I Want to Make Japan a Better Place to Live by Contributing to Increasing the Value of Japanese Companies Through Tax
Tax Management Department
Mami Ikehara

Supporting business growth in both domestic and international tax.

I joined the Company in February 2022, and I look after domestic tax matters as part of the Tax Management Department for Recruit Co., Ltd. and its subsidiaries. In addition to tax compliance work on a quarterly basis, I prepare company-wide budgets, review tax calculations for management meeting materials and other documents, and respond to tax consultations from the accounting staff of our subsidiaries. This may sound like routine work, but it is not at all. The tax team is constantly thinking about what needs to be changed to make things better than the last time, and trying out new ways of doing things has become a natural part of our work.

Since May, I have also been in charge of tax for Indeed Japan, supporting business activities in Japan in collaboration with the tax team of the HR Technology SBU in the U.S. and Ireland. The HR Technology SBU, which is centered on Indeed, is headquartered in the U.S. and Ireland. Indeed Japan is positioned as one of Indeed’s overseas offices in various parts of the world. The U.S. tax team is responsible for tax in the U.S., while the Irish tax team oversees tax for the rest of the world. As a result, the tax team in Ireland was in charge of tax for Indeed Japan, and there was no tax specialist in Japan. However, as the business continued to grow rapidly in Japan, it was difficult for staff who did not understand Japanese to properly deal with Japanese tax laws. Because of this, it was decided that there should be a local tax specialist, and I was assigned to do the task.

Prior to joining the Company, I moved overseas due to my husband's work and spent seven years working in the corporate tax advisory function of a professional firm. When I thought about changing jobs upon returning to Japan, I chose to work here because I wanted to make the most of my overseas experience and take on new opportunities at the global headquarters. Even though I had only been with the Company for a few months and was only just beginning to understand Recruit’s domestic business, I thought that the job in tax at Indeed Japan was an opportunity for me. I believe that my team and leaders understood my feelings. The corporate culture of respecting each individual's thoughts and providing opportunities was in line with Recruit’s reputation I had heard about. In order to live up to everyone's expectations from now on, I will first deepen my understanding of the business and strive to achieve a higher level of tax both domestically and internationally.

I would like to contribute to improving the value of Japanese companies by continuing to challenge and evolve as a cutting-edge global tax organization.

One of the major differences between my work here and my work at a professional firm is the people with whom I have conversations. In my previous job, I mostly had conversations with tax and accounting specialists, and my role was to point out risks and issues to clients and try fixing them together. On the other hand, now being in the position to promote business, when a risk is identified, I am required to think through “how we should respond” and “ the acceptable level of challenges and what other methods are available,” to best contribute to business growth, operational efficiency, and enhanced tax compliance. Naturally, there will be many instances where you will need to explain and provide consultation to on-site managers and persons in charge who have little knowledge of tax. How can I convey the main points in an easy-to-understand manner? How can I understand what they want to know and the intent of their questions, and convey them adequately to meet their expectations? While I do find it difficult to communicate, I am constantly learning through trial and error.

My impression of Recruit has always been “a place where people with the entrepreneurial spirit gather.” And in reality, many of the people on the business side are just as passionate as I imagined them to be. It is the same for everyone I encounter at Indeed; I always feel the same level of enthusiasm. Many people, even those who have no knowledge of tax, are interested and eager to learn more, and they are always willing to discuss matters outside of their scope with me, saying, “Well, how about this way?” They are also willing to work with us on projects that are not theirs to handle. I believe that this is because everyone has a sense of ownership to think and act on their own toward the goals of realizing our Vision, Mission and Values and growing our business, which allows us to expand our areas of involvement in all directions beyond our assigned roles.

Of course, not only those on the business side, but also everyone at Recruit Holdings is passionate about what they do. In particular, where I am in the Tax Management Department, the head is always conveying the message that “we want to change Japanese companies as a whole by continuing to evolve as a cutting-edge global tax organization.” This idea fully resonated with me and prompted me to join the Company. I want to contribute to improving the value of Japanese companies by creating a global top-level tax organization that can serve as a model for other Japanese companies. I also want to make Japan a better place to live than it is today. To this end, I would like to grow, keeping up with the speed of business growth and the evolution of the Tax Management Department.

The charm is the flexible and speedy work style and a culture which supports an individual’s effort to take on challenges and grow.

When I was considering changing jobs, I had decided to work full-time while maintaining a good work-life balance, so I was concerned about whether the work style would suit me. In that respect, Recruit Holdings has been making progress with remote work since before the COVID crisis, and almost all work can be completed from home. A flexible work style, including flexible days off, allows for flexible responses to unexpected situations that require time off for personal reasons. We are in a very comfortable working environment. Recently, I have been having more and more meetings with Indeed's Tax team in the U.S. and Ireland, but because of the time difference and my evening housework, I sometimes have to enter meetings after 21:00 Japan time. The people at Indeed are very concerned and try to rearrange the time, or they say, “Let’s hold the next meeting at late hours for us.” I find it truly fantastic that we have an established culture of respecting each other beyond national borders.

Recruit Holdings is a large Japanese company, and yet, in a positive sense, you wouldn’t get that impression from its flexible and agile environment. Also, many mid-career hires receive generous onboarding and other support after joining the Company, so it was a very easy environment to fit in. The company culture places great importance on sharing information, so there are many opportunities to learn about various case studies and gain knowledge, and receive advice and feedback on a daily basis within the department. I believe that we have an environment that meets the expectations of everyone who is eager to jump into a new environment and grow, so let's take on this challenge together!

Mami Ikehara
Mami Ikehara
Tax Management Department
Joined the Company in February 2022. After qualifying as a certified public accountant, she worked for an auditing firm and was in an audit team for a major trading company before being transferred to a licensed tax accounting firm to start working in the tax field. Later, when her husband was posted overseas, she transferred to an overseas member firm and experienced corporate tax advisory work, returning to Japan after a seven-year stay. Currently, at the Company, she works in the domestic tax team of the global headquarters and the tax of Indeed Japan.
Joined the Company in February 2022. After qualifying as a certified public accountant, she worked for an auditing firm and was in an audit team for a major trading company before being transferred to a licensed tax accounting firm to start working in the tax field. Later, when her husband was posted overseas, she transferred to an overseas member firm and experienced corporate tax advisory work, returning to Japan after a seven-year stay. Currently, at the Company, she works in the domestic tax team of the global headquarters and the tax of Indeed Japan.
Sep 1, 2022
This article is based on information available at the time of publication.
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