The trading partnership between Japan and Australia is long-standing and increasingly important to both countries’ economies.

Japan is Australia’s second-largest export market, and our stable industries – including infrastructure, real estate, education and technology – and resources-rich country means Japan is Australia’s second-largest source of foreign direct investment after the USA. There is a healthy interdependency between the two countries; a partnership underpinned by friendship for more than 70 years.

Our Japan practice works with Grant Thornton’s Japanese network to help Japanese companies achieve their ambitions through investment and market expansion into Australia: from new entrants at the very beginning of their Australian growth journey, to helping existing investors expand their market share or diversify their portfolios. We also work with Australian companies looking to Japan to expand their businesses by accessing the opportunities in this valuable market.

By engaging with our team, clients are given access to local experts via Grant Thornton’s global network to support all stages of a transaction: the full breadth of tax, accounting and advisory expertise in both Australia and Japan to not only help you set up your global footprint and meet the very unique and complex tax and compliance requirements of each jurisdiction, but also to navigate the necessary cultural integration required to ensure a transaction’s success. We understand what it means to do business in Australia and Japan and have the connections to the best experts – including banking and law firms – you need for a successful transaction or investment.

Doing business in Australia

Australia welcomes dynamic foreign investment and is one of the most attractive business locations in the world. With a relatively deregulated and open economy, Australia offers opportunities from a broad range of diverse industries, providing investors with a stable political and economic environment, as well as a skilled and multilingual workforce. Our guide provides the following insights for foreign investors looking at undertaking business in Australia:

  • Country profile
  • Legal overview
  • How to conduct business in Australia
  • Tax system
  • Labour
  • Audit
  • Trade
  • Finance
  • Infrastructure


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English version  Japanese version

Shoko Arakawa
Principal - Head of Japan Practice
Shoko Arakawa

Case study: Assessing short- to medium-term cashflow needs of your global entities

Client challenge
A Japanese company acquired an Australian entity operation prior to the outbreak of COVID-19. Three months post the acquisition, the global pandemic began to impact economies around the world, including Australia. As a result, the Australian subsidiary faced cash and liquidity problems and requested the Parent company to finance its working capital needs. Stringent travel restrictions meant the Parent company could not send Japanese management to Australia to manage and assess the creditworthiness of the Australian subsidiary for further lending – while also ensuring the business continued to operate effectively in the short to medium term.
The solution
The team at Grant Thornton was engaged to quickly deliver a financial report to the Parent company. Together with the Parent company, Grant Thornton focused on the key financial and operational objectives of the business. Lender support services allow for a pro-active assessment of a company’s financial, management and security profile. The report developed covered a company and industry overview, benchmarking, adequacy of cash flow and forecasts, review of business plans and alternative methods of financing.
The outcome
One option for the Parent company was to sell the Australian business. However, it became clear from the review that it wasn't ready for sale. The team continued to support our client to keep this business’s doors open, while also looking for a local strategic partner.
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Case study: Cost-effective, sustainable finance help as you grow your global footprint

The client challenge
A Japanese company successfully expanded their business into New Zealand and decided to replicate the same model into Australia. The existing finance team in New Zealand had a lean structure, so was unable to service an additional entity in a neighbouring country. The Parent company was faced with the challenge of covering the workload. There were some options: to complement the existing finance team; or to engage outsourced specialist advice to support the Australian business.
The solution
Grant Thornton was able to support our client with an integrated outsourced CFO service. The process started from defining the right scope and finding the right team with the right skills. Grant Thornton’s integrated outsourced CFO model provided the confidence and skills of an in-house CFO at a lower cost, with the benefit of access to a wide range of national and international expertise across tax, business consulting and audit.
The outcome
The outsourced CFO services offering engaged by the Parent Company ensured they had the support of experienced professionals to manage all finance needs in the interim period – and all their statutory compliance. This also meant our client had the time and space to enter the recruitment process for a CFO, allowing for a better understanding of the exact skillsets required of the role.
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Case study: Making key international - and regulated - leadership changes in a pandemic

Client challenge
A Japanese company acquired an Australian entity before the outbreak of COVID-19. About a year after the acquisition took place – and during the global pandemic – the General Manager resigned. This GM was also the only Australian resident director – a requirement of doing business in Australia. With no direct experience of running a business in Australia and travel restrictions, the company was unable to run the subsidiary on the ground. They needed to immediately identify a candidate to fill the GM role and to ensure the key functions were supported effectively during the transition.
The solution
A team at Grant Thornton was engaged to help run the process for engaging a new Company Director. We also assisted on transitioning responsibility from the departing GM to the temporary new GM, as well as oversaw other matters required by the Board. Supporting local management was key to the business operating effectively, so there were regular on-site and local management meetings. The team also liaised with the client’s largest customer, ensuring consistency in the relationship at a key time for the business.
The outcome
The Grant Thornton team was able to move quickly to identify the right people for the key leadership roles, being GM and local Australian-resident Director. The team provided financial support and was the on-the-ground liaison for the Parent company to ensure ongoing stability of the local business.
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Case study: Responding to Japanese listed-Parent’s complex compliance regime

Client challenge
Our client was a subsidiary of a US-listed entity, which was then acquired by a Japanese company (Parent company). While its immediate parent was the US entity, the client was deemed out-of-scope due to size. Certain processes were tested directly by the internal auditor of the US entity for the US-SOX purpose. Once the Japanese Parent came into the picture, the client was scoped in for J-SOX purposes. The Australian CFO was notified of this fact in August for a March fiscal year-end. There was a bit to do and the timeframe was tight.
The solution
In the second year, Grant Thornton challenged the identified key risks and controls and optimised the matrix, which resulted in a saving of two-week people-hours. During the third year, the outbreak of coronavirus restricted site visits. However, because of the established framework and continuity of the team, Grant Thornton delivered the quality outputs that met our client’s expectations and as required by the client’s external auditor on time.
The outcome
The outsourced CFO services offering engaged by the Parent Company ensured they had the support of experienced professionals to manage all finance needs in the interim period. This also meant they had the time and space to enter the recruitment process for a CFO, allowing for a better understanding of the exact skillsets required of the role. The Grant Thornton team also managed the Australian entity's statutory compliance (ie income tax returns, PAYG withholding, GST, FBT and corporate secretarial matters), EOFY reports to the Parent company, and technical accounting support (adoption of lease accounting).
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