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Akane Kataoka Business Administration

Akane Kataoka

Finance

Accept technology and repeat trial and error.

Q1

Please tell me about your current role at HDE.

I work in the Accounting and Finance team of the Business Administration Division.
Generally speaking, accounting and finance is a position that handles the company’s financial matters.

This involves accurately understanding the actual situation of the company, quickly reporting to stakeholders in and outside of the company and linking this to the future of HDE. I see this as the “finance” aspect of my work.

Specifically, in order to accurately understand the actual situation of our company, internally gathered information must be correct, so we need to monitor internal controls as well. When reporting the actual condition to internal and external stakeholders, we process information accurately based on the fixed rules, such as monthly/annual settlements, tax returns, and consolidated account settlements. In addition, we also handle annual audits performed by audit firms and occasional government tax investigators.

Results are about the past.
In order to connect the results to the future, we prepare budgets, confirm the path taken by analyzing the results and its difference. At the same time, in order to see one step ahead, we confirm the KPI of each division which serves as advance indicators of the future, make predictions as to what route the company will likely take in the future and prepare as much as possible for that path.

HDE is a company that takes on new challenges, so there are many instances where we find ourselves in areas where no clear rules have been established anywhere in the world. We search daily for what we should do while confirming the direction of HDE by gaining insight from external experts. We research overseas companies with similar business models on establishing various KPI, viewing management figures, accounting documentation methods, control methods and so on for cloud sales and subscription based businesses and apply them to our path.

Q2

As a member of HDE, what is the most exciting part of your current position?

Back office work requires changing skills depending on on how much the company and the business environment changes. Fortunately at HDE, the scale of our business is expanding rapidly and the phase of the company is changing quite significantly.

HDE is a company that thrives on taking on new challenges. For example, the official language of the company became English and we’ve established overseas subsidiaries all in the past few years. Additionally, we are constantly hiring non-Japanese employees making the company more global.

In such environment, we cannot just rely on existing knowledge, past processes and rules. Although it is important to protect some rules and processes accumulated in the past especially when it comes to accounting and finance, we explain to external experts what HDE wants to be successful while making them understand that we embrace change. We need to clarify what is correct under the current circumstances, what kind of policies should be implemented and carry them out.

More than 20 years have passed since HDE was established. There is a “now” of the company that’s been built because of its past. HDE’s current management and financial status works to respect its past, while urgently preparing for the the future.To keep up with them, I study to improve my work everyday through trial and error. I think this kind of working environment is most ideal for those who find meaning in contributing to the company’s growth through their own growth. Everyday can be fun for those who can thrive in constant change.

Honestly I believe, this concept of “now” will continue as long as HDE never stops taking on new challenges.

Q3

What kind of culture does HDE have?

A lot is expected from individuals to produce since there is a lot of freedom in what and how you can do your work. It’s an environment where diversity is accepted including work style, culture and language. This is why our official language is English. It’s also because many employees are from different countries and cultures that the “common sense” rule does not apply to all. You have to able to explain things logically to everyone to get your point across.

Since we use free addresses and working hours can easily be adjusted, it can be difficult to know what each employees are doing and where they are located. This requires each employee to be honest and open with their managers and team members and show diligence. .It’s also important to report in writing using internal communication tools at appropriate times. Good communication skills are more more valued here than in an environment where desks are lined up in rows.

HDE does not appreciate overtime work. Instead, the company emphasizes on executing work efficiency aa possible through good schedule management and producing results.

I think each division and employee are searching for ways in which they can continuously grow. Our culture accepts this type of challenge. As a result, others around us naturally begin to accept challenges and cooperate with others. When we fail a challenge, we are required to logically think about what is necessary to make the most out of that failure and try again until we succeed.

Q4

Please tell me about your dreams, ambitions or hope for the future at HDE or in life.

In terms of work, I want to make use of the power of IT as much as possible and take on more advanced tasks.

In my personal life, there are many interesting and fun things in the world so as long I remain healthy, I want to experience many of those things, stimulate my senses, refine myself and continue feeling excited about my life.

Q5

What type of people would you want to work with?

Honestly, I have fun working with anyone.

But if I had to choose, I would be motivated to work with; (1) those who can work based on idea of improving HDE, other people, and the world in a good direction and (2) those who can discuss things with others and can make concrete actions. And of course, (3) those who are honest, and finally, (4) those that do not hide things when problems occur.

Q6

What does "Liberation of Technology" mean to you?

Great technology can change ideas. Technology that can change ideas are often rough and unstable in the beginning. Hence in order to enjoy the benefits of that sort of technology, recipients must have considerable skills and be accepting of such situations, since it requires trial and error.

Technology that has the ability to change ideas will become more commonly used through trial and error for those who are interested. However, even if it becomes widely used by consumers, it may not be usable in a business setting. HDE is an early adopter of such technologies and repeatedly goes through trial and error with the hope of eventually having our customers use our new technology so that they can add value to their business.

That’s what I think about “Liberation of Technology”, promoted by HDE.

I often want to utilize IT to make workflow more efficient. When I come across a technology that is good, I wonder how it can benefit concerned parties when they use it. I think searching for new technology in this way, repeatedly taking on new challenges, implementing trial and error and finding solutions are what “liberation of technology” means. Not an easy task, I must say.