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7 Things Employees Love

(page 4 of 8)

7 Things - Flexibility Kristy Au

Kristy Au
Senior Tax Manager
Nishihama & Kishida, CPAs, Inc.




• Firm has been paperless for past three years, with all files accessible offsite

• Auditors can upload files from clients' locations

• Firm provides laptops to work from home



Kristy Au, senior tax manager at Nishihama & Kishida, CPAs, Inc., usually works part-time, enabling her to spend more time with her 2-year-old son. But during the busy tax season, she needs to work full-time for her firm. Add to that a nearly two-hour commute each way from Mililani to downtown.

For the past year, however, Au has been able to work from home every Wednesday during tax season. N&K went paperless three years ago, making all files accessible offsite. “At first I wasn’t sure how that would work out, because I was afraid I might have to go to the office to get a file, but I’ve never had that happen,” Au says.

From her home computer, Au can “clock in” and access all files and any e-mail, voicemail or fax sent to her desk at N&K’s downtown office.

The telecommuting option works out for managers like Au. Along with being familiar with policies and protocol, “They’ve had the client interaction and the guidance from other senior managers or the principals, so they can pretty much work on their own,” says Wes Hiyane, principal in charge of the firm’s business and tax division. “We like to keep some of our more junior people in the offices so we can give them that guidance.”

The option also works well for the audit department. Since they are mostly at the clients’ sites, auditors can update files remotely instead of driving back to the office to do it. In addition, the IT department can do most of its work away from the office.

These telecommuting options are a sign of the times. “Before, it wouldn’t work because they would have to carry all these paper files,” Hiyane says.

These new possibilities also give Au more time to balance her life. “I like to spend those mornings with my son instead of rushing out of the house at 5:30 a.m.,” Au says. She adds, with a laugh, “It’s more comfortable. I can work in my T-shirt and shorts instead of a skirt and high heels.”


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