This year, Kristina Andla, the Deputy Chief Accountant of Eesti Post, was named the Accountant of the Year. She also does accounting for Finbite. She has 20 years of experience in accounting – initially in Lithuania and the last 14 years in Estonia, including 7 in Eesti Post. Kristina enjoys unexpected situations and challenges that her work requires and also coming up with creative solutions and constant self-improvement. Read more about how she became an accountant and how Kristina sees the future of accounting.
When did you realize that you are interested in accounting?
I got my bachelor’s degree in Lithuanian-Finnish philology, but after that I immediately started my career in the world of numbers. This helped me decide that I wanted to acquire my master’s degree in the field of auditing. During my successful and exciting studies, I obtained the degree, but realized that I am not really into the challenges of an auditor, but rather the importance of debit, credit and numbers in the life of the company. Since then, I feel confident that I am in the right place as an accountant.
What does this award – the Accountant of the Year – mean to you?
I am very grateful and extremely moved for this unexpected recognition. I would never have achieved this alone – successful collaboration with my team and other colleagues, educating myself and sharing the knowledge with others probably led to it.
Kristina as a colleague
I have turned to Kristina with many questions and asking for help – the thoroughness and speed with which I have received answers to these questions is extraordinary. Her precision, technical insight, honesty, friendliness, sense of humor and helpfulness are highly valued by both colleagues and partners. I sincerely believe that Kristina deserves this recognition and has earned the title “Accountant of the Year”.Kristo Hokkonen – Sales Manager, Finbite
How has the work of accountants changed since you started?
The job of an accountant has changed a great deal. I started when the paper, signature and stamp were the most important things for an accountant. The daily life of an accountant was characterized by bureaucracy and strict rules. Now we have paperless accounting, e-invoicing, various solutions for processing purchase invoices and expense reports, and convenient environments for reports. Thanks to this, the role of the accountant has also changed – we no longer have to focus so much on technical solutions and data entry, now there are more opportunities and time to delve into the subject and be a more professional.
This time the main focus of the Estonian Accountants’ Conference was “Roadmap for 2022” – what developments will impact accountants and companies in the new year? It has certainly been a very challenging time, but how has this affected the role of accountants and what changes must companies be prepared for?
Accountants have become accustomed to unexpected changes and decisions, but adapting to a world changed by the pandemic and new habits, has not been easy. We can be happy that it all happened in the age of technology and e-solutions. All you need to get the work done are a laptop and a good Wi-Fi connection. During the pandemic period, all office workers who were not used to working remotely had to change their work habits and switch to online tools. For me, this period meant that my job became 100% paperless.
For example, part of my job is international billing between postal organizations, and before the pandemic, it was a different world. For some foreign organizations paper and signature in billing were as important as getting paid on time is for an employee. In some countries, postal organizations did not even have e-mail addresses or they were classified, and all information was exchanged on paper and by post. Even at various international meetings, it was often said that e-solutions and online invoicing were not possible in the postal world. The global wave of COVID-19 changed this attitude and habit very quickly! Papers didn’t move as quickly as before, but the world couldn’t come to a stand still – bills still had to move. In the end, it went very well. I have never seen this fast and timely billing in the postal world as i did during and after the pandemic.
Looking to the future, I took with me a modern keyword from the conference “Road map for 2022” – cryptocurrency transactions. Cryptocurrencies have come to stay, but unfortunately accountants currently lack the competence to record such transactions. I certainly see this as an opportunity for development for all accountants, because a lot of companies and individuals are already involved in cryptocurrency transactions, but their taxation and accounting is still a nightmare for many.
In your daily work, you are connected with both the state-owned company Eesti Post and its subsidiary Finbite, who offers smart e-invoicing solutions. The public sector, including Eesti Post, switched to e-invoicing in 2019, but when will the private sector follow suit ?
I think it is only a matter of time before the whole private sector also switches to e-invoicing. There are already companies that have done done it and I’m just wondering what’s keeping others from e-invoicing solutions. Firstly, it is a very convenient, fast and environmentally friendly solution. Secondly, the accountant’s job should no longer be entering data, but they should have more time to focus on their competence. One of the most important steps in transitioning to e-invoicing is finding a co-operative, competent and experienced partner whose solution are suitable for your company. The partner is important not only during the switch to e-invoicing, but also in the future. Once you find a good partner, it is already half the battle. Further activities are just details that can be successfully resolved in co-operation with the invoicing solution provider.
I take this opportunity to wholeheartedly thank the entire Finbite team for their excellent co-operation! I am sincerely pleased that Omniva’s independent subsidiary has been able to bring together so many talented and smart people who are professionals in their field and do their work with spirit.