Home > Podcast > EMEA Recruitment Podcast > 115: EMEA Recruitment Podcast #115 – Building Excellence in Finance Operations – Bas Walraven

115: EMEA Recruitment Podcast #115 – Building Excellence in Finance Operations – Bas Walraven

November 26th, 2021

The EMEA Recruitment podcast was proud to welcome Bas Walraven, the Director Accounting, Risk and Compliance at bol.com. 

“If you want to get somewhere, it takes time, it takes effort, and in the end, when you reach the finish line, it’s really rewarding.”

Bas explains to Paul Toms why he now favours the hybrid working model and how he feels it helps his team. 

Looking back at the beginning of his career, Bas recalls moving to Australia with PwC with his then-girlfriend (now wife). Although it was a “tough and intense” experience, the benefits of pushing himself out of his comfort zone outweighed the challenges. 

With the role of Finance changing dramatically over the past 20 years, Bas looks at the expertise he needs to add to his team; they’re not skillsets that were really on the radar a decade ago. 

Obtaining his RA qualification, however, was a “true investment” in Bas’ career, which he believes has built a solid foundation for him as a Finance professional. However, he made a purposeful decision to move into transaction services, as it’s “more exciting to look forward”. 

At Booking.com, Bas learned how to scale a Finance Operations department. He had a clear vision on how people, process and technology can link together. It was that insight that brought him to bol.com, where vision was needed. 

In his current role at bol.com, Bas enjoys a broad scope of responsibilities in a dynamic environment. Although he has a clear focus on his goals, Bas understands that he needs a great team to deliver on these aims. After building teams for around eight years, Bas offers his one piece of critical advice on hiring the best talent.

Nevertheless, he has experienced the pitfalls of making the wrong hire. He focuses on creating an environment and team that top talent can be successful in, so that candidates really want to work with the department.

We explore the skillsets that are needed to complement more traditional Accountancy roles and how Bas stays up to date with best practices in the industry.


If you’re looking for a particular part of the episode, please use the timestamps below:

00:57: The last thing that made Bas smile01:45: Why Bas prefers hybrid working03:19: Moving to Australia with PwC (and his girlfriend)06:13: The changing role of Finance07:45: Why Bas chose Finance08:54: Achieving his RA qualification12:44: Why Bas’ current role is “awesome”16:35: Choosing a role that looks forward19:09: Recruiting top talent21:10: How to prevent a wrong hire23:33: The skillsets moving into Finance26:50: Staying up to date on best practice29:50: Bas’ goal for the next 12 months32:34: Bas’ biggest surprise over the last few months35:16: How to reach out to Bas

You can find Bas on LinkedIn if you’d like to message him.


EMEA Recruitment supports international medical charity Operation Smile through the podcast. We’re hoping to create 100 new smiles through our partnership. Please give the gift of a smile by donating to this cause: https://www.emearecruitment.com/operation-smile


The EMEA Recruitment podcast is hosted by Paul Toms, our Founder, and Rose Jinks, Senior Marketing Executive. 

All our specialist recruitment services can be found on our website: https://www.emearecruitment.com/

We also regularly share market updates through LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/emea-recruitment-limited/

You can also connect with Paul on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/paultoms/

Or follow him on Twitter: https://twitter.com/paul_toms


If there are topics you’d like us to cover in the EMEA Recruitment podcast, please get in touch with Rose: [email protected] 


#emearecruitment #emearecruitmentpodcast #baswalraven #accounting #paultoms #operationsmile 

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