1948 was an important year for the Vandelanotte family. It was the year in which Roger Vandelanotte founded the accounting and auditing firm of the same name. It has become much more than he ever dreamed of, though. It has been more than 70 years since 'Mr Roger' decided to give up his job as a teacher and to set up an accounting firm on his own. And he did it successfully.
Not everyone was happy with his decision, though, especially his parents, who did not believe that you could make a living as a bookkeeper. Moreover, you had to be crazy to give up a reputable job as a teacher for something that you might not even be able to live off. But Roger Vandelanotte proved them wrong. The tax authorities imposed more and more conditions at that time and companies realised that they could obtain important information from their accounts. The establishment of the office turned out to be a brilliant move. Since the 1950s, at least one additional employee was hired every year. Today, the office has no less than 375 employees. And that number is still rising.
Although Roger Vandelanotte never forced his children to join him in the business, the office grew into a successful family business with three generations at the helm. When his eldest son Koen Vandelanotte, received an offer to work in a large international company after completing his studies in 1971, he resolutely opted to work with his father. In 1987 his youngest son Hein Vandelanotte decided to go the same way. Thanks to them, the family business continued to grow and went into the 21st century with the visionary slogan 'More than accountants'. Despite their 14-year age difference, they have always been able to work very well together. Their father Roger always remained a sort of mentor to them, a great figure who taught them the tricks of the trade.
The arrival of Nikolas Vandelanotte soon made way for a third generation at the helm. As the eldest son of Koen Vandelanotte, he decided in 1998 to be part of the family business. His father was always his greatest mentor, the person who taught him how to lead a company. Yet a third generation naturally also brought a new approach. An approach that was at least ambitious, if possible even more ambitious than that of its predecessors. Nikolas Vandelanotte will not readily admit that, though. He shares the leadership with his uncle Hein Vandelanotte today: a strong team on the same wavelength, looking forward to a challenging future together.
It was not until 2007 that the Vandelanotte family decided to open share ownership with external partners. This decision was strongly influenced by the ever-increasing growth of the company.
If you continue to grow as a company and can no longer oversee everything for yourself, then you have to dare to use third parties.
Nevertheless, the family values are upheld more than ever. The office is part of the Vandelanotte DNA. It is a cherished legacy. And it will always be this way.