Accounting Expedition 2019: looking back

After months of work, meetings and preparations, the 2019 Accounting Expedition finally started. The hotel was booked well in advance, intensive promotion for the event was done and the participating companies could not wait to welcome the students.

On the first day of the Expedition, most participating students gathered at the train station of Tilburg. Firstly, we dropped off our stuff at the hotel. When we arrived, PwC gave us a very warm welcome (figuratively and literally). One description that I could give about our visit to PwC is ‘unique’. Instead of a common interactive case, we followed a soft skill training which was positively experienced by all participants. The training showed us a different aspect of working for a company, namely team work. Around 17:30 we left for ‘Eetcafe Plein 4’ for a drink and some delicious appetizers in between. At the same time, this was the opportunity to get into contact with PwC via an informal way.

The next morning, we had a luxurious breakfast. Our committee made sure that all participants joined the breakfast. This breakfast was the reason that every participant arrived freshly at our next destination: Joanknecht. Notably, Joanknecht started their event with a presentation. Not just a simple presentation, but a presentation from one of Joanknecht’s clients. This client passionately told us about his family business which greatly surprised the participants. Hereafter, we followed a case which further focused on the family business. Finally, the event ended with a lunch at Eetcafe Plein 4. Coincidence?

In time, we left for our visit to EY. Just like PwC, EY has a new location for their office. It is located next to EY’s old office. The program at EY kicked off with an inspirational and motivating talk by an EY partner. Hereafter, we followed a real-life case: two EY employees acted as clients and it was the participant’s task to trace their mistakes and hold discussions about these mistakes. This gave us the surprising insight that just tracing mistakes is not sufficient; discussions with clients are of major importance as well in case of an audit. The end of the program was a Mexican dinner at ‘Tortillas’. It got a bit late yet we ended the day nicely around 22:30.

“Although the Expedition was quite intensive, the student’s enthusiasm and curiosity made up for it.”

On Friday morning, breakfast started quite early around 07:00, since that day’s first company visit would be in Breda. After travelling from Eindhoven to Breda with our suitcases, we arrived in time at KPMG. The day started with some interesting presentations from the partner and several employees of KPMG. Thereafter, we did a case in which the client was a smoothie manufacturer. At the end of the case, we got surprised with some fresh smoothies. Since the case was quite small, we had some time left for another interactive session, concerning thinking about the future of accountancy. In other words, hot topics in the current field of accountancy. Due to some competition between the participants the enthusiasm for accountancy became clear. This resulted into the some brilliant ideas. The event at KPMG ended with an informal lunch at their office.

The end was near and we were on our way to the final destination, which was BDO in Tilburg. At BDO, we played Crazy 88. Crazy 88 at BDO consisted of 88 tasks which had to be done at their office. As a proof that a task was performed, a photo had to be taken and sent to the corresponding BDO’er. After a selfie in the ladies’ toilet, asking a BDO’er for marriage and walking circles in the elevator, this amazing game came to an end. The game really showed how students worked together and their perseverance. However, the game was not the end of the program yet. We brought a visit to the stadium of Willem II. The visit consisted of a fascinating tour followed by dinner and drinks.

And yes, at that point during the BDO dinner we were wondering: has the Accounting Expedition almost ended already? Time has never flown this fast. Altogether, the event was a great success. Although the Expedition was quite intensive, the student’s enthusiasm and curiosity made up for it. Their participation and interest made sure that all of the event’s stakeholders were satisfied. Also, we have fully enjoyed this event.

Finally, I’d like to thank Stijn, Shanti, Nikki and Allard for their hard and high-quality work and efforts. Of course, I’d like to thank our coordinator Luc as well for his fine and adequate accompaniment. In addition, I would like to thank all participating companies for their amazing programs. Without one of the above factors, the Accounting Expedition 2019 would not have been such a successful event!