CFO Insights

Think ahead

CFO Insights is a publication to deliver an easily digestible and regular stream of perspectives on the challenges confronting CFOs. It provides financial updates for Japan from an macro and micro economic perspective and peer CFO's views on various topics.

CFO Insights has been renewed in 2020, an article is posted on the website monthly instead of publishing a quarterly booklet.

CFO Insights | 2022 January

Unlocking e2e (end-to-end) Organizational Transformation through GBS

Current organizations most dominant internal constraints are linked to the organization structure, siloed behavior, culture, poor communication, and overall inefficiency. Pioneering companies have moved to Integrated Business Services, that provides all the traditional services and innovating front to and middle-office services for end-to-end business solutions, while leveraging shared services and outsourcing across multiple functions and regions in a consistent manner. This operating model is called Global Business Services.

  •  Introduction of GBS
  • Approach to GBS - Definition of TOM, necessary for GBS
  • Beneficial Impact of GBS
  • Conclusion

To learn more, the full article now. 

CFO Insights | 2021 December

Welcome to the “no normal”: Exploring The Transformation Myth

After having weathered peak disruption of COVID-19, finance leaders may reasonably expect to settle into a more stable environment. However, the new normal is really no normal at all. The relentless pace of change, intensified by the cascading crises kicked off by the pandemic, requires that CFOs and other C-suite leaders enable their organizations to forge a new relationship with the ever-changing marketplace. That’s as true for CFOs as for all other employees, despite the fact that finance types are often assumed to be most comfortable when they are acting as operators and stewards. But developing a growth mindset leads to the belief that the organization is capable of developing the skills and processes that will enable it to thrive in a fast-paced digital univers.

  •  Introduction
  • Change climate
  • Becoming a transformational CFO
  • Sustaining change

To learn more, read the full article now.

CFO Insights | 2021 November

Updates to Japan’s document preservation rules may require companies to retool their record retention processes

Updates to Japan’s document preservation rules may require companies to retool their record retention processes - Due to recent events, the need for companies to go digital has increased dramatically. It affected the Electronic Record Retention Law (“ERRL”) and the preservation of transaction information sent/received electronically to revise. Under the current document preservation rules, preservation in hard copy format is permitted as an alternative to preserving transaction data electronically. However, hard copy preservation will now be abolished for certain documents beginning 1 January 2022. After that date, all electronic transaction records must be stored electronically. Companies have little time before having to make the change to electronic data storage for certain documents. 

  • Overview of Japan’s current record retention rules
  • Changes to the existing rules under 2021 tax reform
  • Benefits of electronic storage
  • Conclusion

To learn more, read the full article now.

CFO Insights | 2021 October

The pandemic adds yet another delay to Japan’s economic recovery

Despite pandemic-related challenges, Japan is positioned for stronger growth later this year and into 2022. Once the state of emergency ends, spending on services should rebound. At the same time, demand for goods should stay relatively strong. Easy monetary policy and the possibility of additional fiscal stimulus could add a bit more inflation and help lift stagnant wages. However, more recently, manufacturing growth has slowed. While as demand for goods has surged around the globe, so too has demand for the semiconductors used in many of those goods, Japan, an important player in semiconductor industry faces with a lack of raw materials.

  • Reversal of deflation on the horizon
  • The manufacturing sector outperforms but risks loom
  • Suga's resignation opens the door for new policy

To learn more, read the full article now.

CFO Insights | 2021 September

The Partner Management Office (PAMO): Yield Value Beyond Just Cost Saving

As outsourcing continues to be the focus for operational finance process streamline, many CFOs are considering not only saving cost, but also realizing strategic synergies throughout the engagements with their service providers.

To establish and maintain the strategic partnership, it is essential to build a scalable, agile and robust Partner Management Office (“PAMO”). This is a key element of successful BSO (Business Service Optimization) ecosystem to ensure high quality services to clients.

  • Introduction
  • Benefits and Challenges of PAMO
  • Building Blocks
  • Conclusion

To learn more, read the full article now.


CFO Insights | 2021 August

Tax implications associated with creating a comfortable workspace for remote employees

Many companies are considering how to assist its workforce in creating a comfortable remote workspace in order to maximize employee experience and business efficiencies. This article gives the details whether if allowances for employees such as internet, electricity costs and furniture purchases are treated as a taxable benefit and subject to payroll with holding tax. Depending on the company, remote work allowances and expenses may be consuming a larger portion of a company’s budget. Input from the finance and tax teams will become increasingly important to formulate their company’s remote work financial assistance policies.

  • Overview
  • Financial assistance for remote working
  1. Expenses (Internet, Electricity etc)
  2. Purchases of furniture and equipment
  • Conclusion

To learn more, read the full article now.


CFO Insights | 2021 July

Japan Economic Outlook -Better performance in the second half-

Our outlook for Japan’s economic growth in the first half of 2021 has been dampened by government regulations due to COVID-19. Meanwhile, In the second half of 2021, a moderate economic recovery is expected due to the vaccine rollout. However, in the longer run, Japan is going to face longer-term challenges such as attracting migrant workers again after this pandemic.

  • Longer-term challenges for consumption
  • Manufacturers remain resilient

To learn more, read the full article now.

*This article was originally published on Deloitte Insights on June 24 , 2021.

CFO Insights | 2021 June

The Accelerated Future of Work: New Insights for CFOs

The COVID-19 pandemic have created such fundamental disruption, and we must shift from surviving to thriving to navigate multiple uncertain futures and continuous disruption in this new world. Meanwhile, the last year of disruption has highlighted that human potential is an organization’s greatest untapped asset. To thrive moving forward in the accelerated future of work requires CFOs and finance leaders to develop strategies that value human capital while reaping the benefits of technology. Core to those strategies will be re-architecting the work of Finance, unleashing workforce ecosystems, and building adaptive flexible workplaces.

  • Technology alone is not enough
  • Developing strategies that value human capital while reaping the benefits of technology
  1. Re-architecting the work of Finance
  2. Unleashing workforce ecosystems
  3. Building adaptative flexible workplaces      
  • Thriving in a world of perpetual disruption

To learn more, read the full article now.


CFO Insights | 2021 May

Proactive planning for the introduction of the consumption tax qualified invoice system in 2023

The current Japanese consumption tax (“JCT”) system will transition to a new qualified invoicing system beginning 1 October 2023. Some businesses may face situations in which they are no longer able to recover previously recoverable input JCT once the new system goes into effect. To prevent the loss of recoverable input JCT, it is important that businesses be proactive to understand the scope and timing of the planned changes and how those changes may impact their current invoicing arrangements.

  • Overview
  • Invoicing requirements under the current system
  • Invoicing requirements under the qualified invoice system
  • Information required on a tax invoice
  • Potential pitfalls of the transition to the qualified invoice system
  • Conclusion

To learn more, read the full article now.


CFO Insights | 2021 April

Japan Economic Outlook : A temporary reversal of the recovery

Although Japan's economic recovery in 2020 was relatively strong comparing the United States and European Union, economic activity in 2021 Q1 likely contracted. This is because infections in Japan were on the rise at the beginning of 2021, which prompted the government to issue another state of emergency for 11 prefectures.

In the second half of the year, however, growth will accelerate, thanks to sizable fiscal stimulus at home and abroad. The largest portion of the most recent stimulus package will go toward structural changes aimed at boosting the postpandemic economy. Digitalization and carbon neutrality by 2050 are two of the key policy initiatives.

  • Ample foreign demand
  • Policy response will help growth in H2

To learn more, read the full article now.

CFO Insights | 2021 March

IN-MEMORY COMPUTING: “Promises a massive gain in speed”

In-Memory computing enables Finance organizations to have significantly high access speed to access and analyse high volume of concurrent transactions. It provides automated notifications in real-time to enable better decision-making.

For many future data management needs, in-memory will likely be an indispensable tool. The explosion of information streaming in from the Internet of Things alone could make In-memory a critical capability for companies undergoing digital transformation.

  • What is In-Memory Computing?
  • In Memory Computing in Action
  • “In-Memory computing” in the CFO’s office

To learn more, read the full article now.


CFO Insights | 2021 February

2021 Japan tax reform proposal

The Japanese government announced its tax reform proposal for 2021 on 10 December 2020 and it includes a number of changes and tax incentives for digital technology to aid economic recovery.

This article provides a high-level summary of some of the proposed changes that would be most applicable to foreign headquartered companies in Japan

  • Overview
  • Digital measures
  • Environmental measures
  • Measures related to financial services
  • Other measures

To learn more, read the full article now.

CFO Insights | 2021 January

Diversity in Workplace

All leading companies have policies for diversity and inclusion. But why be a diverse workplace? What’s in it for the employer and the employees? 

There is a study saying the diversity is a key driver for innovation and results in 19% growth in revenue. The results showsed that these companies were able to develop more relevant products/services for their customers/clients since they are more in tune with their changing needs.

  • Definition
  • Why is diversity important?
  • Bringing the change

To learn more on the diversity and inclusion, read the full article now.


CFO Insights | 2020 December

Japan Economic Outlook: External demand-led economic growth, but will it last?

Japan has managed to keep infection rates low relative to other large developed economies and foreign demand has pushed Japan’s economy. However, rising infections at home and abroad threaten the ongoing recovery. What impact will the pandemic have on the Japanese economy in the future?

  • The pandemic threatens consumers’ recovery
  • Weak domestic demand weighs on business investment
  • Strong external demand may wane

To learn more on the details, read the full article now.

CFO Insights | 2020 November

Combatting the struggling economic landscape through the effective use of tax losses

One of the key mechanisms for reducing cash tax outflows is the efficient use of existing and projected net operating losses for tax purposes (“NOL”). Utilization of NOL can be achieved through a number of methods including the carryback and carryforward of NOL, offsetting of taxable income and losses within a 100% Japan parented group, or by integrating businesses and utilizing NOL through corporate reorganization.

  • Overview of rules relating to carryforward and utilization of NOL
  • Other restrictions on NOL utilization
  • Options for utilizing NOL

To learn more on  the digital transformation journey, read the full article now.


CFO Insights | 2020 October

Emotional fortitude: What CFOs can learn from “undisruptable” CEOs

In today’s environment, executives across the C-suite are under enormous pressure to get it “right.” How can leaders increase their chances of making an optimal decision when all of the alternatives may not be known, when time is not on their side, and when emotions play a central role before, during, and after the decision is made?
In particular, for CFOs looking to playing the key role of trusted advisor to their CEOs, an understanding of the power of emotional fortitude can be uniquely valuable.

  • What is emotional fortitude?
  • Using emotional fortitude to shape the situation
  • Strategies for building emotional “muscle”
  • Embracing emotional fortitude

To learn more on  the digital transformation journey, read the full article now.


CFO Insights | 2020 September

MASTER DATA MANAGEMENT - Your Digital Journey Starts here!

The world of business and finance has seen a dramatic shift as organizations scramble to accelerate their digital transformation agenda. The finance leader of the digital age has to be ready to serve as the steward at the helm guiding their organization through the transition to an insights-driven and action-oriented company.

  • Why the digital transformation journey matters even more now?
  • What does it mean to transition to an insight-driven organization?
  • How can organizations embark on this journey?
  • Road to success starts with master data management

To learn more on  the digital transformation journey, read the full article now.



CFO Insights | 2020 August

Road to a digital future: Considerations for implementing digitalization plans to assist organizations on their way to crisis recovery

With the tax function now playing an essential role in strategic planning, many businesses are encouraging tax functions to accelerate and progress their digital transformation journeys.

  • 3 factors to assist the organization in its crisis recovery
  • 3 Steps to the goal
  • Going paperless in Japan
  • Seal (hanko) issues

To learn more on tax function in DX, read the full article now.



CFO Insights | 2020 July

Global Economic Brief: Fear, Not Lockdowns, May Drive Economic Activity

The sharp decline in U.S. economic activity in recent months was principally the result of consumer fears about contracting the virus, not government-imposed lockdowns. If the viral outbreak worsens further, economic activity for the third quarter will likely either grow more slowly than expected or not at all.

Moreover, the new, United States Mexico Canada Agreement (USMCA) could hurt the U.S. automotive sector, while major Japanese carmakers reportedly have no intention of shifting production to the U.S., rather, they will either triple wages in Mexico and/or will accept tariffs.

To learn more on global economic outlook, read the full article now.


CFO Insights | 2020 June

Mobility “Information and insights on-the-go”

The surge in worldwide spending on mobile devices along with the superior performance by smartphones which includes mobile wallets, E-commerce, biometrics, GPS, and cameras have caused a shift in the way we operate in our personal lives.

Workplaces are also seeing millennials increasing in share as a part of the workforce. This has resulted in more employees expecting the same seamless experience provided the smartphone at the work. Moreover, it has led to a transformation of business models and rise in expectations across the value chain.

To learn more on how mobility in the enterprise affects on their business and leads to the transformation of business models and the value chain, read the full article now.


CFO Insights | 2020 May

COVID-19’s impact on transfer pricing in Japan

The COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) pandemic continues to cause serious disruption globally, impacting vital components of the economy, such as production, the supply chain, consumption, and financial markets.

Many industries and business sectors are experiencing serious impact, and global markets are volatile. It is in this context that global multinationals are considering how a downturn may affect their tax and transfer pricing positions.

To learn more on what lies ahead for the Japanese Tax, read the full article now.


CFO Insights | 2020 April

Japan: Economic Slowdown

Even before the coronavirus started to disrupt Japanese manufacturing supply chains, Japan’s economy had faltered following the imposition of a higher national sales tax in October 2019.

A combination of soft consumer demand, weak sentiment, the coronavirus outbreak, and global trade troubles has decelerated the economy, and there appears to be little the government can do currently.

To learn more on what lies ahead for the Japanese economy, read the full article now.


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