Marnix Pouw has always been fascinated by corporates. As a Manager at Deloitte Audit & Assurance, he collaborates with all iconic companies in the Netherlands and abroad as an auditor. ‘They’re all so interesting. For me this is a unique opportunity to get to know all aspects of these corporates and to meet new people all the time.’
For companies it’s mandatory to prepare financial statements in order to report about their financial performance in the past year. Then Marnix and his team come around to do the auditing of the report. 'Take, for instance, a bakery. How many buns were sold? What were the costs of the ingredients and the wages? And how much money remains ‘bottom line’? However, we’re also interested in the suppliers, the types of buns that are being sold, and the payroll system. We look at every aspect of a company, whether it’s the bakery round the corner or a high tech multinational, because the basics are similar. We delve into all aspects of the organization, which means we interact with the people within the company. The numbers are just the result of a process. We want to understand that process. That’s a challenging, interesting, and most of all crucial job. We play a key part in the financial ecosystem and contribute to the trustworthiness.'
As a Manager it’s Marnix’ job to direct an assignment from A to B. ‘That involves everything from planning the audit to signing the audit report. I manage the team and make sure that every team member knows what to do. I’m also the point of contact for the client. We discuss the progress of the audit and I provide the answers to any questions the client might have. Most of my time is spent with the clients. That human interaction is actually the best part of my job’, he explains. ‘Whether it’s colleagues or clients, I get to meet so many young and talented people. That’s what inspires me and what drives me.’
An immediate connection
Even though Marnix is still quite young (28), he has been working at Deloitte for almost nineyears. ‘During my second year of Accounting at Hogeschool Utrecht I did an internship atDeloitte, which I liked so much that I decided to stay’, he says passionately. ‘When I appliedfor an internship, I went to all Big Four offices. But Deloitte was the only one that Iimmediately connected with. The interviews were fun, open and personal. I knew Deloittewould offer me the perfect place to work.’ During those nine years he took several steps inhis career. ‘At Deloitte you get many responsibilities and opportunities from the verybeginning. If you want to, you get plenty of opportunity to develop your skills. Personally Iprefer looking ahead and focusing on a goal in order to take the next step in my career. Butyou’re the master of your own path. Everyone gets to choose their own unique way.’
Despite our young age we have considerable influence on Deloitte’s future and strategy.
The future of our profession
Marnix loves to do internal projects as well. That’s why he is also the Leader of the GlobalYoung Audit Forum. ‘Our forum gives a voice to young people within Deloitte all around theworld. How do we see the future, and what strategy is important to us? We provideassistance and ideas. The fact that Deloitte attaches so much value to our input, is unique.Despite our young age we have considerable influence.’ Marnix has a clear vision of thefuture. ‘The role of an auditor will only become more important’, he says passionately. ‘Weare a layer of protection that assures that companies report accurate and completeinformation. We are an independent party that provides an opinion on whether that is true ornot. Such a quality mark is now also relevant for non-financial information, includingsustainability and social impact. In fact, non-financial information will become moreimportant than financial information. Developments like these offer huge potential for us asan Audit team.’
Plenty of opportunity
‘I really like working at Deloitte, he concludes. ‘Almost anything is possible, but you’re in charge. There is plenty of opportunity. It’s up to you to decide what you want to do.’ For instance, Marnix’ choice for an international career was a deliberate move. ‘I like travelling and discovering new cultures. In the last two months I have worked with clients in Italy, France, the UK, Switzerland, and the US. But that doesn’t mean that my work-life balance is gone. On the contrary, my job energizes me. The work-life balance is different for everyone, and Deloitte is very much aware of that. You’re fully flexible and able to follow your own agenda. Open communication and transparency are key. For me, that means that everyone knows that I don’t work on futsal nights’, Marnix laughs.
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