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Dora Tripalo continues our Split Founders series! Together with her business partner Zoja Stevović, she founded Kancelarija. Translated into English, the word kancelarija means the office. But Kancelarija isn’t just any old office, cluttered with dust and mountains of papers.
It is a company that provides accounting and tax consulting services made up of a team of six amazing women who all love what they do and have modernized their work to make it – digitalized and paperless!
When asked to describe herself, Dora says she’s an eternal optimist – aside from being an authorized tax advisor and co-owner of Kancelarija. Or the “tall girl with short hair”. Descriptions depend on where you meet her.
If Kancelarija didn’t exist, Dora says she would still be working in the private sector and be her own boss: “Maybe I’d have my own yoga studio, maybe a flower shop,…who knows?!”
What we do know is that she already has a successful business, so we’re sure she has some quality insight to share. Therefore, it’s time to get to our interview with her and those shared pearls of wisdom!
How do you measure your own success?
“I measure success depending on the balance I manage to maintain between my private life and business.
I also consider success as the process of constantly evolving, little by little every day – both in private life and at work.“
What does your usual workday look like?
“The core of my work is taxes, or more precisely – tax consulting. I introduce clients to the tax system and all the important innovations in taxation to make it easier for them to navigate the multitude of regulations and optimize their tax burden.”
What do you do when you’re not working?
“When I’m not at work, I try not to think too much about work which is sometimes not easy when you have your own company, but I manage. 🙂
I hang out with people dear to me, I am a yoga instructor, I escape to the mountains and concerts from time to time, I travel,…”
What makes you unique?
“The fact that, for me, tax issues are an interesting challenge composed of combinatorics and logic, but also mathematics – how to come to the best solution from a multitude of unknowns.”
What inspires you?
“In life and at work I am inspired by people: well-known and unknown, young and old. I also find inspiration in yoga, skiing, running, reading a good book, listening to music, and being in nature.”
What advice would you give to someone who wants to start their own company?
“I would advise young entrepreneurs to be brave and persistent and to surround themselves with quality people. It is important to keep their optimism by focusing their energy on solutions instead of problems.
There is always a way to solve a problem, and it’s easier to do so when you have quality people around you.
The business recommendation is to focus on their business and leave the battle with accounting and taxes to professionals. Tax accounting support in business is very important, and more and more entrepreneurs are recognizing this fact.”
Why is now the best time for Kancelarija to exist?
“For us, the cloud replaced paper. Our clients are provided with a complete insight into their business and financial reports at any time by accessing a shared database via a mobile application or computer.
In today’s age of rapid flow of information, digitalization of the processes is necessary, at all levels, including administration and accounting, and for successful business management, it is important to have timely and constantly available information.”
What is the most interesting thing about Kancelarija?
“We break down prejudices about accounting and accountants. I don’t think we’re classic accountants, at least not the kind of accountants people imagine when they hear the word accounting. We are not cluttered with papers, we enjoy coming to work, and always find time for a coffee together in the sun.”
What do you love about your team?
“The fact that it is a team of smiling, hard-working employees but also a group of very dear people. Employees feel part of Kancelarija – we have common goals and we progress together, both as individuals and as a company.
Work is our priority but we are not slaves to our work.“
What are your expectations when it comes to the people you work with?
“I expect employees to think about everything they do, to question, research, and learn. Responsibility and orderliness are very important in our profession.
As far as relationships are concerned, I expect trust and an honest relationship, respect and mutual understanding, and the awareness that sometimes one should know how to separate business from private life.”
What kind of people would you avoid working with?
“I would never collaborate with arrogant and overbearing people. For me, mutual respect and equality are very important, both in the provider-client relationship and in the employer-employee relationship.”
What is the only thing you would change about Kancelarija?
“I would like our profession to rise a little from the dredges in which we find ourselves, and for Kancelarija as a company to grow so much that my employees have salaries as if they work in the IT sector.”
What are you the proudest of when it comes to Kancelarija?
“I am proud of everything that Zoja and I have done in these almost 7 years of Kancelarija’s existence and of the team we have created together.
I am happy that we dared to open an accounting office in a market that is already quite saturated in that regard, that we now stand out because of the way we work, and that we have created a recognizable brand of a modern office for accounting services and tax consulting.
There are only about 40 companies registered for providing tax consulting services in Croatia and Kancelarija is one of them.“
What makes Kancelarija unique?
“The fact that we have replaced paper with cloud services. We have found applications and software that enable better connectivity between clients and us, as well as work on the same database with 24/7 insight into business and financial reports.”
What were the reasons behind the fact that Kancelarija was founded right here in Split?
“We have founded the company according to its actual management seat, which is Split. However, we do consider ourselves lucky to live in a city that is beautiful to live in but also to work from, so there was no dilemma about where we would start our business story.”
As a city, what does Split do well and what can be improved?
“I think some things are changing for the better, how much and at what pace, I can’t say.
When it comes to possible improvements, this is what first comes to mind: we have experienced the tourism boom in the city in recent years, I hope that we will start to experience that in other fields – especially with regard to the development of entrepreneurial culture and mindset.”
How important was the local tech community for you?
“I found like-minded people in Split’s tech community – a general idea of entrepreneurship and connecting young people that I have never encountered before, not even in my profession.
For me, the Split Tech City community is a ray of optimism for Split as a city, young people, entrepreneurs, and the entrepreneurial culture in Split in general.“
Where do you see Split in the future?
“I see Split as a city of happy citizens, especially young entrepreneurs. A city where every individual can find a good balance between business commitments and soaking up the sun!”
Photos by: Bruno Dubravec