Name: Zhanna Harbachova
Role: Senior Consultant
Think if you start working with us, you’ll be dealing with tech heads who’ll blind you with science? Think again! Our Headstart financial performance management solution is rolled out by accountants and finance professionals who understand the needs of the people who’ll be using it. In this series of profiles we introduce you to the various team members you might be working with. Today we talk to Senior Consultant Zhanna Harbachova.
Zhanna’s role at Bistech
Zhanna started working at Bistech in March 2011 because she wanted a challenge. “It was about self-development for me,” she says. “In a corporate company, your work can become routine – doing the same thing every cycle. I was looking for a different work environment – I strongly believe it is about the team and the manager that you work with – and I saw value in the small business culture. I was lucky that Bistech was looking for a consultant at the same time that I decided to make the change.”
A typical day for Zhanna involves gathering client requirements, designing Proof of Concepts, developing financial models and presenting them to clients, training client personnel. “My work is about understanding what the clients are trying to achieve,” she says. “I help them simplify the process, and tie it back to the outcome they need.”
While working with clients, Zhanna presents alternative solutions to customer problems. “Because we’re a small company, there are usually one or two consultants working on each project – from planning to implementation and knowledge transfer,” she says. “I work on the project from beginning to end, establish the support processes and only then hand over.” This is great from my perspective as I get to get deep into each customer’s business, and great from a customer perspective.
Zhanna’s road to Bistech
Zhanna grew up in Belarus, a central European country that was once part of the Soviet Union. She gained Bachelor degrees in Applied Maths and Economics in Belarus, before becoming a university Economics lecturer and working in a consultancy.
Her first role in Australia was with ABC, an accounting-focused consulting firm, where she was involved with system analysis and modelling and reporting. She combined her work with completing an MBA and also her CPA.
She later worked as a business analyst with the sales team at transport company TOLL, and then moved to Suncorp Bank. She spent five years with Suncorp’s CFO team, where her role – much like the current one at Bistech – was focused on financial modelling, budgeting and forecasting and activity based costing.
“And so with Bistech, I have come full circle,” says Zhanna. “I started my career with consultancy in Belarus and now I am back.”
The best things about working at Bistech
What Zhanna appreciates most about working at Bistech is its ‘home-like’ atmosphere, where employees know they have the support of the directors. “I’ve felt so much support and understanding through various stages, including dark times,” she says. “It’s not a traditional employee/employer relationship, it’s like family or friends.”
But the best thing about her job, she says, is “the ability to use my mind and create something,” says Zhanna. “I love the fact that I am helping people, working out what they need and creating a solution that gives them back more time in their day – whether through seamless reporting or the ability to get answers quicker. They are really thankful for that.”
Life outside Bistech
Zhanna’s life is as busy away from work as it is when she’s at Bistech. “I have two beautiful sons and a lovely husband,” she says. “One is 19 years old and at uni, and the younger one is 3 years old – a huge joy.”
At the weekend she devotes one day to house duties, and then it’s all about being outdoors. “Australia is an outside country,” she says. “I spend as much time as possible outside. I love the ocean – I’m in awe at the power of the waves – and I love the rainforests and waterfalls.”
Zhanna also finds time for her other great love – ballroom dancing. “I used to do a lot more performances, but now I focus on doing my medals,” she says.