April Member spotlight : TRANSPARENT USA
What is your business industry category or specialty?
Transparent is an internationally operating Accounts Payable Recovery Audit Firm. We are specialized in data mining. Through the use of proprietary and highly innovative software tools, in combination with well trained and experienced auditors, Transparent creates value out of its client’s raw AP data by discovering and recovering vendor overpayments, duplicate payments, Sales/Use tax errors, open credits, Unclaimed property, and a dozen other potential overpayments. Transparent deploys continuously evolving technology, best-in-class service and international experts to optimize its clients’ efficiency, processes and financial strength.
How do you describe your job to people outside the industry?
My job has a wide variety of responsibilities. In our Atlanta office we employ a team of auditors, an internationally operating call center, a sales division and departments that are linked to Finance, IT, HR and Office Management at our home office in Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
Who are your main competitors and what differentiates you from the competition? What makes you unique?
We like to think we do not have any competitors but of course there are a few other companies out there that offer their services; maybe 5 or 6 large ones and many smaller firms. We have always focused on developing and improving our software and audit methodology and we are very proud of the results. While our proprietary software is constantly evolving, we feel we offer a very competitive pallet of services without cutting corners and leaving no stone unturned. Our international presence (we have offices throughout Europe, India, South Africa, Malaysia and the US), the fact that we speak 20 different languages and understand the local cultures, combined with our strong IT background and partnerships differentiate us from most of our competitors. As of today Transparent has analyzed $2,232,463,886,263 in outgoing payments for our clients; More than the GDP of the United Kingdom!
How was the business started?
The business was started by Willem-Jeroen Stevens and Marcel Groenewegen back in 2000, operating from the top floor of a canal side house in Amsterdam. They saw a need in the market and started performing audits for large companies in the Netherlands while building the software tools to be able to get the most overpayments in the least amount of time while making it as easy as possible for our clients. Marcel left the company in 2007 and Willem-Jeroen in running it ever since. I joined the company in 2002 and remember mostly from that time climbing the narrow and steep stairs to the top floor carrying the binders and paperwork we worked on. We’ve gone paperless a long time ago but it was definitely a good workout.
How many employees does the business have?
Currently Transparent employs about a 100 people throughout our offices in Europe and abroad and another 25 here in the US. We recently acquired a company in Connecticut which added a lot of experience to Transparent. We are also working with partners in several specialty fields to be able to offer a full scope of services to our clients.
How did you end up in Atlanta?
I moved to Atlanta right after I graduated from Northwood University in Michigan. This was part of an exchange program offered by the IVA Driebergen in the Netherlands. I was offered a position in the Automotive Industry and moved here. I liked the city immediately and always wanted to return after I moved back to the Netherlands 3 years later. When Transparent was ready to open up an office in 2009 on the American continent, Atlanta made a lot of sense; Atlanta is a great place to live, geographically well situated, a great airport and a well balanced mix of companies. The hot summers are something I quickly got used to.
What is your number one business goal over the next year?
Transparent has been expanding over 50% every single year. This year it looks like we will be growing even over 75%! I would love to see us topping that the years after. Our investment is really paying off and the future looks very bright.
What is the best advice you have received regarding doing business with Americans?
Since I’m kind of in the middle between the Dutch and the Americans, I’ve learned to always take the positives from wherever you live and incorporate them into your new situation. At the end of the day people are the same everywhere and honesty goes a long way.
Any other personal information you would like to share, e.g. hobbies, special interests, family etc…
I consider myself a life enjoyer in general. I’m not afraid of working hard and getting my hands dirty but I am very aware of the fact that you only live once and you should at least try to enjoy every moment of it. I love to travel, make road trips on anything that has wheels and try to stay healthy by jogging and riding my bicycle
Martijn Asselbergs | VP Operations Transparent USA
80 West Wieuca Rd, Suite 302 Atlanta | GA 30342 |
USA Direct: + 1 404 705 84 90
Cell: +1 404 734 7063
Office Locations: HQ in the Netherlands, offices in 6 European countries, USA, UAE, India and South Africa