Tomáš Kafka was born in Japan, but lives in Prague for the most of his life. He graduated from the IES in 2004 with a Master’s degree. His diploma thesis focused on Money Laundering. Tomáš is currently a Partner in EY, where he runs Fraud Investigation and Dispute Services Division. From this position, he focuses, for example, on forensic audits, white collar crime, public procurement corruption, and subsidies from the EU funds or national programs. He publishes and lectures at professional conferences on topic of frauds and corruption. He developed a methodology for the Office of the Government of the Czech Republic targeted on internal anti-corruption programs applied in the Czech state administration. For the Ministry of Regional Development Tomáš designed the Strategy for Fighting Fraud and Corruption in EU Funds Drawing for the period 2014-2020.
Besides, he has been a goalkeeper of the Czech floorball team for 18 years, winning silver medal and two bronze medals at the World Championship. In the Czech floorball premier league, he plays for Tatran Střešovice. In 2011 he played in the highest Swedish league. In 2006 he was appointed to be the best floorball goalkeeper in the world.
Tomáš started to gain his first work experience when studying at the IES. He worked as a trainee at Deutsche Bank, then worked as an Assistant Auditor at Arthur Andersen, from where he moved to the same position in EY. In 2004 he co-founded the company EMTC. Since 2006, he has worked for EY in the Forensic Services, first on managerial position, later as the Executive Director. In 2015, he was named the Partner at EY.
During his IES studies, Tomáš passed a one-year study stay at the University of Constance in Germany. In addition, he completed the ACCA exams and is Certified Accountant (ACCA). Tomáš spends his free time mostly with his family (he has two children - Karolína and Jakub), with sport, and he also supports young talented players and charity events related to floorball.
Tomáš, why did you choose the Economics, and especially the Economics at the IES? What led to this choice?
When choosing my studies, the role of parents was the most important. They greatly inspired me - they both graduated from the Economics (at VŠE). Actually, I did not choose particularly IES, but the Faculty of Social Sciences. Simply said, I was afraid I would spend 5 years in the anonymous mass of people who wanted to become a manager or an entrepreneur. I preferred meeting people from different fields.
You are a Partner in EY, you are in charge of Fraud Investigation & Dispute Services Division. What is hidden in this definition? Many students, and even graduates, are not sure about the meaning behind these terms?
This is simply called forensic services - our work consists of preventing, detecting and investigating economic crime, fraud and corruption. We mostly work for multinational companies, but the public sector also uses our services, whether they are ministries, state offices or municipalities. During investigations, we collect data and potential evidence, we investigate the extent of fraudulent activity and damage, the degree of involvement of specific persons, and deficiencies in client control mechanisms. Our findings must be based on facts and evidence and be applicable in court (hence "forensic"). In prevention, we focus on various topics - strategies, training, fraud risk assessment, enforcement of control mechanisms, ethical codes and whistle blowing. Our further activity is support in business disputes - quantification of damages, assembling of facts and data, independent opinions etc.
In addition to your EY career, you are a multiple floorball Goalkeeper of the Year of the Czech Republic and you even hold the Best Floorball Goalkeeper in the World Award. How do you manage to combine both of your careers?
Somehow miraculously I have been doing this for the past 19 years. At EY, I was very lucky with my boss - as a former American football player, he sympathized with my sport career. Basically, I had to retreat only twice – once when I was finishing my IES studies, I had rather had a 3-month break from floorball. And later when we won a big prevention project in Košice with EY and I knew I could not train as much as I would wish, so I temporarily relocated from Tatran Střešovice to “Bohemka” (Bohemians Prague) where they did not mind.
Do you relax by doing sport, or do you have time for another hobby? Do you have a dream that you would like to come true?
At this moment I have just finished two hard workouts, so your word "relax" amused me a lot. The training is undoubtedly a mental relaxation, whether the physical activity, or the company of teammates who are mostly in their student years. I also “recharge my batteries” by a company of people, so besides work, floorball and family, I try to see friends as much as I can. And my dreams are coming true - in EY, I have became partner, I fulfilled my sport dream when I went to catch at the Swedish league few years ago (it is like NHL in ice hockey), we have two beautiful and healthy children, we are arranging our new house. Once I take a break at work, I'm going to improve my French, explore my family tree, or visit some friends abroad.
Finally, a non-standard question for our IES’s interviews: how was your Christmas? Sports? Or sweets and friends?
The schedule of the league was merciful to us, so I spent the holidays visiting family and friends and, unfortunately, the sweets. Less merciful were our trainers who coordinated the conditioning training between the holidays and set up training for the January 1st.