Next time you visit Mannheim, Germany, make sure to say hello to Alexander Spiess, exceptional international CPA and co-founder / managing partner of the audit, accounting, and tax advisory firm DELTA Revision GmbH.
Co-Founder, Managing Partner of Audit
DELTA Revision GmbH
Next time you visit Mannheim, Germany, make sure to say hello to Alexander Spiess, exceptional international CPA and co-founder / managing partner of the audit, accounting, and tax advisory firm DELTA Revision GmbH. This globalized CPA knows exactly what it means to have those three very important letters after his name.
Alexander began his career in public accounting, working as an assistant and tax advisor at FALK & Co., Germany, where he developed a passion for the global environment and international clients. He worked his way into the international area of audit and started racking up his frequent flyer points. But Alexander soon learned that he wanted to be more than just an accountant that worked on international projects – he wanted to be a United States Certified Public Accountant.
“[The CPA] is the only credential which proves that you are an expert when it comes to international experience,” Alexander says, “And that is one of the reasons why clients, especially in the United States, place their trust in you.”
Once the decision was made, there was no stopping him. He enrolled in classes to complete the requirements to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam (talk about distance learning!) and when his coursework was complete, he flew to Chicago where he sat for the CPA Exam and passed with flying colors. In 2003, the Illinois Board of Accountancy awarded Alexander his very own CPA license.
But Alexander wasn’t done yet. Returning home victorious, he decided to kick it up a notch and become a German CPA too. After a few months of study and hard work, Alexander could officially call himself a CPA on two continents, followed by a cushy promotion to Audit Partner at FALK & Co.
And that’s not the end of this CPA success story. A few years later, he decided to make yet another leap and use his international accounting experience to start his own company with another colleague. Even though they opened their doors in January 2011, Alexander and his partner are already running at lightning speed. The secret ingredient? He says it started with becoming a U.S. CPA - it even comes in handy across the Atlantic.
As if he isn’t busy enough getting (and staying) licensed in two countries and running a company, Alexander believes that giving back is another key component to being a respected CPA professional. He volunteers with (and has become the President of) the Executive Committee of the German CPA Society and a member of the Editorial Board for International Content of the AICPA.
This early in the morning, I am still at home enjoying time with my wife and children before I leave for a busy day at work. Typically I’m having breakfast, reading the newspaper, and playing with my kids.
8am: Arrive at the office
After I finish breakfast with my family, I head to the office in Mannheim, Germany. When I arrive, I normally get an overview of what has been going on, what needs to be done, and what the day will be like in coordination with my partners.
During this hour, I return phone calls, clear and respond to emails, and discuss staffing, deadlines, and new opportunities with my colleagues.
10am: Client meeting
Most of my client meetings take two hours. Usually, I meet with the client’s CFO to discuss different audit matters or I advise them when it comes to the fields of compliance or taxes.
12pm: Lunch with client
This time is really important to connect with a client. Not only do we talk about business, but we can also get to know each other and improve our working relationship
I like to review things early afternoon, so any significant changes can be made tomorrow or (maybe) later today. Since it is an essential part of my work, this review normally takes 2-3 hours.
5pm: Partner meeting
At this time of the day, I meet up with my partners to discuss internal matters; for example, what we have achieved and what still needs to be done, our improvements, and the clients we had meetings with. It’s so important that to take time to sit down with colleagues and talk about the day. Doing this helps you analyze the next steps of your firm’s future: strategy matters!
6pm: Administrative catch-up
As a co-founder of our company, I’m also in charge of tasks like billing and timesheets of my employees. Even though we just founded our company, there is already a lot to take care of in this area.
7pm: Research prospective clients
As a new company, it is essential for the future of our firm to look for new clients. I usually do this at the end of my working day since at this time it is quieter and the chaos of the day has decreased.
After work, I head to an evening symposium organized by a local accounting organization. It’s a great time to meet potential clients and keep in touch with colleagues.