Who are you and what does Adviseo do?
My name is Christophe Provost and I am a accountant. I set up my company eighteen years ago but only operated it completely independently of other structures from July 2014. I had long been convinced that the digitalisation of the profession would later be a question of survival and a fantastic opportunity for the profession and entrepreneurs. Today, our way of working is 100% paperless. The accounting documents are sent to a platform by the client and after we have processed them, the figures are uploaded to a reporting interface where the client can understand how his business operates and can then make the right decisions for the future. I consider tax declarations to be a necessary evil and that figures are just another means. What is important to me is that our clients know that we take care of the proper maintenance and tax optimisation of their file and that they can therefore devote themselves entirely to their business in a serene manner with, at all times, a clear vision of how their company is doing. If you go to our website www.adviseo.be, you will see that I say that accounting is not like the mirrors of a car. It's the headlights.
During this period of lockdown, our operations were not affected in any way, which enabled us to fulfil our clients' accounting and tax obligations without using the deadlines for filing returns granted by the FPS Finance. This significant time saving has enabled us to be very present with our clients and to support them in obtaining bonuses, to inform them on a daily basis of the possibilities available to them and above all - and this is one of my deepest convictions - to help them transform this crisis into an opportunity. It is this kind of moment that allows us to see that digitalisation - if we are careful - is not synonymous with robotisation, but on the contrary allows us to increase the human side of the relationship with our clients.
Why did you choose Silversquare?
Before going solo again in 2014, I was a partner for six years with four other tax specialists in a much larger fiduciary. This company had been based for a very long time in a house it owned. We decided more than ten years ago to sell this building to rent a whole floor of the plateau, which we have fitted out in a very modern way, in open space for most of the premises, a few private offices, meeting rooms, a reception, a kitchenette, etc. We have also decided to rent a large part of the building, which is now used as an office. This decision completely changed the image of the fiduciary, gave us many additional opportunities, clients of much higher standing, etc. In the space we were not using, we welcomed a team of company auditors who allowed us to create synergy.
There were five of us and we had the product of the realisation of a house and quite significant means. When I left to launch my digitisation project, I worked for three years at home, which seemed a good idea at the beginning since I wasn't paying for premises. The result of this decision was a very small increase in the number of my clients and therefore in my turnover. On January 2, 2018, I made the best resolution I can remember to this day: to apply - this time alone and with fewer resources - this good idea we had at the time: to work in offices that would allow me to access all the opportunities I described.
What makes Silversquare different from other coworkings?
Having made this decision, I had to make the crucial choice of location. Since my resources were far beyond those of my former trustee, this was the first criteria I had to take into account. But above all, I wanted a place that would make a real difference. I wanted it to be classy, friendly, bright, to be able to welcome people informally at the bar or in a lounge, but also in a much more professional way, in meeting rooms offering multiple possibilities such as presentations on television. Although confidentiality is a legal obligation in my profession and I needed a private space and discreet meeting rooms, I also and above all wanted to meet people. Because I deeply needed it after three years working alone at home but also, as I explained earlier, to develop my clientele and create synergies.
I then asked a friend for advice. At the time, she had created a website listing the different coworking areas with their characteristics (public, location, price...). When I asked her what she advised me, the answer was clear: "the ideal place for you, which corresponds with absolutely everything you want: it's Silversquare Stephanie, because it's very luminous". On January 2nd, I picked up the phone, got an appointment an hour later with Marie, who was in charge of this coworking at the time. She took me around the place with extreme kindness. She took the time to explain absolutely everything to me and took me into a few offices to see if I felt comfortable there. Two hours later, I left with my signed contract under my arm.
How does working in Silversquare Stephanie coworking benefit your business?
A few days later, I moved into my office by myself. Two months later, I had taken on an internship with a graduating student, Zeïneb, to help me. And the opportunities, the encounters, the synergies have not stopped since then, so much so that a few months later, I hired her... and one of her friends with whom she had studied, Christina. Two years later, our turnover has doubled and there are five of us. Aleksandra and Catarina joined the team in July. This team is my great pride today because they are rigourous, efficient, motivated and extremely friendly. It is a privilege and a pleasure to work with them. I have no doubt that working at SQ contributes greatly to their professional development because of the beauty, friendliness and location of the place, but also because they meet a lot of people and have lunch with them every day.
The fact that we work completely digitally has allowed us to meet our typical clientele. If you're not convinced, I suggest you play a game: stop in the middle of Silversquare and find someone walking around with a binder of documents in their hands. Not easy, is it? The members of Silversquare are people for whom digital accounting is an absolute prerequisite: they are mobile and loathe paper. They want a clear dashboard, not an incomprehensible balance sheet. What's more - and this is very satisfying for me and fulfilling for the team - most of their jobs are modern, trendy, creative and web-oriented.
I live - to put it this way - with the Silversquare Stéphanie team.
Mégane and Nathalie, to name but a few, take care of Silversquare Stéphanie with a professionalism, efficiency and above all a sympathy that I have rarely had the opportunity to meet in my professional life. With them, you are at home and our daily discussions are for me a huge plus which makes me feel wonderfully at the SQ space and I am not about to move. I am therefore aware of what the team is preparing for its members in the coming months: crazy afterworks in collaboration with the two other centres on Avenue Louise and lots of other things. The opportunity, I hope, to meet each other!