KPMG in Romania Hosts the Reshaping Romania Annual Conference

Mihai-Alexandru Cristea 09/06/2022 | 13:30

KPMG in Romania hosted its annual conference “Reshaping Romania” at the Radisson Hotel, Bucharest on 7 June 2022. The event brought together a broad range of speakers from KPMG and outside, who gave presentations and participated in discussions on topical issues related to the development of the Romanian business environment and current challenges.

 

The keynote speaker was Fons Trompenaars, author and Thinkers50 Hall of Fame member, who gave a very entertaining talk on “creating a culture which can deal with uncertainty.” Trompenaars examined the debate over bipolar strategy models, such as universalism vs particularism, and pointed out that combined models can often be better than one or other polar opposite. Trompenaars also talked about different cultural approaches, and gave interesting examples to illustrate the points he made.

Fons Trompenaars

In their presentation “The future of data management and analytics for tax.” Daniel Pana, Partner in KPMG in Romania’s Tax Department, Inga Țîgai, Associate Partner, Head of Tax and Legal Technology at KPMG Romania, and Victor Crona, Finance Transformation Advisor, KPMG Sweden looked closely at how technological developments, particularly the effective use of tax and accounting data, will have an important impact on tax. One key point to emerge from the discussion was that we can expect a lot more transparency in the relationship between business and the tax authorities, with more real time reporting. Specific examples have been provided with respect to the tests expected by NAFA to be conducted through digital tax inspector like discounts granted in excess of certain company-specific thresholds, significant petty-cash amounts, etc.

Daniel Pana, Inga Tigai

Angela Manolache, Partner, Advisory, KPMG in Romania, Gabriel Tanase, Partner, Cyber, KPMG in Romania, Anca Petcu, Chief Operations Officer, First Bank, and Cosmin Curticapean, CEO and co-founder of iFactor formed a panel discussion on “Innovation in Financial Services.” The discussion looked at the extent of digitalization of financial services in Romania, concluding that while Romania is still behind other European markets, a lot of rapid progress has nevertheless been made in recent years. For example it is becoming easier for companies to open accounts online. Some Fintech companies have done well at explaining their products clearly and transparently, while banks have had to become more agile in response to greater competition. In the future, financial services companies will need to focus closely on the needs of individual customers if they want to stay competitive.

Gabriel Tanase, Cosmin Curticapean, Anca Petcu, Angela Manolache

As Richard Perrin, Partner and Head of KPMG in Romania’s Advisory Department comments: “We’ve seen so much growth in the use of tech in financial services. Banks have become much more digitalized, spurred on by the pandemic, and we’ve also seen the emergence of disruptors. This greater level of competition has generally been good for customers.  But this also presents a lot of challenges too. Cybersecurity is a real issue and it is critical that online financial services are safe.”

Robert Maxim, Partner, Advisory at KPMG in Romania, together with Andrei Baluta, CIO, METRO Romania gave a presentation entitled “Make the Connection- Building the Connected Enterprise for Sustainable Success and profitable growth.” A Connected Enterprise delivers the capabilities which connect data, processes, people and technology of a business to meet customer expectations and maximize value in a digital world. The presenters pointed out that many companies are rethinking their models and in the post-pandemic world successful businesses need to focus more closely than ever on their customers and staff. Andrei Baluta explained how Metro’s business had been transformed in six months and pointed out that transformation should not be seen as a side project but should be fully incorporated into the day to day running of the company.

Robert Maxim

Effective use of data is a critical factor in the success of today’s businesses, so they can gain the information they need about the market trends, customers and potential customers. Victor Iancu, Ph.D, Associate Partner, Management Consulting, Strategy and Experience Design, KPMG in Romania and Valentin Radu, CEO and founder of Omniconvert, held a discussion on “How to use customer data strategically and boost your business results”. The presentation began with an interactive quiz in which participants were asked if they could name various companies which had suffered or gone out of business because they had failed to gather and use the market data effectively. To succeed, companies need to move from inertia to strategy . In doing so, they must collect and use customer data strategically, for example by analysing reasons why customers have stopped buying. The key to winning the customer experience game is personalization.

Victor Iancu and Valentin Radu

Laura Toncescu, Partner, Head of KPMG Legal – Toncescu si Asociatii, Alexandru Mocanescu, Partner KPMG Legal, Toncescu si Asociatii, Nick Roome, Head of KPMG Law UK, Andreas Bong, Partner, Global Legal Transformation Services, KPMG Law, James Thomas, Head of Legal Technology and Innovation, KPMG Law and Lena Ernlund Malmberg, Head of Legal Operations and Transformation Services, KPMG Denmark, had a discussion on Legal Tech, technology for legal and transformational trends in the legal market. Key points discussed included client expectations that lawyers should be able to provide and deliver with tech, the effects of low code platform development,  increasing demand from clients over how their data is used, but also a clear need for the transformation of the legal function. In terms of AI, the panel concluded that tech will not replace lawyers, but lawyers who use AI will replace lawyers who don’t.

Laura Toncescu and Alexandru Mocanescu

Madalina Racovitan, Partner, Head of People Services, and Elisabeta Moraru, Country Manager, Google Romania, led a discussion on “Demystifying the biggest HR Challenges for Business Leaders”. One of the biggest questions facing employers and employees today is getting the right balance between office and remote working. Although many employers would like to see a return to more office-based work, for good reasons, employees are not rushing back to the office. The discussion considered the extent to which employers should encourage their staff to return to the office, and also examined some of the advantages from the employer’s perspective of remote working, such as ability to open new talent pools beyond traditional locations. The Great Resignation was discussed, and the conclusion was that finding the right employees with the right skills at the right time remains a challenge.

Madalina Racovitan and Elisabeta Moraru

Alin Negrescu, Partner in KPMG in Romania’s Tax Department, and Dragos Doros, Partner in KPMG in Romania’s Tax Department, gave a presentation on “Digitalizing Public Administration- a Status and a Vision”. The presentation examined the progress in digitalization of the Romanian tax authorities (ANAF) which is not as advanced as in some developed countries, but nevertheless some important steps have been taken. Poland was given as an example of the benefits of digitalization- a huge reduction in the VAT gap was achieved in only three years. This provides a very useful lesson for Romania, where the VAT gap is still very high. Dragos Doros ended the presentation and the conference by giving a fascinating vision of a future in which tax collection could become more efficient with much being done in real time, thus saving both taxpayers and the authorities considerable administrative effort.

Alin Negrescu

As René Schöb, Partner and Head of KPMG in Romania’s Tax and Legal comments: “Improving the efficiency of tax calculation and collection is a win-win situation both for taxpayers and for the state authorities. In terms of modernization of the tax administration, we’ve all noticed that progress has been made in Romania on this issue, but it was interesting to hear that there are model countries which are really showing the way forward and which are examples to follow.”

From left to right: René Schöb, Ramona Jurubita, and Richard Perrin

Ramona Jurubita, Country Managing Partner at KPMG in Romania concludes: “Romania and the world face unprecedented challenges and we live in a time of change and uncertainty. By bringing together so many talented people to this event, with very different backgrounds and specialisms, we hope we have been able to offer some ideas on how together we can take our country to a brighter future.”

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