Writer: Danly Fu, Howard Chen, Yasuko Tanaka
Interview with Mr Kaya, representative of the Japanese accounting firm known for its quality service, Ezy Tax Solutions!
Link to last year’s interview with Ezy Tax Solutions -> http://matsurisydney.com/2016/12/09/its-only-easy-with-ezy-tax-solutions/
– Last year, Ezy Tax Solutions was a sponsor for Matsuri, but this year you have moved up to being a “Gold Sponsor”. What was the reason for doing so?
Kaya: Let’s see…our company just wanted our logo to be at the very top, haha. Last year, other supporting enterprises were also at the top, but this year we became the top. We are located in Cairns, but even so we want our business to go national and show Sydney siders that hence, we have the concept that we want to have our logo to be at the very top. We only have one message: “Let’s spread our name across the country, we can do it even if we’re in Cairns”.
– We’ve seen the Ezy Tax ad, “the accountant does not have to be local”. Where are majority of your clients from?
Kaya: Most are from Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. There are more in Sydney and Melbourne than Cairns. If I mention about Japanese clients, most of them are also from Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth. But we have many clients from Gold Coast and Brisbane, too. For Australians, including Cairns and Victoria, rather than saying that our clients come from a variety of areas, it’s more like we have clients from all over Australia.
– What is the ratio of your Australian clients to Japanese clients?
Kaya: When our company first started up, we had a ratio of 7:3 with a majority of Australian clients. Nowadays, we’ve come to be recognised by Japanese clients, so the number of Japanese clients has increased the ratio to roughly half-half. In terms of individuals, we have more Japanese clients, whereas for businesses we have approximately an 8:2 ratio with more Australian clients.
– From a personal perspective, with half of the clients being Japanese, it’s quite a lot ratio-wise isn’t it.
Kaya: Oh, that’s true. Ranging from permanent residents, oversea workers including people on a working holiday, even to students, we do tax returns for them. Being in our fifth year, we are slowly getting more recognition. Many Japanese people living in Australia use our company’s services.
– Why did you start up your company?
Kaya: Originally, half of the reason why I started this company was because accounting was a kind of my hobby and now still it is, haha . The other half would be because I believed there was a need for a more reliable and dependable accounting firm. especially, Japanese accountants which rarely existed in Australia that time. In terms of maintaining the certain level of quality as the account firm, I believe we are positioned in the higher tire. But this part can’t been seen so much obviously in our industry as other industries, to say restaurants or apparels whose products are more tangible- if their dish or bag, such as Louis Vuitton are expensive, customers can easily expect the high quality of them. But this part can’t been seen so much obviously in our industry as other industries, to say restaurants or apparels whose products are more tangible- if their dish or bag, such as Louis Vuitton are expensive, customers can easily expect the high quality of them.
– Can you please a bit specifically explain about “positioned in higher tier” and “high quality”?
Kaya: Ok, making tax return or financial results reports are in a sense similar to cooking. For example, I can make curry, But so can you, Ms. Yamada? And of course many restaurant can make curry rice, this restaurant, that restaurant… if they don’t care about too much details. Put simply, if you have a bit of knowledge about tax return, you can technically do it. You just insert officially needed information in each boxes. The difference would be the content (quality) of the product.
If someone needs a tax return, perhaps even any person for example some amateur person but capable of doing that sitting at “tax return service desk” in a shopping mall can do this job and probably not many people pay attention to the quality of it …Well, of course, there may be some case that “it doesn’t matter who will do the tax return, the result would be the same” but if accountant ask some extra question case by case, it would lead more accurate lodgement and better result, I think. Of course, everybody’s perceptions are different, but they will certainly feel the kind of “preciseness of the job”, especially, in case of the business, and this is a good things to have Japanese accountant.
– That’s very interesting. Are there any other strengths or special features of your services?
Kaya: We’re often told that we’re quick to respond. We also have online services, so we’ve made the user interface easier to use. Of course, we’re constantly working towards making it more user-friendly. Because of our online service, it’s unnecessary to go out of your way to take a day off work or make appointments with us. Even though our accounting firm is closed on the weekends, we don’t have a problem where our clients can’t do anything and have to drag it on, which I believe is a good point. Also, even though it’s online, there’s actually no difference to a meeting face to face. Instead, it’s more efficient because there’s time for thinking unlike a meeting. To name a few specialities, unlike now 5 years ago, because Japanese clients were in a situation where they had almost no knowledge on tax returns, we simply did familiar requests and lowered that threshold, which I think is one of our achievements.
– Originally, you started off without knowing what tax return was didn’t you?
Kaya: Unlike nowadays, there aren’t many accountants, and the information on tax returns are limited. Whilst knowing that, from permanent residents to housewives, there were a lot of people who did not know about this. However, if we spread knowledge about this to those people, it would be some sort of an awareness program. From a business perspective, there is also the idea that if Japanese people were to join these pieces of knowledge together, they can make their businesses flourish in Australia and hence, make their presence more visible. Also, people you may know may be working on an hourly wage of 10 dollars and by understanding that, we should spread awareness to other Japanese people that they should not exploit this on other fellow Japanese people. They say that “Ignorance of it is a crime”, but I believe that I want Japanese people know the reason of feigning ignorance to avoid getting tricked. In a way, this is an awareness campaign, actually. However, it’s fine if our company doesn’t use it. Recently, Cairns has gotten rid of things like 10 dollars hourly wages, so I’ve been thinking if Sydney and the Gold Coast should be the next. However, commerce or which ever one it is, is that kind of awareness campaign. I believe that THAT is what true nationalism is.
– Instead of aiming for profit, Ezy Tax Solutions has a strong mindset to socially and properly spread awareness of information don’t they?
Kaya: Let’s see…regarding business, we want to send a message of changing something, and from starting at changing social structures and business, we have ultimately lost money.
– Regarding on what you said about “Sydney and Gold Coast should be next”, and since you have changed the social awareness and status of Cairns, do you have any plans of establishing a branch in Sydney?
Kaya: We don’t plan on establishing a branch in Sydney but Sydney is one of Australia’s cities, and we do think that it would definitely be interesting to have a branch there. There are also other people who are doing a lot of business, such as IT and because of this, we would like to go ahead and establish a branch, but we chose to just sit on our horses and not move at all. Furthermore, if amateurs were to establish an office in Sydney and not be able to properly answer to their customers, there would be no meaning for their existence there. If anyone was to do it, it should be the more experienced people but our company doesn’t have another accountant that can move from Cairns because of their family. In the end, we don’t have a capable person that can establish a branch in Sydney but even so, we still have our internet services.
– Your company focuses on the concept of properly supporting individuals or businesses even if it’s online doesn’t it?
Kaya: Let’s see, we didn’t have anything like an anytime open internet service before but I think that this is connected to what I said earlier about “spreading information” and “lowering the threshold”. We also have a last resort of opening up branches in Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne… (laughs in Japanese)
– Finally, please tell us your thoughts on Matsuri spreading Japanese culture to Sydney in this next event.
Kaya: As expected, there aren’t many Japanese people in Australia, and I am very conscious that there are Japanese people overseas, so I was thinking that we should show Australia what “Japan” is. It doesn’t contribute to society, but it includes people doing business and also those who aren’t doing business. I want Australia to see the kindness of the Japanese people and the things that could be made possible because we Japanese people are here, and Matsuri will be the link that will gradually exhibit this. By showing off this to Australians, and even though I purposely say “showing off”, I believe Matsuri is a good opportunity to show this. Especially because this event is held in Sydney, there are a lot of Japanese people and hence, this can be shown on a big scale. Here, I believe Matsuri will be able to show Australians who we Japanese people are.
Also, I personally don’t have any power in planning, connections, time or personal connections to Matsuri, but I believe the coordinators and authorised personnel planning Matsuri will be able to carry this out. As a sponsor, I am personally very grateful to the administrators of Matsuri’s planning for allowing me to work with them.