ASML is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of chip-making equipment. Headquartered in Veldhoven, the Netherlands, ASML employs more than 21,000 people.
At ASML, life is interesting from the day you start. I was asked to come and work as Financial Reporting Expert in the Finance department. The job was similar to my previous job at another company, but I saw more potential for career growth at ASML. My instinct appeared to be right, because on the first day my manager said, “Nancy, at your interview you mentioned that you’d also like to develop your managerial skills. Would you like to try managing two departments?”
As the corporate finance organization, we are responsible for external reporting, providing business support and performance measurement. I’m mainly occupied with the external financial reporting. I make sure that our business performance is properly reflected in the external reporting. I also coordinate the preparation of the annual reports and check the financial content of communications published by ASML. ASML employees come to me with accounting questions, for example regarding revenue recognition. Imagine a machine of €30 million is being shipped. They come to me to check whether, based on the terms and conditions of the contract, ASML can recognize revenue at shipment. This is a very crucial question as the timing of recognizing revenue of €30 million makes a big difference on ASML’s statement of operations. So the decisions I make can have enormous consequences. But that’s the nice thing about working at ASML, even if you are still relatively young like me you get a lot of responsibility right from the start.
One reason I enjoy working at ASML is because it’s an international company. Being listed on Euronext Amsterdam and on NASDAQ makes it even more exciting as we have to comply with US GAAP and IFRS. It’s my task to come up with solutions that fit both standards. It means that we prepare two annual reports simultaneously, one based on US GAAP and one based on IFRS. Believe me, that's quite a challenge!
Another challenge is to be the first company every year to publish the Annual Report on Form 20F worldwide. This year – my baptism of fire at ASML – we did it. The reason behind this urgency is we want to focus on the future as much as possible. The sooner the results are announced and the annual reports are filed, the sooner we can start looking ahead. This is what we at ASML call ‘world class finance’. Within this concept I must not only ensure that the figures are correct, but also ensure I am a business partner who really thinks along with the organization.
Longer-term I want to broaden my perspective. What will my next step be? You never know within ASML!