It is with great sadness that we have to inform you that Roger Vandelanotte, the founder and progenitor of ‘Vandelanotte, more than accountants’ passed away on 5th December at the age of 102.
Mister Roger was an inspiration, a pure-bred West Fleming, who helped a great many entrepreneurs realise their ambitions. He was a perfect blend of two blood lines: a family of rock-hard workers and a family of true, brave adventurers.
When he resigned as a teacher in 1948 to start, on his own, an accountancy firm, many called him mad. He himself, however, was convinced of his new future, a belief supported by his wife Jeanne. The rest is, or more accurately, made, history.
When the taxman began to burden businesses with more rules, Mister Roger’s vision was confirmed, and Vandelanotte quickly became a familiar name in our country.
As soon as the European community introduced VAT, Roger was the first to write a book about how it worked in practice. After its success, he was asked to teach at the Economische Hogeschool in Brussels; teaching was always in his blood. In 1987 Roger became the first Flemish chairperson of the Institute for Tax Advisors & Accountants (then the IAB, now the ITAA).
Even when the firm had more than 200 clients, Mister Roger knew every one of them very closely: their personalities, their strengths and weaknesses, their success and misery. To this day, that personal contact with clients is a priority for the firm.
In the course of time, sons Koen and Hein joined the firm and Vandelanotte grew to become one of the top 10 accountancy and auditing companies in Belgium. Today grandson Nikolas is at the helm: the firm is now a healthy business of more than 550 employees and its activities extend far beyond bookkeeping. Next year Vandelanotte will be celebrating its 75th year.
‘A Vandelanotte can’t avoid growing old. It’s obligatory’, is one of Mister Roger’s familiar sayings. He was even able to make that true.
Roger Vandelanotte has four children, six grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren. We wish the family fortitude in dealing with this great loss.
Expressions of sympathy and support can be offered through this channel.
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