In September, our Account Assistant, Dan, swapped our office in Bolton for the ETL GLOBAL España office in Barcelona! This was part of the ETL Challenge, a new initiative from ETL GLOBAL which allows members to experience how ETL firms in different countries carry out their day-to-day operations, learn about their strategies, and how accounting processes and regulations differ internationally.
As one of the first participants in the ETL Challenge, along with Brett Wright from EKWilliams, Dan has shared an insight to his time at the ETL GLOBAL España office…
Experiencing Spanish working life…
On our first day in the office we were welcomed by the ETL GLOBAL España marketing department, while we enjoyed some pastries for breakfast and found out our schedule for the days ahead. The team had generously prepared a bag of gifts to use throughout our stay; a water bottle, mug, notepad, phone charger and umbrella – although, of course, we were less likely to need an umbrella there than at home!
We received an extensive tour of the office and were introduced to the whole team working there, before getting started on some work! Throughout the week we spent time in the payroll, tax and accounting departments, experiencing the processes used in each. It was interesting to see how vastly the Spanish accounting system differs from ours in the UK. Although the accountants receive the accounts with the bookkeeping already completed, it felt like there was a lot more to complete accounting-wise – and there were definitely more tax rules to get our heads round. At EKW Group, we use a few separate softwares for our different processes, whereas the team in Spain uses one cloud accounting software called a3asesor for all of their processes, which we were introduced to while we were there.
One of the main differences between our systems is that the busiest period for Spanish accountants is July, whereas ours is January. The team explained how they celebrate the end of their deadline season with a large summer party, followed by three weeks of annual leave in August!
Exploring the city
When we arrived in Barcelona we had a couple of days to explore and settle into the city before our time in the office began. This was a great opportunity to visit some of the tourist sights, relax at the beach, and experience Barcelona’s famous nightlife! This also continued throughout the week – the ETL GLOBAL España team made sure we hit the right balance of tourism and local culture, taking us to the FC Barcelona Museum one evening, and for food and drinks at some of their favourite spots on the other nights.
Joining in with the national holiday
On Monday, 11th September it was La Diada, the National Day of Catalonia. It was really interesting to be in Barcelona for this national holiday, which pays homage to Catalan nationalism and the fall of Barcelona in 1714. We definitely gained a better insight into Barcelona’s people and culture – La Diada holds a deep political meaning for Catalonians. On this day each year, demonstrations are held to reflect on Catalonia’s past, present and future.
I first started my apprenticeship at EKW Group in January 2022. When I joined, I knew that the company was a member of ETL GLOBAL, but I didn’t quite understand what that meant for me and my career. The opportunity presented by the ETL Challenge meant that I gained a better understanding of the network, opening my eyes to ETL GLOBAL’s international platform.
Do you want to get started on a career path like Dan’s which allows you to explore international opportunities? Find out more about our opportunities by enquiring at: [email protected].
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