The professional journey of Daniel Heckmann
Technical accounting is Daniel Heckmann’s area of expertise. A year ago, he began working for Deloitte Assurance in Finland. He likes to create new processes as well as improve existing ones.
Any accounting question can be solved with prior knowledge and a curious mindset.
An assurance expert with a global outlook
Originally from Cologne, danielheckmann.de I have lived in many cities in Germany, including Berlin, Mainz and Frankfurt. After almost nine years in Sydney, Australia, I moved to Finland at the end of October 2020. My family in Germany needed me to be closer to them. Due to my girlfriend’s Finnish heritage, I decided to work in Finland since it is an English-speaking country.
I began researching online for interesting roles after arriving in Finland and settling in for a couple of weeks. Due to my previous experience with Big 4 companies, I also checked the Deloitte website. An IFRS technical job ad caught my attention. I joined the Deloitte Assurance team after a few very interesting and constructive meetings with the team.
Despite starting in the middle of a global pandemic, everyone was so helpful, answering any questions I had. There is an excellent working atmosphere – people always help each other out.
Client support for IFRS 17 and technical accounting questions – big challenges and agile processes
My studies in Mainz were in economics. Two weeks after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, I started working in financial services audit. The first audit of a bank was a thrilling experience.
After more than 20 years in banking, asset management, and insurance, I am a specialist in technical accounting questions relating to financial instruments, fair value, and insurance contracts.
Creating something new and improving existing processes or outcomes are things that appeal to me. Taking a new standard or requirement, understanding how the result will look for a client, and then looking into the accounting systems of that client to see how the required data will be generated. Experience gained from auditing clients for many years is very helpful for this.
For our Nordic Insurance clients, IFRS 17 is a big challenge. This type of project is challenging and stimulating because you have to really think through the choices in the standards and interpret them. You also have to work closely with colleagues in the Nordic and UK.
You can achieve a lot with a curious mindset
I find studying Finnish to be the most challenging aspect of learning. Since I started this journey over a year ago, I have slowly seen my progress. I enjoy working with my junior team members and sharing knowledge and experience from previous projects.
Deloitte auditors in Audit & Assurance should understand the accounting standards as a basis for their work. Accounting knowledge enables us to deliver quality services to our clients. Being curious is another important skill. Making sure that I understood a response fully and fact-checked it helped me immensely. You are capable of resolving any accounting problem for your clients with that prior knowledge and mindset.
- It really varies according to the type of assurance project. Working with audit teams all year round, and some other projects are just two meetings and an IFRS memo.
- Previously, I worked in the following industries: insurance, banking, utilities.
- In order to maintain my wellbeing, I always laugh. In moderation, I eat and drink well. Even when it’s hard to convince myself, I keep myself in shape by exercising regularly.
- Cooking and travelling are my passions. While travelling, I often combine those two and attend cooking classes.
- Is there anything you didn’t know about Daniel? In 2017, I spent seven months travelling around the world. In this process, I visited all of the New 7 Wonders of the World. Taj Mahal stands alone as the most fascinating.