By Emanuela Jovic
Koppel is the very first consultancy that hired Becky employees. Koppel has always been known for being early adopters when it comes to automation and innovation in administration, finance and tax services. Founder Nico Koppel explains why he took a leap of faith.
My colleagues often ask me what it’s like to work with Becky. Dutch people, and definitely accountants, don’t like to gamble. I’m delighted to tell them how satisfied and happy we are with our remote team.
We did a lot of research before going into business with Becky. How do things work over there? What is the education level? How does their experience and work ethic match those of our Dutch employees? We decided to start with a pilot test: we hired our first Becky employee in Belgrade as a scout. He first came to Amsterdam, where we briefed him extensively about our methods and expectations.
I predict that in six months we will have 1 or 2 extra Becky employees.
The pilot test went really well. We now have a team of 5 people in Belgrade. That team is completely intertwined with the organization in Amsterdam. One of our tax specialists is originally from Montenegro; he speaks fluent Serbian and is now our liaison officer. He answers many questions from Team Belgrade, for example about typical Dutch legislation and regulations. On top of that, I also made a booklet myself with tips, tricks and pitfalls of the Dutch VAT regulations. The team members in Belgrade have access to databases to which we are affiliated, so they can look up any information they might need.
Because we conduct Horizontal Supervision, the tax authorities asked us some critical questions about Becky: how did you set up this collaboration? How do you guarantee the same quality? I was able to inform them that we have limited the tax risks as much as possible, by properly dividing the work and making clear agreements. Everyone in Belgrade and Amsterdam knows who is responsible for what. Team Belgrade mainly does the administrative part and prepares annual accounts and declarations; in Amsterdam we do the tax interpretation and the more technical part. The ultimate responsibility also lies here in Amsterdam.
We have secured the data flow with the latest techniques and continue to invest in it. This also applies to business operations in the Netherlands. We have always been at the forefront of this. Before Covid, we were already fully equipped to work remotely. From the beginning of our collaboration with Becky, we started sharing the optimization possibilities in automation and security; the same way we share information with our main customers, including a major ticket seller and a second-hand clothing platform.
Every month, somebody of the Dutch team goes on a visit to Belgrade, for explanation, consultation, education and team building. Because Belgrade is such a nice city, this is a great incentive for our Dutch colleagues. The Becky employees come here twice a year. We love introducing them to the Netherlands. They usually go back to Belgrade laden with chocolate. Through this exchange we try to create as much unity as possible: it’s easier when we know and appreciate each other.
Not too fast
I predict that in six months we will have 1 or 2 extra Becky employees. However, we don’t want to go too fast and want to take plenty of time to train them. There needs to be enough attention and guidance for newbies. We are reducing the administrative department here in Amsterdam and are increasing it there. Our ultimate goal is to set up the entire administration department in Belgrade, so we can focus here on tax advice and contact with our customers.
About Koppel Advies
- What: consultancy
- Where: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
- Size: 8 employees in Amsterdam and 6 in Belgrade
- Since: 1997
- Website: https://www.koppeladvies.nl
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By Emanuela Jovic
By Emanuela Jovic