On Thursday 27 April, a delegation from Bol International arrived in Rome to attend LEA Global’s annual European Regional Conference. The event is a hub for international accounting and tax consulting professionals, featuring a range of insight-packed talks, workshops, discussion panels, and networking events. Bol International’s Kevin Smit (International Tax Advisor) and Tiago Schotten (VAT Advisor) share their experiences below.
A truly international network
LEA Global is a worldwide community of accounting and consulting firms dedicated to sharing knowledge and promoting collaboration. “As an international-facing company, it’s essential for us to stay up to date with the latest trends and developments, and these events allow us to do just that,” explains Kevin. “They’re also great for strengthening our professional networks, so any time a client has a question on tax specifics in a different region, we can either advise them or connect them with a local LEA Global colleague who can help.”
Over the course of the three-day event, a variety of specialist topics were on the agenda. These included double taxation regulations, teleworking employees, the VAT implications of e-commerce, and the EU’s VAT in the Digital Age system. “It was especially interesting to see the different approaches our colleagues around the world are taking, and how various regulations are being applied across markets,” says Kevin. “One of the hot topics at this year’s conference was the increasingly strict implementation of anti-tax-avoidance measures, which is by its nature an international subject. That’s why it’s so useful to have global forums like this, bringing this wide range of tax expertise from across the world together in one place.”
Experts from LEA Global member companies took the stage to present key case studies from their different disciplines, offering a wealth of learnings. “The case studies were a definite highlight – seeing how colleagues deal with issues similar to the ones we’re facing every day
Strengthening professional relationships
Another key benefit of attending the conference is the networking opportunities. “We’re often in contact with our LEA Global partners throughout the year via email, but it’s so much nicer to meet in person,” continues Kevin. “Bol International has a very collaborative culture, and it’s great to see that reflected in so many firms around the world. I’ve been to a few of these conferences now, and it’s become quite a community – there are lots of friendly faces!”
The conference also included a range of breakout groups dedicated to different specialisms within the worlds of business, tax, and accounting. “I joined the international tax group, and I really appreciated the opportunity to talk through some of the issues I’ve been facing with like-minded colleagues,” says Tiago. “It was a great chance to expand my knowledge in a more informal setting and get perspectives from around the world.”
Several colleagues from the LEA Global Young Professionals collaboration group also attended. “I enjoyed checking in with colleagues of a similar age and comparing notes on career paths, training opportunities, and workplace culture,” says Kevin. “I’ve definitely noticed that the conference has shifted its focus towards a younger demographic over the years, and I think this will be key to ensuring the future talent pipeline of our industry. The Young Professionals group has also planned regular online events, so we won’t have to wait long to meet again!”
International perspectives, local expertise
At Bol International, we provide a one-stop shop for international businesses and entrepreneurs operating in or looking to move to the Netherlands. And thanks to LEA Global, we can also offer comprehensive support on a range of tax, accounting, and HR topics, wherever in the world you want to do business. “LEA Global is a unique network and an invaluable resource for ourselves and our clients,” concludes Tiago “We can’t wait to see everyone again at the next conference and build on the connections we made.”
Bol International can help your business navigate the complexities of setting up or expanding your business in the Netherlands. Contact us today to find out how we can best support you.