located throughout Flanders, the 10 local accountancy firms of Titeca Accountancy are here to remove any worries the customers may have. And thanks to our in-house Titeca EXPERT department, the customers also receive an answer to all of their legal, fiscal and financial questions.
Our partners Jurka, Marijke and Alex (lawyer, economist and branch manager responsible for the Ypres office respectively) are closely involved in the future of the company. Together with 8 other partners they are the driving force behind Titeca Accountancy.
Jurka, a lawyer with attitude!
Anyone who thinks lawyers are dull and stiff people, hasn't met Jurka Vanthournout (37 years old). An avid jogger, she is a very active person, both during her working hours and in her free time. She joined Titeca Accountancy on her thirtieth birthday. She has dedicated herself to her position as a legal expert with great passion and made it to team leader and partner.
“I brim with pride when I see my team in action!"
Jurka is head of the legal department. “When I was recruited, the then managers wondered whether there would be sufficient work for a lawyer. Now we have a team of 14 lawyers to help customers with any legal questions they may have, both in their professional and in their personal life. This goes beyond simple cases such as lease contracts. We also deal with complex files, such as takeovers and asset planning. We regularly work for entrepreneurs who already rely on Titeca Accountancy for their accounting. At the same time, we also help customers who only come to us for legal advice. We detect potential pitfalls and together with the customer look into ways to avoid them. We have such a strong connection that even their personal issues move me. Their wellbeing is close to my heart.”
Legal expert with zest
“I am crazy about my job and love digging into complex files. The more difficult the file, the more fun I have. I also enjoy seeing my team grow. The people working at my department have strong characters and match the company’s DNA. They have a lot of zest! They are also great lawyers. I often brim with pride when I see my team in action.”
Close to the customer, that is where we are!
“One of the nice things about working for Titeca Accountancy are the career growth opportunities. As a partner I help address questions such as: What is our strategy and vision? What do we want to achieve? How does the legal department fit into this? The customer is central to everything we do. That is why we offer the broadest possible range of services. Furthermore, we have opened new branch offices so that our lawyers, economists and tax experts can be as near to our customers as possible. The beauty of this is that the different departments of Titeca Accountancy reinforce one another. We want to further build on this kind of teamwork. Nowadays, it is impossible to know everything about all topics. We train young people in a vast range of topics, but also offer them the chance to specialise.”
Marijke, sincere team leader with a passion for finance
Aged 35, Marijke Van de Sompele is the youngest of the eleven partners who determine Titeca Accountancy’s policy. She is a spontaneous, cheerful and strong woman with power. Marijke recharges her batteries by exercising, jogging, reading a good book and stealing the show on the dance floor.
“This is my natural habitat.”
At the negotiating table …
After her studies, Marijke started working in the banking sector. In this position, she was often at the negotiating table with Titeca Accountancy when they presented entrepreneurial investment files. After 9 years, she decided to switch seats at Emmanuel Titeca’s request.
“I took up the role of Corporate Finance Specialist in 2014. This position built on my previous experience at the bank: whenever one of our clients wishes to grow, I determine whether the investments are feasible, how we can best structure them and where we can obtain the necessary funding. I frequently engage in negotiations with banks, and then it is obviously a huge advantage for me to have worked in the banking sector for many years.”
Growing and getting ahead
Marijke is married and has two children. She is not only ambitious but also very social and loves spending quality time with her family and friends.
“It is very interesting and challenging to be able to advance your career. I had the opportunity to develop the team further. Things have moved quickly. I am grateful to Titeca Accountancy for the opportunities I got to grow and get ahead. Since the start of my career, I have undergone a steep learning curve in terms of professional skills and competencies. I’m also sufficiently challenged in terms of responsibilities and complexity of my duties. This is my natural habitat: The team spirit, collegiality and fun are great. I get a lot of energy from the contact with internal and external clients by providing them with concrete solutions. I get the chance to learn new things on a daily basis.
The achievements of our department would not have been possible without the driving force of my team who is eager to learn, enthusiastic and passionate. Eight tax experts currently answer complex fiscal questions from entrepreneurs with regard to the purchase of real estate, VAT, the restructuring of company groups, takeovers, etc. Belonging to the Corporate Finance unit, the complementary team consists of a colleague who assists with mergers and acquisitions, a subsidy expert, two colleagues who provide funding support, a strategic adviser who has recently joined us, and me. It is a team of 13 Titeca ambassadors I can rely on and I’m very proud of.”
Swapping strategic ideas
“At the advice department, we keep our knowledge up to date and disseminate it across the company. As a partner, I focus on sharing this knowledge and developing standard documents and calculation tools that make the work of entrepreneurs and colleagues more efficient. Titeca Accountancy is growing and, of course, my ambition in this growth also includes the growth of the Fiscal and Corporate Finance unit.
I believe the key to the future is approaching our clients more proactively and determining whether their business is fiscally and financially sound. Who are the competitors of our clients? How do they position themselves? This way, we can swap more strategic ideas with our clients. A lot of service providers promote this type of customer intimacy, but I feel that Titeca Accountancy really listens to what their clients have to say. We always detect new needs and problems for which we provide substantiated solutions.”
Alex, a human-oriented driving force with West Flemish modesty
Alex Soete (38 years old) knows every client of the Titeca office in Ypres by name. An excellent example of an accountant and branch manager who, together with his team, does more than just add numbers. For this rather modest and highly involved partner of Titeca Accountancy in Ypres, an annual account is not just a nice booklet his clients find in their letterbox. It is the ideal opportunity to consult with the customer on how the company is performing and where there is room for optimisation.
“At Titeca Accountancy you will not find typical accountants in tailor-made suits who juggle with difficult words.“
Keeping everyone on board
“I had worked as an accountant at the Ypres office for twelve years when it was taken over by Titeca Accountancy in 2015. I was appointed supervisor and the same year I became branch manager. More responsibilities were allocated to the Ypres colleagues within Titeca Accountancy. I strongly believe in delegating and optimally leveraging everyone’s talents. Some employees are able to learn more quickly than others. I want to keep everyone on board. Titeca Accountancy’s current growth has also required us to recruit staff to prevent the workload becoming too high.”
No tailor-made suits, but tailored work
“At Titeca Accountancy you will not find typical accountants in tailor-made suits who juggle with difficult words. I constantly point out to my colleagues that empathy with the client is essential. The human aspect takes precedence: we deal with our customers very informally. I dedicate a large part of my time to customer contact. Being an entrepreneur myself, I easily sense the difficulties my clients are faced with and the targets they wish to achieve.”
On a deserted island?
In addition to branch manager and accountant, Alex has also been a partner at Titeca Accountancy since 2018.
“I work hard and take a lot of initiatives. That has not gone unnoticed. Being appointed partner is a heart-warming sign of recognition. The branch office in Ypres is not an island. It is important that the ten Titeca branch offices project the same values. That’s why the team leaders of the various branch offices regularly come together, each time at another location. Unity and cooperation are also encouraged by means of teambuilding activities and other events organised by the head office in Roeselare. And then there are the sector groups. Each sector require a specific approach. We work together to find out what the specific needs of each sector are so that we can share knowledge across offices and departments. Everyone gets the chance to join these groups and do their bit.”
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