Off To A Great Start

Monday of the Netherlands trip marked the first official day of the program. The day was completely jam-packed with events, but it was still a good time. The day kicked off with Govert introducing us to some of the changes that the Netherlands is going through with regards to risk management. Next was Marcel who was a director of risk management at PwC in Amsterdam. He was a very energetic and passionate about the subject so it made the talk very interesting. I think he was so passionate about it due to the fact that risk management is somewhat of a new concept to the Dutch it seems, thus his profession was just taking off. He went over the various trends that are happening in risk management, and they really had to do with the fact that the world is so connected these days, which ends up making businesses more accountable for their actions across the world. He also stressed that your perception of the problem isn’t always the best, thus diversity in decision-making groups is very important. It was a very enlightening conversation and was made all the more interesting due to his enthusiasm.

After Marcel finished up his talk, we went to Deloitte in Utrecht where Mathijs spoke to us about the differences between a rules-based accounting approach and a principles-based accounting approach. The differences seemed to stem from the fact that rules-based will lay it out for employees where principles-based requires much more judgment from the employees due to the fact that the accounting rules don’t provide as much guidance in situations. Thus the talk centered around that and what might be the best potential system in the future. Mathijs stressed that it can never be all rules or all principles, but more of a middle ground between both systems. The Deloitte office in Utrecht is unbelievable though, it has a room that embodies the company’s new found emphasis on innovation. The company believes that Google and Apple are its biggest competitors rather than PwC, KPMG, and E&Y. I found this idea to be very interesting and intriguing. As you can tell from the futuristic look of the room, they truly believe in this initiative.

After our visit to Deloitte we climbed the Dom Tower in Utrecht. It was about 465 steps and 90 meters high. It provided a beautiful view of Utrecht and the surrounding areas. It was also ideal that we were able to make it up there fairly close to sunset as well. After trekking back down the 465 steps we then went to dinner at Raak where everyone ate glorious chicken skewers and pasta with pesto and portobello mushrooms. The night finished with crème brûlée and chocolate brownies, which were to die for.


Written by nbarton