Archive for May 2011

Have you already had a successor in finance?

The season comes that a finance/accounting personnel transfers.
Some of you have already received your subordinate’s resignation.

Have you already had his/her successor?

In Japan it is allowed to leave with one month notice according to an employment rule.
However, it is not easy to find his/her successor just after you have received his/her resignation.
Your business will stop if you would not have his/her successor.

Yoda Accounting Office provides you a support service to fulfill the vacancy of your resigning subordinates.

The roles we provide are;
1. Interim CFO, interim controller, or interim finance manager
2. Closing month-end or year-end, reporting to the management, the regional office or the head quarter
3. Budgeting and planning, analysis of the management report and forecasting
4. Analyzing the variance between the plan and the actual, management report and audit.
5. Daily transactions, accounting entries and also cash management including daily monitoring as a treasury.
6. other finance/accounting ad-hoc tasks

We will provide you a flexible service with a full-time service or a part-time service.

Please refer thedetails of this service.

Please feel free to contact us through the contact page.

A document to understand easily (1)

A season for finance/accounting to move comes in Japan.
A fiscal year of most of Japanese companies end in March. Then May or June, after the closing in March, is the good time to change jobs.

A job change means your role is taken over by someone else, or you take over someone’s role.
You are happy if you have your successor to take over you, or you have the predecessor you take over.
However you may retire before your successor joins, or your predecessor may have already left when you join.

You may have to do your job by your own based on documents your predecessor left if your predecessor has already left.

In Japan, sometimes job descriptions are not always clear, or roles and responsibilities are not always clearly defined.
Some works may be highly dependent on individuals and not documented enough.

I have seen the following situation when I joined without my predecessor remaining.

1. Paper documentations
1-1. It is unknown where the documents are stored.
1-2. Document list of carton box archive is not organized (e.g. just written “xx documents”) and you have to open all documents to see what are stored.
1-3. A formulas is unknown and it is hard to know what items are calculated to a certain figure in a spreadsheet.
1-4. It is unknown where the file is when you see a printed document.

2. PC files
2-1. Folders are not organized or structured systematically, it is unknown where a certain document in a certain period is stored (e.g. “Annual” and “annual” folder may be found)
2-2. Many similar files are found and it is hard to know which is the latest. (a file is saved later than the “final” file)
2-3. A source is not described and it is unknown how the figure is retrieved.
2-4. Assumptions are unknown for a budget or a forecast.

The conditions above may bring a successor troubles.

I have some skills to dig out documents, to analyze how the document is created, or to find a ‘missing-ring”.
However it is the best to avoid such troubles above.

I will describe how to avoid next time.

Another “souteigai” or outside of immagination – who bears the cost?

It has been told that The Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) assumed that the tsunami damage was outside of imagination for its Fukushima Nuclear Power Station #1.
Today we do not discuss about it was right or not, but we may see there was another “outside of imagination” for this matter.

It was not clear who would bear the cost in case of this kind of accidents.

TEPCO is now considered to take the primary responsibility, but could have the exemption according to the Atomic Energy Damage Compensation Law. However the condition of the exemption was not clearly defined and many discussions are made how to deal with the law.

This can happen not only in nuclear power station accidents but also in daily business contracts. However most of typical Japanese contracts do not define detailed clauses but just describe “in case of matters that this contract does not define, the both parties may deal with such matters with discussions faithfully”.
Essentially this means a matter outside of imagination will be discussed when happened.

Nobody wants to bear costs over his/her responsibilities. In case of the matters “outside of imagination”, many various arguments may incur who will bear the cost, and the time goes by without any conclusions.

The absence of the conclusion may affect on the cost estimation in financial closing.
Generally a provision has to be recognized when the cost will incur probably and the amount can be estimated rationally. However it cannot be estimated if the conclusion is not made who bears the cost.
It may trouble accountants.

When you make a contract, it would be better to define many matters without easily leaving as “outside of imagination”, and you may avoid useless arguments and may be able to respond financial actions.
Accountants may have to prepare for such cases with “imagination” as day-to-day business.