East Meets West: Japanese Businessman Takes US Accounting Home
In a true “east meets west” scenario, Japanese businessman Motoyoshi Hirose came to the United States several years ago to investigate the possibilities of obtaining the Japan franchise for a U.S.-style franchise accounting firm. His Internet research soon led him to Fiducial.
Since that time, Hirose has met on several occasions with Fiducial representatives including Yves Morard-Lacroix, executive vice president; Howard Margolis, director of field support and development, and Bill Morice, director of field operations.
Hirose, who serves as president of ACCS Consulting Co., Ltd. in Tokyo, owns several businesses that provide services and information to Japanese Licensed Tax Accountants which dominate services to small businesses and to some CPAs serving the same markets. The majority of Japanese CPAs work for a handful of large CPA firms which service public companies.
His “mission” in recent years has been to educate Japanese accountants on how to improve their business. Up until two years ago in the Japanese accounting industry, accountants were not allowed to advertise. Now that things have eased up in that area, Hirose has been busy spreading the word about some of America’s top accounting practices such as those followed by Fiducial.
Margolis has known Hirose for over a year and a half and says he comes to meet with U.S. accounting industry sources “to learn things to take back to educate the accounting industry in Japan.”
Hirose has twice visited Fiducial’s Technical and Administrative Support Center (TASC) in Columbia, MD, observing Discovery Days and training sessions.
“He’s trying to learn everything about us in a short time,” said Margolis. “The second meeting gave him more to think about how we train and about franchising.”
Interested in an alliance
Morice observed that Hirose is “an astute entrepreneur and an excellent observer of business enterprise.”
Apparently Hirose was a quick study, having applied what he learned about Fiducial to his recruitment efforts back in Japan.
“He does more of the offering of conversion franchises,” said Morice. “As he makes his speeches on systems, production and the improving of firms, people come to him and say ‘I will subscribe to your software and follow your systems.’ There’s a fine line between franchising and conversions. It’s very similar to what we do.”
Through a translator in his office, Hirose has indicated in his emails to Margolis that he’s “very serious” about forming a relationship with Fiducial.
“They [Fiducial] are very systematized and organized with various good systems in the U.S. that will be a help to ACCS in developing systems for Japan too,” writes Hirose. “For example, they have a payroll system, an internal website and detailed manuals on various industries.”
Hirose added that he didn’t know if it will be possible to form an alliance with Fiducial, “but I have a strong interest in doing so.”
Margolis noted that the short span of time it took Hirose to generate interest in a one-stop shop concept is a strong indication of just how successful the Fiducial franchise system can be.
“This shows how really easy it is to start building a franchise on a junior level,” he said. “What other people see in us is just another piece in building a brand. When you start adding these companies together, it is fascinating to start seeing how these pieces are going to shape our future. It’s just another piece of the puzzle.”
Morice indicated that Fiducial has received additional inquiries about franchising opportunities from other parts of the world including Great Britain and Spain. And he sees further expansion ahead for the company’s worldwide network.
“Mr. [Christian] Latouche [Fiducial founder and CEO] built it in France and Belgium and we built it here,” he said. “There’s no reason that the one-stop shop can’t thrive in every country.”
Written by Stephen Parezo, Media Manager for Fiducial.