Working at Witlox VCS

My name is Jesse Renier, I’m 22 years old and I come from Bergen op Zoom. After obtaining my Havo diploma I started my HBO business economics program at Avans Breda. During that time I did two internships; one I did at a large construction firm and the other in the FMCG sector. Next to that I was active as chairman and treasurer at study association SV Oase. Early on I decided that I wanted to continue studying, and I knew the master Accountancy and the RC/RA track would best fit my ambitions. Recently I completed the pre-master, and at this moment I’m enrolled in the master Accountancy program at Tilburg University.

Besides studying I really wanted to gain experience within the accountancy profession. Therefore I decided to quit my job as team leader at a supermarket after I graduated from HBO and instead applied for a job at an accounting firm. It was around 8 months ago that I started at Witlox VCS as a working student in the audit department. As a working student your schedule is very schedule. I work at least one day a week, but it can be more if I have spare time.

“To me, the social aspect and a friendly environment is very important within an organization, and Witlox VCS can offer me that.”

Why Witlox VCS?
Witlox VCS is a medium sized accounting firm, with approximately 120 employees. The name is well known among small and medium sized companies in the area of Breda. I’ve known about Witlox since my first year at HBO, and I have a couple of friends who did their internships there or already work there. After an inhouseday I immediately was enthusiastic! I especially liked it that they took me seriously from the beginning, even though I am still a student, and I felt this was unique to the company. The atmosphere at Witlox VCS is informal and the organization is quite flat. During the inhouseday I had a personal conversation with my current supervisor Hugo Fransen, who happens to also be a partner of the firm. After I was hired, I quickly got to know many people at Witlox VCS. Among those people are tax and payroll specialists, corporate finance advisors and of course a lot of accountants.

To me, the social aspect and a friendly environment is very important within an organization, and Witlox VCS can offer me that. They also organize many fun activities. A few months ago, for example, I played volleyball on a ‘team-day’. Besides that I was invited to join the ‘employee-day’, which was a lot of fun. The general atmosphere at the firm is very different from what I’ve experienced at other companies. Three weeks ago, for example, the CEO drove me and my girlfriend to one of our colleague’s wedding.

But what do I do exactly?
At Witlox VCS, I work with an audit team that specially focusses on the bigger clients, while several other firms mainly focus on SMEs. This means that my team consists of assistants and accountants that are concerned with the control practices of the larger clients of Witlox VCS. It does not mean however that I don’t get to see what the other teams are doing, as Witlox VCS likes to offer their clients a complete package. I often get to see clients that make use of our payroll department, but I also work for clients from corporate finance and tax.

I like the fact that the organization is large enough to have multiple in-house specialists, while at the same time you get to be involved in a lot of cases. In other words, the firm is small enough in a way that you can still see what is actually going on and be able to see the connections between it all. My team consists mainly of RA-accountants and RA-students who come from many different universities; Neyenrode business university, Tilburg University and the Erasmus University for example. Next to that there are also a couple of working students, like myself. Witlox VCS wants to be an advisor and sparring partner for their clients and that ambition is reflected in my work. Sometimes I’m working with benchmarks and data-analyses for example in order to be able to understand and help clients in a better way.

“Employees follow and internal development program that is supported by an external company.”

Does working and studying combine well?
I think it does! Of course, it’s a full-time master, but you see many students who combine it with an internship or a job. Witlox VCS offers me a lot of space so I can concentrate on my study. It is very important to my colleagues and supervisor that I complete the program well. During exam periods I get more time to study if it’s necessary, and after this period, when my schedule is less full, I am able to work more since my school schedule allows it. After I finished my pre-master, I had the time to work fulltime for four weeks. I learned a lot during that time and I received my own financial statement assignments.

And what about personal development?
Education and personal development are highly valued by Witlox VCS. Once every two weeks we get trainings that are sometimes just for our team, and other times with multiple teams. This way we keep developing ourselves. Those trainings can for example be about the IT-audit or materiality. Besides that there is a lot of room for personal development. Employees follow and internal development program that is supported by an external company. This can help you in everyday conversations with clients. Witlox VCS also offers my educational possibilities, such as the post-master Register Accountant program, but also the Executive Masters in Business Valuation and Finance & Control (Register Controller). Therefore Witlox VCS will also be a valuable employer in the future.

What would you like to say to students of Tilburg University?
Look for something you really enjoy doing and talk to people about their experiences! Personally, I really wanted to be able to see the difference between working at an accounting firm and working at a company in a business environment. Also I was curious about the different types of organization cultures. By doing an internship, gaining work experience and talking to people I was able to make better choices. Working at a medium-sized firm really surprised me in a very positive manner.

Do you want to know more about your possibilities of working at Witlox VCS? Take a look at our website or try to contact Loes Vinkenborg. You can of course also ask me anything on LinkedIn or if you see me at the university!


– This article is translated by an editor of Faces Online