NOVEMBER 8, 2017
cm: stands eye to eye with Aafke Eymann-de Hoop, Director/Owner of the Aruban accounting company Adpro.
I started my own accounting company in Aruba in 2006 when I was laid off by my previous employer as a cost cutting measure. That was the right time for me to start my own company. The direct contact with clients is very appealing to me, and the freedom that comes with owning your own company is also a big benefit.
Your most important tasks?
My most important tasks are: setting up, entering data into and analysing accounting systems, preparing monthly and annual financial reports, preparing tax returns, administering payrolls, providing trainings and advice.
Favourite and least favourite part?
My favourite part is being a brainstorming partner for my clients and fellow accountants at other accounting firms. Sharing our knowledge to solve problems or work on big projects together.
My least favourite part is having to constantly remind clients to provide me with their documents in a timely manner in order to comply with the deadlines set by the Tax Department. In Aruba, people tend to wait until the last minute. You need to be very patient.
Special projects you’ve worked on?
I worked together with another accounting firm on the reorganisation of a local insurance company, which was a very interesting project. I also have a personal project; I need to find a new location for my company. It would be ideal if I could find an office adjoining a tax firm, for example. That would make it a lot easier to work together.
Areas for improvement?
I would like to digitalize more. In Aruba, not much has been digitalized up to now, for example, you cannot digitally file tax returns or deposit financial statements. I try to convince my clients to do their bookkeeping online, so that I can log in and help them if necessary. This also speeds up the process of monthly and annual closings. I want to make my clients more conscious of the importance of looking ahead. In my opinion not enough clients do that yet.
Not many courses are offered in Aruba. Fortunately, the online possibilities are growing and I read plenty of relevant professional literature. Once in a while, professionals from the Netherlands will come to Aruba to offer courses with which I can earn my credits. Sometimes I need to travel to Curacao to earn credits. The benefit of local courses is the possibility of networking. When I’m on vacation in the Netherlands, I check if there are courses that I can take to earn credits.
Your strengths and weaknesses?
One of my strengths is being able to explain topics that seem complicated to my clients in a simple and straightforward manner. I am good at helping people (including foreigners) who want to start a business in Aruba.
Something I should work on is saying “no” more often when new clients ask me if I can quickly work through multiple years of bookkeeping because the Tax Department has started to become bothersome.
Outsource data entry as much as possible if you do not have employees. This way you will have more time for new clients, auditing, consultancy, financial statements, tax returns and special projects.
Most important tip?
When you are starting your own accounting company, request information on newly established businesses at the Chamber of Commerce. These businesses often times do not yet have an accountant. I gained many clients this way when I first started Adpro.
Original publication: https://cmweb.nl/2017/11/oog-oog-aafke-eymann-hoop-adpro/