Harry Hoang CPA and Fuzuki Nishimura CPA have worked together for nine years. Together, they have been instrumental in building Tailored Accounts to become a thriving accounting firm and a culturally diverse, healthy workplace that lives and breathes corporate social responsibility.
By James Dunn
Fuzuki Nishimura CPA
Chief technical officer, Tailored Accounts
I met Harry nine years ago when he interviewed me for a junior accounting role at the firm. It got off to an unexpected start, because he was expecting someone else! We resolved it quickly and I’m now the chief technical officer at the firm.
I am in charge of Tailored Accounts’ internal control and quality management systems, which we update regularly based on new policies and changes in the accounting environment.
From the very start, Harry encouraged me to learn new skills and gain knowledge. He’s helped my career by sharing his experience and it has become second nature to me to do the same with other employees.
Harry is very passionate about cultivating skilled staff, and we have a very thorough training and continuous professional development program. He believes that to progress, you have to make mistakes, and he is amazing in his encouragement. If someone makes a mistake, he will say, “It happens sometimes. Just be careful next time.”
I have found that this approach makes it easy for me to learn new things – even if I make a mistake, I feel that Harry has my back. He makes you feel secure.
Sometimes I feel that because I work so closely with our systems, I can sort of stay “in the box”: if this is the way that something is supposed to be done, I will follow it. It doesn’t come naturally for me to think of doing things differently. Harry thinks outside the box, and he is always suggesting ways that things could be done differently and usually more efficiently. He is like a different side of me.
Even though I do mostly stay in the box, I do get some ideas, and one thing about Harry is that when you run an idea by him, he never says no. He always says, “OK, that sounds good because of A or B”; or, “You know what? That doesn’t sound so good because of X or Y”. As a result, I know what is good or bad about my idea and, more importantly, I know why. Harry is very clear. It is really easy to work with him and he is also very calm.
We have put a lot of work into a health and wellbeing plan at the firm. We’ve replaced snacks around the office with healthier options like fruit, created a book corner for our mental health, and we’ve encouraged walking meetings and setting up healthy eating challenges. Harry has been so supportive of all these activities. He sees the benefit of staff engagement and having a healthier workplace.
What would Fuzuki change about Harry?
“The only thing I would change about Harry is that he is an admitted workaholic – he is the first person to arrive here in the morning and the last to leave of an evening. I hope he allows himself to get some rest. But there’s nothing I’d change apart from that – if he was not Harry, I would not have been working with him for almost a decade.”
Harry Hoang, CPA
Founder and chief executive officer, Tailored Accounts
My first meeting with Fuzuki was a surprise.
There was a boy who was supposed to turn up for the interview before her, so I assumed that’s who she’d be, but Fuzuki had turned up 45 minutes early, and the lad did not turn up at all. After the confusion was resolved, I was very impressed that she had turned up so early, as I’m a bit of a stickler for that. At university, if I had an exam at 3pm, I would get there at 2pm.
Working with Fuzuki is a breeze because she fits in with our values so closely – in fact, she has played a large part in building them. We have a family approach, there are no hierarchies, and that culture gets into the DNA of the business. We see each other as family and friends. We share our successes and we share our difficulties. We support and promote volunteer contribution to our society.
I learn a lot from Fuzuki. I have always respected Japanese culture and I feel we have a lot to learn from it. Fuzuki is very proud of her culture. Likewise, I am very proud of Vietnamese culture, and Fuzuki respects that. We are implementing a good mix of cultures at Tailored Accounts. We have people from 13 different backgrounds, and that is very important to us.
One of our long-standing clients, who has been with us from day one, told me recently that he feels the strength of Tailored Accounts is the diversity of our outlook. Everybody now talks about that as something that is desirable in a business, but we have had it from the beginning.
What would Harry change about Fuzuki?
“Zero. I would simply say, ‘Go on just being yourself.’ That is the key. I’d like to see her keep doing the things that she loves and that inspire her. Every day is a better day.”
Meet two CPAs at Victoria's Department of Education and Training