Daniel Heckmann is a skilled technical accountant. A world traveller himself, he joined Deloitte Assurance a year ago after moving from Australia to Finland. As well as creating new things, he enjoys improving the 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, 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 wanted me to be a little closer to them. It was easy to choose Finland because my girlfriend is Finnish and I can work in English here.
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. It’s a great workspace – people are always willing to help one another.
Supporting IFRS 17 and technical accounting questions for our clients – 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. Analysing the accounting systems of a client to see how the required additional disclosures will be generated, as an example, identifying how a new accounting requirement might look for a client. Auditing clients for years provides valuable knowledge and experience in this regard.
Nordic Insurance clients are facing a big challenge with IFRS 17. You have to think deeply about the choices in the standard, as well as interpret them, when working on those projects. Nordic and UK colleagues must also be closely involved.
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. Providing audit support all year round, and a few other projects just require two meetings and one 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 traveling are my passions. Traveling and cooking classes are often combined for me.
Is there anything you didn’t know about Daniel?In 2017, I spent seven months traveling 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.