A day in the shoes of... the finance chief who puts people above numbers - cetin.bg
A day in the shoes of... the finance chief who puts people above numbers
You might think accounting is a boring activity, dependent on numbers and far from human contact.
But Galya Ilieva will easily disprove you - with a smile, with friendliness, with a human attitude, with putting people above numbers, and with highlighting the meaning in her work beyond mere financial balances.
Galya is the Head of the Department at CETIN - the technology company dealing with building telecommunication infrastructure and information security solutions. Her title is Head of Operations Finance and she is responsible for CETIN's accounting and financial reporting. In her department, invoices are issued for revenue and for anything that is ordered from a supplier.
Ilieva manages a team of ten and admits that the work is even more than one would expect.
“Accounting is only one part of things, the other is the reporting itself - making the finished material from all the financial data, putting the picture together, and seeing what the company's results are,“ she explains to us. In fact, the main part of her job is the financial statements - monthly and annual.
Before being appointed to this position, Galya Ilieva spent 17 years in the company, when it was Germanos, then when it was bought by Globul, then in the acquisition by Telenor, the purchase by the Czech telecom from PPF and the separation of CETIN from Yettel (then Telenor) in 2020.
Galja was recruited directly from the student bench (majoring in Finance at the UNWE), gradually taking on more and more responsibilities and changing different positions, starting as an invoice clerk. When she enters the financial statements, she already gets a clear picture of the company's overall business.
Today her working days pass very differently from each other and do not lend themselves to any systematization or generalization.
The work requires a lot of thinking and quite a lot of analytical ability, and there is no danger of getting bored of it. “Every day a new type of task may come up, a new reference you haven't done before. There is still something to surprise me,“ she says with a smile.
When talking about her work, Galya emphasizes the many meetings and interactions with people, as well as the fact that she continues to enjoy every achievement and every successfully completed report. Although she and her team have been accumulating successfully certified financial statements for years, "every year we celebrate it as if it was our first time."
She has learned to work under constant pressure and with deadlines constantly pressuring her. But she enjoys it as she has found that she works well under stress. She identifies the ability to motivate herself as one of her greatest qualities.
She recognizes that it's not easy to manage people, but she does it with genuine care for them and a drive to make everyone feel fulfilled and satisfied in her department. It helps that she and most of her team have known each other for a long time, have worked together for a long time, are close-knit, and have achieved a friendly relationship – not just in the office, but with shared visits to theatres, restaurants, and mountains.
It is her colleagues and the atmosphere at CETIN that keeps her happy and motivated after 18 years in one job. “I really like my colleagues and that is one of the main motivators that make you feel good in the company and not want to look elsewhere. The feeling of satisfaction and a smile when you come to work - that's actually the driving force for me,“ Ilieva stresses.
“The people at CETIN are cool people, nice people you can count on. We grew up together,“ she says. “Definitely the job has given me a lot personally and professionally, it has taught me a lot of things, which I am grateful to every single person I have come into contact with, regardless of supervisor or colleague. Everyone has given me something. And every day I learn something new.“
For Ilieva, working with numbers is not overwhelming, in fact, it energizes her, especially when she sees CETIN's achievements and successes reflected in the reports.
She remembers well her vicissitudes over the years in the workplace. She remembers her very first job interview in which she frankly admitted that she did not speak English well and did not specialize in Excel.
Nevertheless, she was hired and developed those skills, and later her supervisors saw the potential in her even before she realized she had it herself.
“If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't have developed the way I did. They gave me the belief that I could,“ recalls CETIN's Head of Operational Finance. Today, she strives to do the same with the people she manages.
“In the finance department, we actually put the puzzle together and every single piece of the company comes to us in financial terms. Everyone's performance is finally measured in the report. So the financial statements are a composite image of something holistic that not everyone can imagine," explains Galya Ilieva.
That's why she has taken the initiative at gatherings with colleagues to show the financial report and explain whose contribution is behind each column – and how each person has contributed to the big picture.
“I try to show everyone that they are important and that their place is seen in the end result,“ she points out of this approach. „I want to do it not only for the team here but for the company as a whole. Each department gives some financial expression, its piece in the whole.“
She says that when people see this, they now accept their work in a different way. That's why the head of operational finance tries to explain the results so that the person across the table, no matter what they do, experiences satisfaction in what they do.
This is Galya Ilieva's mission beyond financial calculations. And it's her way of paying it forward for all the value she's received at work.