Katrin Spycher

  • Company: Deloitte AG
  • Position: Manager
  • Remit / main activity: Managing and conducting external audits, including the planning, implementation and completion phases, and leading various teams.
  • Years of professional experience: 8
  • Place of work: Zurich

 

 

What makes my work exciting?
I like the fact that in audit every day is different and contains new challenges. In this job, you need to be flexible, adapt to industries and clients and work with new colleagues in different teams. The skills you learn coping with these challenges are immense, and there is a steep learning curve, not only related to audit and accounting but also related to soft skills like managing engagements and teaching more junior staff.

Why did I enter the profession?
At university, I had a really great and enthusiastic professor (Prof. Conrad Meyer) who inspired my career in accounting. His passion for accounting and his ability to illustrate the interesting aspect of the profession, made me want to dive deeper into this material and I intended to obtain a post-qualification experience as an auditor within a reputable firm. Deloitte has a strong reputation as one of the Big 4 Accounting Firms across the world. With a clear career path and enhanced opportunities for networking, I knew it was the perfect place to help me learn and grow in my career.

What challenges does my work present?
Being a working mom has posed quite a challenge for me within this fast-paced environment. However, Deloitte has allowed me flexible working options to achieve a level of balance. During Corona times, given my daughter is only a year old, I am facing challenges navigating this balance.

How does my work benefit the economy?
An auditor’s purpose is very clear. At a micro-level, it is to ensure that financial records are accurate, and an internal control system is maintained. At a macro-level, it is to help promote transparent financial reporting, which is an important element of our global economy. This clear sense of purpose suits my personality.

What is important to me in my client relationships?
From start to finish of an engagement, I focus on open, clear and structured communication with my clients. This starts with a defined engagement plan, customized preparation list, managing open items and ends with an open closing meeting where we discuss possible control deficiencies or misstatements and present solutions. The past has shown that these efforts are the key to a successful client relationship. With that strategy, I have made many strong business connections and friends along the way.

What is currently important for my clients in our cooperation (keyword: coronavirus)?
During this Corona time, we perform our audits virtually from the office or home. Also, the wrap-up phase and closing meeting, which we usually do in the field, is done remotely. It is important for my clients to stay connected with me and have regular status update meetings so that the audit can still be completed within the agreed timeline and budget.

How has the industry changed? What are the challenges of the future?
In the past, we have moved from a single team approach, where staff members are assigned to one audit at a time and work together as a team, to a service centre model. Staff members working in the service centre are assigned a particular task that they have to complete for several clients. The results are high quality and efficient audits. In addition, I think that data analytics and using big data volumes in our audits will increase our opportunities to provide meaningful insights to our clients. Due to the rapid changes in our profession, my goal for the future is to be open to new technologies and invest in new ways of working.