The theme for our annual Asia Pacific regional meeting – ‘APREC’ - in Tokyo last week was Excelling in challenging times – a theme that could not have held more relevance than for our host nation.
During the course of the meeting we were lucky enough to hear from a number of excellent speakers, both from within our own network and from outside BDO. One of the speakers and topics that particularly struck me was a presentation by a representative of the Tokyo Stock Exchange, Kiyoyuki Tuchimoto. Mr Tuchimoto demonstrated just how strongly Japan has recovered from the earthquake and the tsunami that caused the subsequent nuclear emergency last year.
Despite the scale of the catastrophe, the strength of recovery evident in Japanese businesses – both on a domestic and international level – is very sobering and demonstrates the incredible resilience and determination of the Japanese people.
Having been suitably inspired, we delved into a number of themes that are important for BDO and for our clients: one of these is global outsourcing. At BDO we’ve been providing this service globally for a number of years and it is of particular importance across the Asia Pacific region. As with everything we do, our greatest challenge is to ensure that we are delivering a seamless service worldwide that is at the same time tailored to meet local needs.
This is particularly important when we are working with an international organisation whose in-country teams will understandably become increasingly frustrated if they feel that the service they are receiving is not what they expect from a professional services firm in their market. This is why, as a network, we set global standards but also ensure that we give our firms the freedom, flexibility and – most importantly, trust - to deliver the approach that is right for their local clients.
Reflecting on the meeting during my flight back to the Netherlands, it struck me once again how valuable these events are. BDO in the Asia Pacific region is going from strength to strength and the APREC meeting enabled us to hear from our colleagues in Malaysia and Hong Kong, both of whom have built up enviable reputations in their markets. More than anything else, the meeting afforded us the opportunity to discuss how we are all continuing to place our clients right at the centre of our business, always delivering a service that’s tailored, and not off the peg.
I’ll be taking this approach with me to the Bahamas next week, where our meeting of the North America & Caribbean region is being held.