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Oct 19 2020

Meet Stefaan Taeleman, Head of Accounting Services, Finance Directorate

Stefaan Taeleman provided outstanding leadership and dedication as part of the NATO Communications and Information (NCI) Agency's finance team, particularly in the delivery of Financial Statements for 2018 and to further improve the functionalities of the Enterprise Business Application (EBA).

EBA is the Agency's centralised transactional system for managing elements such as Human Resources, Finance, Procurement and Projects.

Thanks to Taeleman's exceptional personal effort made in communication and adopting a project-type approach across the Agency's Finance Directorate, it was possible to achieve the required tasks, and reach critical milestones.

In honour of his efforts, Taeleman received in July 2020 the respected NATO Meritorious Service Medal, awarded by the NATO Secretary General.

We asked Taeleman a few questions.

Meet Stefaan Taeleman, Head of Accounting Services, Finance Directorate

You took on the demanding task of producing financial statements through EBA for the first time. How did you accomplish this task and ensure a desired outcome from it?

The NCI Agency implemented a new enterprise resource and planning system called 'EBA' that went live in February 2019. As in many private companies, and specifically in public sector and international organizations, this meant a lot of change to the entire business community. Finance, as a major stakeholder in this endeavour, had to ensure that the NCI Agency accounting ledgers were balancing and encompassed the many transactions from the sub-ledger modules (e.g. Project, Inventory, Asset module, etc.) with our main objective to produce the NATO Communications and Information Organization's (NCIO) financial statements on time as set per our NATO financial regulations. I had to set up a detailed planning for my team and find many workarounds for them to achieve this objective.

What advice would you give to a colleague who has to deal with a task of similar complication and scale?

A solution will not present itself to you. You have to take on many challenges and find the way to succeed. You need to analyse the issues and find ways to work around them while establishing quick solutions.

What does success mean to you and what professional and personal values have guided you in your work at the NCI Agency?

I prefer to stay modest and not overrate myself as an individual. In a large organization like NATO, you have to work together and work as a team. I always drive my team to remain innovative and think outside the box, even in a rigid field as finance.

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