Accuity LLP Celebrates a Decade of Dedication to the Community and to its People
Formerly known as PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, this accounting firm has been serving clients for the past 65 years, and within the past decade as the locally-owned and operated Accuity LLP.
We Did It For Our People, Clients and Their Families
Accuity, as it celebrates its 10 year anniversary continues to keep local people employed.
A decade ago, after doing business in Hawaii for 55 years, the global professional services firm PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC) was closing their office in the 50th State. Over 70 Hawaii residents were about to lose their jobs and local boys Kent Tsukamoto, Dennis Tsuhako and Wendell Lee were not going to let that happen. After hearing the news that PwC would be shutting its Hawaii doors, these three accountants got together at Kahala Zippy’s and made the decision to form Accuity LLP.
“There were a lot of unknowns and a lot of fears as founding partners. Would our clients stay with us? Would our staff stay with us? What kind of rumors would we have to deal with? As founding partners, we took a huge risk by borrowing money before we even knew any of that would happen,” says Wendell Lee. “That was the scariest thing: putting your house and everything you own on the line to start a business from scratch. When I say ‘scratch’ not necessarily the clients, but the infrastructure.”
While it was a stressful experience for Lee and the other founding partners, they coolly concealed their anxiety from the staff. In 2006, Kahina Perkins was fresh out of college and became an accountant for PwC and eventually Accuity. Seeing the partners step up to save local people’s jobs had a profound effect on her.
“The transition from PricewaterhouseCoopers to Accuity was a memorable experience because the partners made us feel like they had our backs in a way,” says Perkins. “I remember the transition being somewhat smooth, but behind the scenes I knew it was quite an ordeal for them [partners]. We have great leaders here at the firm and people who want to help you grow. Being new to this career, young and unsure about what to do in life, the people here help to shape your career and they really want to see you succeed – they’re really looking out for you. When you’re a part of Accuity, you feel like you can achieve anything!”
From the beginning, Accuity has always been about the people and community. While they’re known for offering high quality services and products the most endearing attribute of this locally-owned accounting firm is that they genuinely care about their clients and staff.
You see this in numerous community service projects and hear this sentiment echoed by their long-time staff members like Audit Principal Donn Nakamura who has been with the firm for 18 years.
“I think the biggest reason I like working for Accuity is just the people I work with,” says Nakamura. “They’re smart, interesting and young and it keeps me feeling a little bit younger as I get older. I think interacting with various people just keeps it interesting—not just the people within in the firm, but also our clients. I enjoy working with our clients on a personal level so it’s good seeing them as well.”
“Our firm instills the importance of giving back to our community. The firm has been supportive of my efforts to serve on nonprofit boards and volunteer within the community. That’s one of the reasons I respect our leadership team and continue to work hard for them.”
—Julia Okinaka, President ACS
“We are fortunate to have the support of our clients and the local business community. In our transition from a global to a local firm, we visited many of our clients to be sure they heard the news directly from us first. It was a true testament to Hawaii’s supportive ‘local culture’ as their response to us was often, ‘No worries, we’re staying with you.’ That is something we will never forget.”
—Wendell Lee, Founding Partner
Behind the Name
The history of Accuity, according to founding partner Kent Tsukamoto
Accuity is Born
OCTOBER 16, 2006
“We were thinking about different names for the firm, and Tsukamoto, Tsuhako and Lee sounded like the name of a Japanese/Chinese restaurant. We wanted our firm’s name to transcend our stewardship. It was a 2 a.m. sleepless night when we were contemplating 30-35 different names for our new fi rm. Along with Hawaiian and math/accounting-related names there were a number of purely made up ones, too. ‘Accuity’ was a made up name but it was born from two of our core values: accuracy and integrity. ‘Acuity’ (with one ‘c’) in the dictionary means ‘sharpness or keenness of thought’ which aligned with our core values as we want to provide our clients with accurate accounting, integrity in our work and keen insight.”
Accuity Cares Day
Accuity Cares Day is held annually. The firm’s staff commits their time to various community activities such as public school beautification, beach clean-up, assisting at shelters, etc. Founding partner Dennis Tsuhako grew up in Waipahu. He proudly assists in the clean-up at Waipahu Elementary School.
“Our 5th Anniversary came at a challenging time when the economy took a major hit. In spite of the market conditions, we persevered and more importantly helped our clients through the tough times. I think our team did a great job!”
Accuity Consulting Services (ACS) Launches
AUGUST 1, 2012
“Accuity Consulting Services (ACS) is an investment that we have. It is run by Julia Pae Okinaka who is a tri-athlete. We sponsored her when she ran the original Iron Man in Kona.”
JANUARY 1, 2014
“C&Y is a separate local CPA firm that was formerly Chee & Yamasaki and Walter Nagasako CPA. Darryl Nitta is a second-generation CPA and is in charge of that practice. It is a full-service local CPA fi rm aimed at a market where they don’t necessarily require all the expertise that Accuity has to give, nevertheless want excellent service.”