Lasma Krumina has been with Grindeks since 2018, this year she was promoted to Chief accountant of the company. In the interview, she explains how accounting works in Grindeks that exports medicines and active pharmaceutical ingredients to 97 countries in the world.
The scale of accounting complexity
Without a doubt, accounting is complex in Grindeks as it has trade all over the world. Lasma Krumina points out different tax policies and legislation in different countries when describing accounting specifics for Grindeks.
“Grindeks is a Latvian company with headquarters in Riga, Latvia. It means that we operate according to Latvian tax policy. As Latvia is a member state of the European Union (EU), different EU laws are mandatory for Grindeks as well,” describes Lasma Krumina, “but the company has branches abroad – in Estonia, Lithuania, Moldova, Ukraine, Belarus, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan. All these countries have different tax policies. And, when trading with these countries, we must be sure that we do everything according to local and Latvian tax policies. Not to mention export to 97 countries in the world.”
Another thing is how transactions are done. “There are still countries where accounting is done in an old-fashioned way, with stamps, specific bills, references, etc., which is mandatory to local legislation,” tells Lasma Krumina, “and at that point, you realize the benefits given by technology and digitalization. You understand that the way and speed we do accounting processes here, in Latvia, is not self-evident in other parts of the world.”
Accounting – very precise profession, still art sometimes
“Grindeks operates globally in various tax-law environments and it leads to the next point – no matter where and what are the trade partners, accounting should be perfect on our side, according to Latvian regulations. The problem is that there are no rules or regulations for every situation we can imagine or which may happen. But there are cases when we realize, that we don’t have any clear tax guidance. Then accounting becomes a little bit of art,” explains Lasma Krumina.
She describes herself as a person who loves preciseness, that’s why she enjoys accounting. “In a perfect situation accountant must act according to tax regulations. And it’s pretty simple because accountants don’t have to interpret anything. But we really have to face situations, which seem like a dead-end. And then the only possible solution is to become a tax-artist, which acts in goodwill,” accounting routine describes Lasma.
Pharmaceutical industry as a challenge
“When I was proposed for a new position at Grindeks, in the beginning I was a bit sceptical because the pharmaceutical industry was terra incognita as well as manufacturing enterprise from an accounting point of view,” remembers Lasma,” but I convinced myself that accounting is universal and it is applied to every industry, so I took this challenge.”
When becoming Chief accountant of the company, Lasma has set her goals to upgrade accounting processes in the company to the next level. “I want that manual work could be semi or fully automated. Working hours are a very valuable resource, so it should be used efficiently and meaningfully,” says Lasma, noting that she has a list of reminders about different projects, which should be implemented. “The projects are quite voluminous, so it is not just up to me, but one of the important projects is automatization of stock-taking. Another is complete revising of accounts which would ease the preparation of annual reports. Also, digitalization will improve accounting performance,” she explains.
When asked, what is the satisfactory moment in her work, Lasma tells that there are many projects of different scales ongoing or planned, that’s why she is enjoying the process, but satisfaction is expected when projects will be finished.
Money sometimes is just numbers
Every day accountants deal with big sums of money, so it’s interesting, what their attitude towards money is. Lasma explains that for the accountant it is better not to think that behind the numbers is real money. “Of course, an accountant must realize that she or he is dealing with money and be fully responsible for a job. But it does not help if I will start to think that, the number with six zeros in the invoice will be transformed into real money. At the end of the day – the accountant operates with numbers, they should coincide.”
Work as a power bank
Precision is what describes accounting and it takes lots of energy, that is why we asked – what’s the magical ritual or hobby, which lets her be at the top. “To be honest, I sometimes feel bad, because I don’t have any hobbies, but I am enjoying my job. I really enjoy that board of the company trusts my initiatives and lets me perform. It gives me energy and fulfilment. Also, family is a big support, though it takes a lot of time,” tells Lasma.
She also recommends to colleagues to enjoy the possibilities given by Grindeks. “At first I was really surprised about the fact Grindeks lets your enthusiasm transform into real work. This is empowering for both – young and experienced employees of the company!”