In an interview with Kristin, Team Manager Accounting
Hello Kristin, when most people hear the word “accounting” they think of boring numbers and lots of paperwork. Is that true?
No. (Laughs) Of course, it depends on what you like. If you enjoy crunching numbers or working with numbers, it is definitely a lot of fun. It is not boring at all; on the contrary, I find it rather exciting.
You have already been working at Soloplan for over 5 years, and now you are the team manager of the Accounting department. Can you tell us anything about your career path at Soloplan?
I started working as an accountant in a team whose staff members changed somewhat again and again as the years went by. At some point, I was the one who–apart from Mrs Heidl–had been in the department the longest and had the most experience. That is how I became the team leader.
How do you like working as a team leader?
I like it very much! However, I do not really see it as a leadership position. We are all on the same level, and without my two girls I would be lost–we can only work successfully together and as a team.
What does your daily work look like?
My colleagues take care of posting invoices and payroll accounting; I am mainly responsible for the areas of evaluation and receivables management. These areas include monthly reports for the management, cost centre accounting or annual financial statements–for our foreign branch offices as well. To come back to your first question: All of this is very diverse and anything but boring.
What did you do before you joined Soloplan?
I did not originally start out in accounting, but in the hotel business. I trained to be a hotel manageress, worked at NH Hotels in Hamburg for two years and then went to hotel management school and studied business administration there. Then I returned to NH and decided to pursue accounting. I was responsible for an entire hotel from a central office–I enjoyed that very much. After 3.5 years, I started working for a big shipping company in the Hamburg Harbour. It was also nice to be able to watch the Queen Mary 2 enter the harbour from my workplace. Through my husband’s job offer, we moved to the Allgäu and I started working at Soloplan.
How do you think your workplace and your area of responsibility will change in the future?
Of course, processes will be digitised and automated increasingly in accounting as well–keyword OCR. For example, we now no longer need to manually create the accounting records. Instead, the programme suggests them upon scanning the invoice. I am certain that the area of evaluation will also be impacted by digitalisation; however, I am convinced that the human mind will be essential in the future, as well. It was not without reason that I trained as an accountant alongside work. I am very concerned that many companies see accounting as a burden and a cost factor and outsource this area entirely. I find that very worrisome, as the level of performance suffers greatly due to this and usually these steps are reversed after some time.
What does Soloplan mean to you?
Flat hierarchies–there are no power plays as in big companies and people are not only focused on their own interests. It is also wonderful that, at Soloplan, employees are not just numbers, but valued as a person.
Soloplan offers their employees extensive training opportunities. Have you already made use of this offer?
Yes, in summer 2019 I started to train as a controller. I had already been considering it for a while and, as controlling is taken over by an external consultant at Soloplan, in the long term it makes sense to integrate this area into the company completely. Soloplan takes over the entire costs of the course; I merely use some of my free time to take part in it.
What other benefits that Soloplan offers their employees do you find important?
I think the Soloplan box in the bigBOX in Kempten is particularly fun. At the moment, unfortunately, no events are taking place, but otherwise, that is really a great benefit. Additionally, the new building is also a unique selling point: Everything is extremely modern and very well-equipped. And the parties that take place here are also a highlight, for example the Allgäuer Festwoche or our spectacular Christmas parties.
One last question: Which piece of advice from your career do you remember especially well and enjoy passing on?
My motto is always: “Reach for the stars.” Never think something cannot be done! You need to fight for it. I was anticipating the accountant exams quite a bit–and now? I made it and am already taking part in the next training.