I have always enjoyed working with numbers and, after some soul searching, I finally found my vocation. After graduating from university in 2004, I joined PwC Romania, in assurance. While working there I completed my ACCA Qualification.
In 2007, when Romania joined the EU, I applied to a competition for EU auditors, and since 2008 I have been working at the European Court of Auditors (ECA) in Luxembourg.
The ECA is the external auditor of the EU. The work is diverse, as we carry out three kinds of audits at EU level: financial, compliance and performance.
We try to ensure that our communications are addressed to all EU citizens
The diversity of the audit field, and the international dimension, were aspects that influenced my decision to work for the ECA. I initially joined the financial audit unit and after a few years of auditing the financial statements of the EU, I moved to compliance and performance audit projects, acting as head of task for a number of audit reports. Since 2016, I have worked as an assistant to the director of one of the ECA’s chambers, a managerial position that allowed me to further deepen my knowledge of EU’s budgetary and financial management.
One particular project which I would like to highlight is working on the audit approach for the Recovery and Resilience Facility, the EU’s recovery instrument.
Since last year, I have been head of the private office of Annemie Turtelboom, the Belgian member of the ECA. The audit topics on which I currently work cover a variety of subjects, from management of the EU budget to the security of 5G networks, the microchip industry or the rule of law in the EU. This new position also involves maintaining stakeholder relations with EU institutions and think tanks.
We have to get an in-depth knowledge in a limited amount of time, in order to be able to perform a critical analysis
The main challenges for the ECA are similar to those faced by private auditors, such as integrating IT tools in our audit approach or addressing the expectation gap between an auditor’s mandate and the expectations of various stakeholders. In addition, as public sector auditors, we strive to target our audits on the areas and topics where we can add most value.
While our reports are particularly relevant for those in charge of EU policies, we try to ensure that our communications are addressed to all EU citizens. At the same time, many of our audit tasks address problems that are relevant to the EU’s future, as engaging in foresight is a priority for the ECA.
I don’t plan to return to an accounting firm, as I find my current role challenging and also rewarding. Even though I enjoy reading financial statements, I would find it difficult to work only on accounting aspects.
If I had law-making powers, I would push for a more social Europe. This would provide equal opportunities in the labour market, fair working conditions and universal access to quality healthcare.
I think one should always look towards the future and keep searching for the next challenge
There are many things I enjoy about my job but a real highlight is the continuous learning, which comes as we cover so many audit topics. We have to get an in-depth knowledge in a limited amount of time, in order to be able to perform a critical analysis and provide recommendations for improvement.
I also enjoy working alongside my colleagues. They come from all EU countries, with diverse professional experience and work styles, and every day I learn something new from them. One extra benefit is working in multiple languages so I get to use French and sometimes German, in addition to English.
I don’t believe in the notion of a biggest achievement as it suggests that it is something that is past you. I think one should always look towards the future and keep searching for the next challenge.
I am a fan of sports and spending time in nature. So, if I weren’t an accountant, my job would have gone in this direction, perhaps working in the tourism sector.
Outside work, my favourite activity is spending time with my family, especially hiking in the charming forest paths of Luxembourg.
This article expresses the personal opinions of the author and not those of the European Court of Auditors