Supporting business growth on a global basis through both tax compliance and tax planning.
I am in charge of all aspects of global tax affairs. In compliance work, my team’s role is to ensure correct tax reporting and payment of taxes in countries around the world where we conduct business and respond to tax reform in each country. Recruit Group operates the HR Technology business, which includes Indeed, and the Staffing business which is active in more than 60 countries around the world. We prepare and review necessary documents such as tax returns and transfer pricing documentation in accordance with the laws and due date of each country. Although there are only five people in charge of international tax within the Tax Management Department, but by synthesizing the world’s tax accounting firms in such a way so that together they each provide support as part of the worldwide team, they are able to monitor the tax affairs of each business in cooperation with the respective tax managers of each business, using the Global Tax Management System.
At the same time, when an intra-group restructuring is being considered, the Tax Management Department is always involved in the project and assists in the planning of the capital structure. For Japanese companies in general, it is rare to have an organization specializing in tax. Therefore in many cases, the structures of organizational restructuring and M&A projects are often discussed between the management and business managers and professional firms, and only after the decision is made, the accounting department, which is responsible for tax, is consulted on the practical aspects. However, in the case of restructuring across countries and businesses, tax risks and tax inefficiencies may arise depending on how the structure is put together. In this respect, at Recruit, members of the Tax Management Department participate in the project from its inception and provide advice from a tax perspective to optimize tax costs while complying with tax laws.
With the rapid globalization of business and the increasing ratio of overseas sales, we feel that the importance of global tax work is growing by the day. As the business is growing we are now required to deal with an increasing number of issues even in countries where our sales used to be small. We are required to communicate with specialists in each region to grasp the status of the business and take the initiative in responding to them.
Currently, we are studying how to respond to the BEPS 2.0 project led by the OECD. In addition, there is a major global wave of tax reform, such as the introduction of a global minimum tax and the strengthening of tax pressure on digital platform operators, which is being incorporated into the local tax systems in each country. Since these changes are expected to have a significant impact on our practices next year and the year after, we have been preparing for this by setting up a team that investigates such issues well in advance. Since these changes apply only to global companies with sales and transactions above a certain size, only a few Japanese companies, including Recruit, are subject to these changes. I think it is a very valuable experience to confront this change as a party which is directly involved. It is an opportunity that is unique to Recruit Holdings' tax team.
The Interesting experience of a state-of-the-art tax affairs organization, that can’t be found anywhere else in Japan.
After qualifying as a certified public accountant, I joined an auditing firm. I started out in accounting auditing, but as my interest in tax grew, when I was seconded to their group’s tax accounting firm, I chose this career path. In professional firms, you accumulate in-depth knowledge by pursuing expertise in your respective areas of responsibility. However, because I wanted to gain broad knowledge rather than just one area of expertise, I joined the Company, a business company with an organization specializing in tax. Everything here is always new, and I can work with a variety of people outside of tax. I am working very closely with our tax accounting firm partners. We communicate on a daily basis and they support me in every detail, which makes my job very easy. As someone who changed jobs from a professional firm, I was very surprised, and I think it is safe to say that this is one of the most advanced tax organizations among Japanese companies.
In terms of the differences from working at a professional firm, I think one is that at a business company, we deal with everything that is referred to as “tax”. In fact, there were many new tasks that I did for the first time only after I joined the Company. I have many opportunities to work with people in the sales and product development departments who do not know anything about tax. They, too, understand the importance of tax and are very interested in it, and they ask me all sorts of questions. Also, this may be unique to Recruit, but I am surprised at the number of outlandish ideas that come up one after another in various situations that experts would never think of. Everyone involved in the business goes beyond their respective roles to think through “what can we do to move the business forward,” and then searches for the best solution from among various ideas, including those that are unfeasible. Such a corporate culture is deeply rooted in the company, and the Tax Management Department is also required to contribute as a member of the business. There are difficulties because of this, but I find it interesting to have fresh insights every day and to be able to organize my thoughts in conversations. Last year, we considered introducing a new compensation system for employees around the world, which required cooperation with various departments at each company, including human resources, finance, accounting, and legal. I feel that my perspective has been broadened by taking part in the discussions, not only from a tax perspective but also from the perspective of the business as a whole.
An experience you can only get here and now, with a group of high-level colleagues who are a constant source of inspiration.
For me, the question of “what I can do through my work” is important, but I think “who I work with” is even more important. When I spoke with the Head of the Tax Management Department during the interview process, he told me about his various experiences in business management and his desire to “raise the level of Japan's corporate organization by creating a cutting-edge tax organization that will serve as a case study,” and I thought, “He is an interesting person; I would like to work with him.” This made me decide to join the Company. Some of my colleagues in the Tax Management Department are from business companies and some are from professional firms, and they all have different areas of expertise, so I am exposed to a diverse range of experience and knowledge. I am stimulated by everyone's high level of perspective and high-level expertise, which is more than I had expected before joining the Company.
I also have daily conversations with specialists who specialize in tax overseas: The HR Technology business team in the U.S. and Ireland, and the Staffing business team in the Netherlands. I learn a lot from their knowledge and thinking in Europe and the U.S., where tax is much more advanced than in Japan, and because each issue is different, there is no identical case, and as a result I am never bored. If you have a strong intellectual curiosity and are willing to think and research on your own, you will be able to absorb new information and enjoy your work while experiencing growth.
I believe that we will be affected by the great wave of global revisions to various tax systems and that the changes in the environment surrounding our tax business will become increasingly dramatic. As I mentioned earlier, I am proud to say that we are already on the cutting edge as a tax organization in Japan, but we still need to evolve in order to compete on the global stage. Right now, there is an opportunity in front of me that I would not be able to experience without being in Recruit Holdings' Tax Management Department at this very moment. I look forward to enjoying this opportunity with all of my wonderful colleagues.
This article is based on information available at the time of publication.
We maintain a sufficient distance during interviews and take measures to avoid contact to the extent possible. In addition, the subject removes his/her mask only when being photographed.
Accounting Management Dept.