Haya Weissfish, Partner Bookkeeping Department
Partner since 2014
38 years experience
Tell us a little about how you got into your field of work?
I’ve loved numbers as far back as I can remember, math problems were an amusement for me in my childhood. Unlike today, there weren’t all the sophisticated computer games that keep today’s children occupied, and that meant we had to keep ourselves occupied. My favorite past-time was numbers and naturally I continued with this love in my professional life as well. My first job was with the firm’s founder, the late CPA Shlomo Aboulafia, who taught me the secrets of the accounting profession, which I am happy and proud to work with to this day.
What makes the profession fascinating to you?
The most significant thing for me is to know how to take the numbers forward and understand the meaning reflected in them. In fact our role as accountants is very important, we need to help the client understand from the numbers the state of the business and formulate the next decisions to realize growth. The huge advantage of accounting is the ability to give feedback in real time and not wait for the annual report. The current numbers reflect reality all the time so it’s important to have a professional with the business who knows how to read them and extract the relevant information.
What’s an important business decision that you made
I have over 30 years of experience in the field and at a very early stage in my career I internalized that professional knowledge is only part of the equation for the benefit of the client- it’s also necessary to provide excellent accessible and available service. Today this understanding is mainly reflected in the integration of technological means in our work, the world is advanced and it is important for us to provide a professional and accessible service together, so we are constantly working on technological innovations that will facilitate sending material and creating additional communication channels for our customers. Only recently we contacted a company that allows you to send documents via mobile – the document reaches a dedicated folder and also allows the customer’s suppliers to send the invoices to the same folder. This of course saves a lot of hassle and headache on the part of the customer and helps our joint work.
What does your routine work day look like?
I start the morning by answering my dedicated staff regarding various questions and issues, then I look at the situation at work, i.e.: managing the work with reporting to the authorities, various customer requests, adjustments of the company files, etc. Remember that the authorities set a fixed deadline for departmental reports which of course creates a work routine that requires us to keep our finger on the pulse and ensure that both the customer and we are on time. In addition, this year was a particularly challenging year as Corona brought with it a lot of updates from the authorities and it required me and staff to work more intensely – business grants, employee grants, furlough – almost every day a new update came out that required adjustments from us.
Despite my many years of experience I must point out that every morning I face a new challenge. I am surprised to find that each day brings with it more accounting issues and new taxation issues that require creative thinking to solve the problem. This is probably the main reason I do not feel worn out from the profession – and this is of course some of the reasons I love what I do.
Is there a misconception in the field of accounting that is repeated on the part of business owners and is important that they be aware of?
2 important points that I find myself repeatedly explaining to clients.
1. Work from home – Many clients work from home at these times. It is very important to know that the relative rental expenses of the home are not recognized by the tax authorities, even renting an office in a residential apartment it is not considered a recognized expense for tax purposes unless the landlord is exempt from withholding tax, and then it can be considered a recognized expense.
2. Employment of foreign workers – It is important to know that the employment of foreign workers requires an additional payment to the tax authorities called a foreign workers levy. The cumulative amount of this levy is significant! Therefore, before hiring a foreign worker, the viability of hiring a worker who is a resident of Israel should be considered.
Describe a satisfying moment from the profession
The most beautiful moments for me are embodied in the sense of accomplishment that I have been able to save our customers money or return to them money that the authorities have improperly charged them. I happily call the customer and inform him that we have returned his money. In the past year there have been many emotional moments, clients we have worked with for years have suddenly faced a huge financial shock and many of them we were able to assist in receiving aid grants and employee grants, even if the authorities initially refused their request. I certainly see our role as the gatekeeper of preventing unnecessary exposure of our client to the authorities or his employees to unnecessary risks.
What is the benefit of external accounting to the company?
It is said that external accounting for a company is good up to a certain size of business, especially for medium-sized businesses. However, the service that we provide to the business is much broader and more significant, our ability to see the business in front of us to advise the customer and brainstorm with the staff in the department and the staff in the audit and taxation departments gives us the opportunity to provide smart solutions on a wide range of issues that are constantly popping up, especially for payroll, reporting, expenses and more.
It is important to note that even a business that employs an accountant / internal accountant is advised to transfer the preparation of salaries to an external party – as this is a complex process that requires constant knowledge of the updates in the many labor laws. Therefore, I recommend to all businesses to consult with us on a regular basis. I often find mistakes that customers make innocently or out of ignorance and then we try in retrospect to help them minimize the damage in relation to the employee or to the authorities. Pre-planning and consultation on a regular basis can certainly prevent all such complications that have a tendency to snowball.
Finally, what is your motto in life
/ aspiration / dream that you still want to fulfill?
There is talk that in the next decade the profession of accounting will disappear from the world – because technology will replace human power, but from my many years of acquaintance I do not see it actually happening.
While technology can make the job easier, it will not necessarily be able to replace the analytical mind and the ability to see the reflected image from the numbers. That is why it is very important for me to train the next generation who will engage in the profession- to give them the training to professionally review the business situation and assist clients.
This is also the reason why almost all of our employees in the department are also tax consultants and thanks to this training and the education I give them, they have the ability to look with a professional eye to combine areas and give our clients the maximum service. Therefore in every issue I invite you to share and consult with us let us help you solve the problems you are facing.
Always at your service
Haya Weissfish | Partner – Bookkeeping and Payroll Department