Can you imagine working at one and the same firm right out of college? You gradually climb up the career ladder, work on significant engagements and clients and manage your own teams until one day you reach the highest goal – you become a Partner. Only one thing comes to your mind then: Is it not a bit of a stereotype after 16 years? “I barely recognise this word at Deloitte,” says Daniela Hynštová, a new Deloitte Partner managing audits of financial institutions, smiling. “Given that you frequently change positions, and in Audit this occurs almost on an annual basis, your responsibilities change and so do your roles.”
How has audit changed as a discipline over the years? How does the fact that you have worked at one and the same firm for 16 years help you? To what extent can you combine a career and motherhood? What will Daniela’s new role entail? Join us in looking back at her career at Deloitte.
The first job… The year was 2002 and I joined Deloitte right after my studies as an Assistant – Analyst. I worked on engagements directly at clients. My main role was to obtain and analyse primary audit documents, communicate with accountants and, most of all, have my eyes open, absorbing new information about accounting and obtaining an understanding of how the client does business. I learnt to express my opinion in front of the client, to defend it and to openly say that I think an error has been made. Even today, I consider this to be an advantage that I got to do actual work directly at the client right from the beginning.
When you have worked at one and the same firm since you completed your studies… You actually benefit from this all the time. I consider this to be a great advantage even today. Thanks to this experience, I think I have a better understanding of what people in more junior positions go through. From the perspective of today’s people management, it is really helpful that I am able to project situations with which they are dealing and to take it all into account. I had gone through the same things as they are going through today, regardless of the fact that it was 16 years ago. Beginnings do not change much.
Advice to the younger ones: Do not shun any opportunities. The firm will place many challenges before you. Take them on and confront them!
Changes in audit… The discipline has undergone major changes over the last 16 years. In the past, a lot of our procedures were based on using traditional detailed testing. At present, we use technologies and data analytics to a much greater extent, which allows us to gain a better understanding of what is going on at the client. We place a greater emphasis on obtaining an understanding of the client’s business and setup of the internal control environment. So, it is not only about accounting… However, some things do not change, such as the good atmosphere at work and relations with colleagues. We really DO cooperate… Which is something that you do not see everywhere…
A key career shift… When I was a Senior Consultant, I went on an assignment to Deloitte France. There, I was primarily engaged in the audit of financial institutions and worked on the audit of one of the leading French banks. This particular experience significantly advanced my career. I still benefit from the professional relations I developed there at the time. Not only in coopering on the audits of today’s clients, but also in building new relations and seeking new audit opportunities.
Motherhood vs. Career… Actually, it was not difficult for me at all. I had the advantage of having a very good role model in Diana Rádl Rogerová, presently Deloitte’s Office Managing Partner, who became a mother then and was a Partner at the same time and she managed everything splendidly. She was a great example for me how you can combine the roles and that it can also positively affect the atmosphere in the team. I went on maternity leave and returned after eight months to work part-time. I worked without any problems… What would I advise women who are planning a family and want to pursue their careers at the same time? Do not be afraid, it can be managed and combined.
However, they do not meet mothers halfway everywhere… That is true. I have always appreciated this about Deloitte and I was very grateful that they did not prevent me from advancing my career even though that I had worked part-time for some time.
My new role at Deloitte will entail… From now on, my responsibilities for the functioning of certain things will change. As a Partner, I will continue the transformation of audit that has been commenced, namely regarding the use of new technologies and greater involvement of the ADC, which is our Shared Service Centre, and I will also focus on increasing the audit team’s specialisation.
Congratulations and good luck in your new position!