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Joep Timmermans

Junior Accounting Data Analyst

"Much more is possible with data now than a few years ago. That is where the challenge lies for me."

“Why trust is so important? We are now at a point where much more is possible with data than a few years ago. More than we do now at ABN AMRO Mortgage Group. That is where a challenge lies for me as coordinator of the 'changes' – all of the developments in the data area. We want to innovate, but without making mistakes.” 

Rapid development

"When I was studying accountancy, one thing was clear: the profession I was going to practise would be completely different from what I learned in school. Developments simply happen that fast. Not all that long ago, everything moved at breakneck speed from books to Excel sheets. Now we are moving away from that to more advanced systems like Python. All designed to make more information accessible, and to detect errors faster and more accurately. As a data specialist, that means switching quickly, but that’s what makes the work so much fun."

Needle in a haystack

"If you look at the portfolio level, Excel works well; we still use it a lot at ABN AMRO. But at the loan part level, it’s a different story. Just imagine putting a bulk of 120 thousand loan parts into a single file. And then you have to look for the data of a single loan, or even more fun: pick out one specific mistake. This is still very complicated. With data innovation, we can still make a big difference in this area."

"I work in Reporting within the Accounting & Reporting department, part of Finance within the Mortgage Group – a subsidiary of ABN AMRO. Just goes to show: this organisation is huge and has been around for a while. Efficiency is very important, but sometimes it’s difficult to adapt, for example to developments in data technology. Half of my job is to implement those kinds of adjustments. The other half consists of making reports: monthly and yearly closings for the accounting department."

Learning by doing

"I had a financial education, I didn’t study IT. But I do find that side fascinating: the interface between finance and technology. So I started to specialise in that. Fortunately, ABN AMRO provides the tools for this: courses, manuals and its own development programme. The best way to learn something like this is to do it yourself. And you are able do that here. That way, I automatically get better at the technical side."

"If you start talking accountancy at the kitchen table, not everyone is immediately brimming with enthusiasm An accountant is not a fireman; the profession has a dull image. But it isn’t! Also, mortgages are socially relevant: the housing market is in great need of accessible housing. Especially where it concerns sustainable houses."

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