Spotlight: Activaa Accountants & Consultants

Rinkel collega Jeroen
Jeroen van Vierzen
update: 11 May 2020
Logo Activaa Accountants

In these bizarre times, we are all forced to live from day to day and can look ahead to 3 weeks max. Therefore, we are hugely curious to know how our entrepreneurs are holding up at the moment. In this Spotlight article, we spoke to client Activaa Accountants and Consultants.

"Before the Corona Crisis, of course, we would never have thought of 'hiring someone remotely'. The fact that you now see these kinds of creative solutions also makes the situation quite unique."

Who is Activaa?

Activaa is a young and progressive accountancy firm. We assist both sole traders and growing companies, we think along with our clients. By always being direct and honest, we make the best choices together with the client. We like to build a personal relationship with our client. Because a decision may suit your company, but does it also suit the client? Discovering and sensing what the customer needs to achieve the maximum. We can do that like no other.

What makes you different?

We speak the language of the entrepreneur. We not only look at the entrepreneur and his business, but also at how things are arranged for the family, for example. Because we are a club of young entrepreneurs, you won't find a stuffy office but rather a fresh look at the future.

Where does that stuffy accountant image actually come from?

I think it's because there used to be little movement in the accountancy culture. It was conservative, formal and not very diverse in terms of people. I know I had the same image myself until well into my studies. Until I came home after my first internship day at a big accountancy firm and cried, "Heh? They're dead normal people!". Bizarre how such an image develops in an industry and sticks, but we are now taking advantage of it!

The biggest challenge of the quarantine so far?

The big challenge actually remained, it went quite easily. The physical appointments were converted to video calls, and although that was a bit uncomfortable at first (both from us and the client), it eventually went well very quickly.

What adjustments have you had to make since the quarantine?

Team van Activaa Accountants via Teams samen
Taking some getting used to, a virtual Monday morning meeting.

Everyone set up a place at home with possibly some stuff to borrow from the office went fine. Two new colleagues even started at our (home) during this time!

Takes some getting used to, a virtual Monday morning meeting.

Breaking someone in remotely, difficult but not impossible?

It certainly took some getting used to, it is easiest to switch gears when you have someone physically around you. But we used Teams to share screens and made a lot of phone calls, especially in the beginning. By picking up the phone directly, you can explain a bit more and avoid frustration from both parties. Compliments to both the starters and the colleagues, who in this way still made sure that starting with us went so smoothly!

Of course, before the Corona Crisis, we would never have thought of 'remote training' someone. That you now see creative solutions like this makes the situation quite unique. 

Does everyone also have the option of working from home?

We all work at home from the beginning, however, one colleague did not have a good homeworking option. Since nobody was in the office anyway, he could work there just fine.

In what way do you keep the team motivated (at home)?

Every Monday morning we have an update video call and on Friday afternoons we have an online drink! We also pick up the phone more often to give each other a call instead of sending an e-mail.

After a few weeks of working from home, we all received a drinks basket from Activaa, which we enjoyed. Such a gesture does a lot for a team.

Teams call met het hele team van Activaa Accountants
Activaa viert een borrel op afstand
Online drinks with team Activaa

Any plans to return to the office?

At the moment, 80% are still working at home but from next week we want to slowly build this up to around 40/50%.

How are you guys tackling this?

We are creating a schedule so that everyone can be in the office 2 å 3 days a week, at home. We have 5 work blocks, one of which will be occupied by an employee. So this allows us to perfectly accommodate the 1.5 metres.

What did you miss at work with working from home?

I still think your colleagues, you have much more interaction and can switch gears faster. Also, of course you all experience less, so you notice you miss the social chat at lunch. Besides, in the beginning it was just shifting gears, some colleagues suddenly work at home with children who also need attention. But everyone suffers from this, so buckle up and move on!

Staying available by phone at home

We have been working with Bereik's landline telephony for years, mainly the functions forwarding to your colleagues and easily changing your own opening hours are most important to us. Because with Bereik you already arrange everything via your mobile phone, our telephony has never stood still. As a result, we remained accessible to our customer as usual!

So working from home is not a problem for Activaa, will this now become more common in the future?

I think we have now found that working from home can easily be done, we haven't consciously talked about it yet but I think we definitely see more opportunities for it now.

What tip do you have for all entrepreneurs in this day and age?

Stay in touch with each other and don't hesitate to seek advice from others. It is important to stay visible and asking for help is not a bad thing!

We spoke to:

Activaa Accountants and Advisors
Founded by Wouter Alings
Number of employees: 11

Want to know more about Activaa? Visit the website or 
discover them on Facebook & Linkedin.