“Stick to your faith and do the right thing with sincerity” Introducing a Contract Personnel Service professional: Chie Shimoda

With various experiences in business companies, Chie Shimoda of Contract Personnel Service (CP Service) at Deloitte Tohmatsu Talent Platform Co., Ltd. (DTTP) offers solutions for issues not only in actual operations but also in operation process and communication.

Started on-site work at client’s locations after working at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu LLC and Deloitte Tohmatsu Tax Co.

Deloitte Tohmatsu Talent Platform Co., Ltd.
Senior Manager Chie Shimoda (Certified Public Tax Accountant)

I started my career at Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu LLC (A&A), where I gained basic work experiences in accounting, tax affairs, human resources, audit, tax return, etc. Then I moved to Deloitte Tohmatsu Tax Co. (DTTAX) and worked as a Certified Public Tax Accountant for tax affairs. I completed the dispatch to Australia from DTTAX and came back to Japan, and started on-site work at clients' locations in 2004.


I decided how I wanted to work considering my work-life balance

Just around that time, my former boss at A&A started engaging in providing services as an independent spinoff, and requested me to do client work because of my experiences. I just had a baby then, so I decided to accept the offer to better balance my work and life.

I was engaged in various client work, from a short-period (a few months) to a long-period (on a year basis), with numerous clients from Japanese companies to European/American companies in a wide range of industries including manufacturing, IT, and finance. In addition to accounting, I gained experiences in many areas such as human resources and tax affairs as well. So, my career is a little unique in that I have a long history of actual work experiences in business companies despite my background in working at Deloitte’s firms.


I felt DTTP would be the place to solve issues I had noticed for some tim

Under those circumstances, I heard about the new launch of a company, Deloitte Tohmatsu Talent Platform Co., Ltd. (DTTP), led by Hiroshi Ueda, which provides professionals on-site for clients. I became interested in the news, because I thought that the issues I had noticed in providing services on-site on a project basis could be systematically solved if we could set defined approaches for them as a company.

Insights are shared within firms such as tax firms or accounting offices. They gain insights at clients’ sites, bring them back to their firms, and utilize them as tools to provide better services for other clients as well. However, not many firms have the systematic process for on-site work on a project basis. Thus I was thinking that it would be a waste if insights gained at clients’ sites were not utilized for others.


We can provide better services by sharing insights we gained at clients’ sites with our members

When I am assigned to a client’s site, in addition to working on the tasks required, I would also make proposals for improvement of work efficiency. These proposals are not limited only to the areas of profession such as tax affairs or accounting, but also to interpersonal skills such as tips for communication.

Working on-site at client’s location is an optimal opportunity to know how you can improve work efficiencies. After the completion of the project, you can bring back the insights you gained there to your firm, and share them with your colleagues, then there will be opportunities to provide more value-added services to other clients and to improve service qualities as a firm. By seeing this potential of providing a win-win service for both clients and firms, I decided to join DTTP.


Contract Personnel (CP) is wanted on-site for various reasons

I provided services at over ten clients on-site before joining DTTP. It often happens that a person in a prominent position such as accounting manager, tax affairs section chief, or financial controller suddenly leaves the job, especially when a company is in an innovation phase. Companies requested my services for various reasons including a temporary support in tasks of a staff member who suddenly left the job, partial support in highly specialized accounting tasks, and support in short-term projects such as consolidation or system integration due to a merger or acquisition of a subsidiary company.

There was even a request of services for human resources department instead of accounting department. The requested tasks included budget controlling and future prediction on internal personnel costs and welfare expenses, as well as providing English information to foreign employees who joined/resigned the company regarding Japanese social insurance system, tax systems, and retirement allowance. However, to conduct these tasks, you need to have experiences and skills in accounting as well as deep knowledge of human resources systems and social systems. Therefore, simply outsourcing these tasks may be challenging. This client, which needed to have an independent human resources department for security reasons, requested services for these tasks, since they did not have personnel who could address them.


There are issues commonly seen in workplaces where employees do not stay for long

As I gained experiences on-site, I found out that there are issues commonly seen in workplaces where employees do not stay for long and leave in a short cycle: skill gaps and communication in workplaces.

Skill gaps could occur when the skills and experiences of employed personnel are not at the required level to accomplish given tasks, which may lead to the personnel leaving their jobs. The root cause of this may lie in the employers’ insufficient understanding of the tasks. When I am requested to provide services to cover a shortage of personnel due to skill gaps, I would provide executives with detailed explanation of employees’ tasks to deepen their understanding, in addition to doing my tasks such as accounting books and reports and making a proposal for process efficiencies.

For example, start-ups in the IT industry may occasionally find serious back-office problems at the last minute before listing or being acquired through M&A. If a company has been scaled with the initiatives led mainly by engineers, it often has an unstable back-office system.

In such cases, I would explain the importance of back office for company growth to executives to promote their understanding. Then I would make a proposal to improve their process by allocating sufficient funds and resources to their back office. I have once provided a client with full-time services for two years. As their situation improved with understanding and cooperation by the CEO and executives, I have now handed over most of the tasks to the outsourcing team, addressing some tasks as needed with engagement representing approximately 30 to 50 percent of the total.


Let them know your will to “improve client’s operations” with sincerity

When I provide services at clients’ sites, I value the idea “Stick to your faith and do the right thing with sincerity.” This mindset was formed when I was assigned to a client from the firm I belonged to then.

As I was working on a task as usual by communicating with members in other departments, an issue related to communication surfaced as a cause that was blocking the smooth operation. As I investigated deeper, I found out there was a person who was being a bottleneck of the issue.

They gave me an opportunity to explain the series of issues to a managing director, and it took me courage to report about the person who was given special attention by the very managing director. However, I honestly pointed out the issue, because I had an earnest wish to improve the client’s operations. They accepted my reports in the end, gave me a huge appreciation, and even introduced me to another client after the end of the project. It was an experience that I could show my sincerity and felt overwhelmed by the broad-minded client who accepted it seriously.


Providing added values of better process efficiency and communication

Working on-site at a client’s site means you may have opportunities to be involved in internal issues as the client’s staff do. Every client has some type of issues. You might not see the entire picture at the beginning, but you will eventually be able to see issues as you stay at clients’ sites and gain more experiences.

If a client has designated me for the service, I try to act with sincerity, to provide results such as better process efficiencies and improved communication, which clients can see as added values.


Blending in the client’s company like a transfer student

What I value in working at a newly assigned client is to make an effort to know the client well without any preconception at the initial phase. If you apply the experiences gained in the similar industries or business to the current situation, the preconception may make you hard to see the true issue.

I try to feel like a transfer student to learn communication patterns in the client’s workplaces, such as how people dress or have lunch. By doing so and blending in the company’s environment, I try to avoid being seen as “someone from outside.”


Being recognized as “a person easy to talk to” is my strength

Currently I have been working for three different clients. To be able to blend in as much as possible, I change how I dress by each client. Once I wore a borrowed uniform at a client location, then a woman asked me, “why are you wearing our company’s uniform?” This gave us an opportunity to get to know each other well. I also try to have conversations with people in other departments, using their canteen and joining lunch groups.

In fact, communication outside work is a key factor. If client’s employees loosen their uncertainty against you and start talking to you casually, it could lead to the improvement of work flows and company-wide communication, making it easy to work with each other.

I believe that being recognized as “a person easy to talk to” is my strength. I, as someone who has no conflicting interest with client’s employees, can blend in their workplaces and provide advice, taking a background role with an earnest wish to improve their operations.


Contact me like “asking another yourself for help”

If any issue occurs in clients’ internal operations, I would be grateful if I can be their choice of contact, as someone they can feel like “another themselves to ask for some help,” not feeling like “a resource hired from outside.” With a perspective different from those of clients’ employees, I would like to seek solutions together with clients and provide support for their growth to the higher and better stages.

Related Services

  • Contract Personnel (CP) Service
  • Permanent employee recruitment service
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