Five minutes with Stela Ivancheva
Tell us about yourself
I am a recently promoted Partner in consulting and business advisory services in Baker Tilly South-East Europe, a regional firm covering Cyprus, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria and Moldova. I started my career back in 1996, initially in audit and later in transaction advisory and M&A. In my work, cross-border projects are the rule rather than the exception and I enjoy meeting and collaborating with people from countries all over the world, although our footprint is local.
Outside of work, I value time with my family - my husband and two sons. I also like to keep my horizons open and enjoy reading about cutting edge science and international relations.
What do you enjoy most about being part of the global Baker Tilly network?
In my view, the best thing about the Baker Tilly network is that it really is a network of people, as opposed to a corporate structure. Other Baker Tilly practices that I have come into contact with have impressed me as being flexible, energetic, motivated, easy to collaborate with and present a great potential to grow and benefit from our joint efforts.
What do you think is the biggest challenge facing the advisory industry?
We offer an intangible product, and it is often not easy to convince our potential clients that we can really add value. Our job is to offer solutions and in many cases, it is not so difficult to recognise the right thing to do. However, we rely on people to follow our advice for it to be effective, and the true benefit we should be able to provide is enablement of our clients and their teams to put plans into action.
How can we create a winning culture throughout the Baker Tilly network?
We should think about ourselves as problem-solvers rather than as specialists in narrowly defined fields.I will borrow this from a colleague of mine from another Baker Tilly firm who once said something which expressed my feelings exactly: We should think about ourselves as problem-solvers rather than as specialists in narrowly defined fields. We should encourage our clients to come to us with their problems, even when those problems do not quite match our firm's "job description" as primarily an audit and accounting firm. Our business is to provide solutions where and when they are needed, and this should be our focus to succeed.
If you could give yourself one piece of advice when you started your career, what would it be?
I wish I could have been able to tell myself: "There is more to you than you think. Challenge yourself or make sure you have people around you who challenge you to do more."