Gabriela Karásková – I grew up in E-Consulting with my children – they’ve become school children and I’ve become an accounting manager.
I have been interested in accounting since secondary school. I enjoyed working with numbers and I like when things are in order. When every single haler is correct. After graduation from the business academy, I started working for a small accounting company and stayed there during my studies at the University of Economics in Prague.
I wasn’t much interested in international relations and wanted to get back into accounting. But I didn’t want to work for a small company or an overhead accounting department. I wanted more. I wanted to develop, achieve something, do varied work and work directly with the client, even a foreign one.
Youth is confident
I totally bombed the interview at E-Consulting Czech. I was very surprised. I thought that I knew accounting; I managed my former employer’s accounts without a problem. But I hit a brick wall there. And yet, Mr Pristach gave me a chance, provided that I started working in the lowest position of an assistant for the lowest salary and it was only up to me what was going to happen next. I took the risk and started. I knew there would be a lot of pressure on me in terms of professional knowledge, that I would have to learn a lot to stay or even be promoted. They gave me a chance and luckily, it was a good decision for both sides.
The Devil Wears Prada
The beginning was hard, mainly because I really didn’t know much. And my superior (who is no longer with the company) gave me a hard time. She let me struggle. She let me find, arrange and organise everything myself. It was even harder because she often left the office, didn’t answer her cell phone and, on the contrary, sent me messages like: “I got a call from this client; call him and take care of it.” I persisted and learned a lot as a result. I had to. We got along in the end. She found out that I could do something, didn’t undermine her and that she could rely on me and my work. I was in fact sorry when she left. We respected each other at the end. Ironically, I am grateful to her for what I achieved here.
A child is not a disease
I started working in E-Consulting in August 2007. It took a long time before I absorbed all the knowledge. There was plenty to learn. I became a junior accountant after about a year and a half. But then it picked up speed. After next six months, I became a senior accountant and took maternity leave in this position.
I was a little scared. My friends and the media worried me with stories of women whose positions were cancelled or who were replaced with more promising hires, as employers feared that they would spend most of the their time at home anyways. But as Director Pristach says, a child is not a disease. I was very moved by the approach of the company as well as individual colleagues.
My son is now one year old and I work 8 hours a week. I come to work twice a week for four hours and since my son is still young, it’s enough for me.
The need for me to return to work arose on both sides at about the same time. I was thinking about it and the company was in a position where I would again be an asset. It was a big decision to make. I was afraid that I would lose the time with my son, that I wouldn’t manage, that it would be bad for him, if it was right to start so soon.
He is fine. My mum babysits him. She almost forced me to accept the offer to return to work. E-Consulting Czech even provides me with financial support in the amount of half of the babysitting price. I was very surprised when this kind of offer was made to me. They took my breath away and I had no choice but to start. Although it is his grandmother who babysits my son and she doesn’t want anything for it, I think it’s right to give her something.
Minimum workload convenient for both sides
My working hours are set according to my clients’ needs. It’s up to me how I organise it – I have 5 clients and I provide them with complex care. Moreover, when I don’t manage in the closing period, I can ask my colleagues for help so I don’t exceed my workload at the expense of my son. Actually, I don’t want to work more for now and lose the moments I can spend with my son. On the other hand, the work has to be done, so in exceptional cases I take it home. I can use a remote connection to my work and my clients.
Varied, independent, responsible
I am never bored in this work. There is always something going on. The work is diverse – in the office, at a client’s location, in different types of companies, with different types of people. I work with foreign clients and use English. I work with taxes and laws and seek optimal solutions for clients.
It is convenient for me that E-Consulting Czech provides the service called SHARE Accounting. It is a special kind of accounting in which clients put their documents in the software themselves (e.g. an assistant) and we provide the professional aspect. We check and process all tax returns, enter more difficult items on the books and bear all the responsibility. Accounting books stay with the clients; they have all their documents available, keep track of everything, including their assets and liabilities, and costs. If we cooperate with these clients on a long-term basis, we often have almost personal relationships with them. I like this kind of work, as I have a chance to experience the cultures of various companies and different types of businesses, which bring different accounting specifics. I really enjoy it.
We visit our clients once or twice a month, take care of the accounting software, its setting in accordance with the clients’ needs, updates and problem-solving in cooperation with the IT department. I had to learn all of this. To connect my laptop to the client’s network, install printers, what to do when something is not working.
There will be a lot of learning in the senior position as well. It’s no longer about expertise and accounting. A senior consultant is also in charge of a team, training and work organisation. I haven’t got to the heart of the manager position yet. So far, I have no idea whether it’s my cup of tea, but I still have some time. As long as my son is little, I am very happy like this and also glad that the company agrees with it and has allowed me to work part-time.
I’m the first part-timer on maternity leave in E-Consulting Czech. A pioneer. And I’m glad that it’s possible. Thank you.
My second son was born in 2014 and his grandmother babysits him again; my first son is in kindergarten and I’m back at work. Hurray!
Being a manager
It’s February 2017 – the older son goes to school and the younger one is in preschool. I’ve been working for E-C full-time for two years and already achieved a managerial position. I’ve become an accounting manager. Now I’m in charge of 10 people. I work in areas I had never dreamed of and never imagined that I would be involved in them. However, I like it and my people like it, too. I am satisfied, even though I keep learning new things, especially in the area of HR and people management, trade and marketing. I come across something new every day, which is sometimes demanding, but I don’t give up and I try to develop myself to become better and better.