Role and mission

We find that Japanese clients often come to us in search of a high quality service. High quality service, for us, means understanding what our clients are really after, rather than doing excessive and inefficient work. An in-depth understanding of Japanese business culture is therefore essential.

Japanese expatriate managers tend to face a particular set of circumstances and challenges: reports to head office often have very tight deadlines; managers can find themselves reassigned just as they get used to doing business here; the UK’s fundamentally principles-based accounting regulations stand in contrast to Japan’s more rules-based approach and there is often leeway where head office in Japan expects a succinct and definite answer.

Prompt reporting schedules require swift and accurate support from the accountants. Direct contact with advisors open to informal consultation is crucial for expatriate managers adjusting to the UK business environment while juggling a number of roles in a period of only a few years. Advice that is sensitive to these issues and to the differences between principles- and rules-based systems smoothes that critical head office relationship.

With many years of experience serving Japanese clients, we at Greenback Alan have a strong grasp of the business environment for Japanese companies and a keen comprehension of the services they require. We also make a point of understanding in detail the circumstances of each of our clients. By doing so we are able not only to provide the high quality our clients seek, but also to offer an efficient service and thereby charge competitive fees.

Our mission is to provide an escape from the vicious circle in which requiring high quality leads to high fees and ultimately dissatisfaction, replacing it with a virtuous spiral where understanding our clients underpins high quality service, leading to greater efficiency and client satisfaction.

Our responsibilities

Client communication channel: 
At Greenback Alan we respond to client needs as a focused team. The Japanese Department channels communications between the client and the team. As a result, clients calling us need not chase around numerous departments, but can speak directly to us and in Japanese if they wish.

Bridging the culture gap: 
From time to time the way British and Japanese people see things and what they expect can differ. What is simple common sense from a Japanese perspective may not even register from a British perspective and vice versa. The Japanese Department acts to smooth over such divisions and misunderstandings. Once the client’s service needs have been determined, we compile a dedicated team from each specialist area to address them. The Japanese Department works with the technical team to ensure accurate understanding so that the needs and aims of the client are fully met.

Meeting support: 
As part of our work in the Japanese Department, we provide support and Japanese language assistance at important meetings to ensure our clients’ needs are clear and our responses are properly communicated.

Technical work: 
The Japanese Department does not serve simply as a communication channel. We are also technical professionals and undertake work directly for clients. For example we perform audit work ourselves and with others, helping to relieve clients of the burden of having to discuss technically complex matters in English.