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Tatsuya Aoki

Aoki moved to Canada in 2013 and earned a graduate diploma in professional accounting

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Tatsuya Aoki: “CPAs should help ­clients mitigate the fear of technology so we can all transition together.” (Photograph by Nathan Cyprys)

Age 24 / Toronto
Staff accountant at EY

WHY ACCOUNTING

Growing up in Japan, Aoki loved numbers and economic theory, but he felt overwhelmed in his first accounting class. He embraced the challenge, the same way he taught himself English. “Accounting is the language of business,” he says.

He moved to Canada in 2013 and earned a graduate diploma in professional accounting.

WHAT HE’S DOING NOW

Aoki joined EY full time after graduation. “The learning curve at a public accounting firm is pretty steep,” he says. He wrote the CFE in 2018, finishing in the top one per cent and making the nationwide honour roll. “It was so rewarding. It was like I was competing with myself, not with others.”

WHERE HE SEES HIMSELF IN 10 YEARS

He wants to branch into behind-the-scenes work at EY, focusing on audit quality, risk management and the complex, case-based issues that arise with major clients.

ON THE FUTURE OF ACCOUNTING

Aoki worries blockchain may replace the need for human intervention in audit. “I don’t completely understand blockchain, so that’s where the fear comes in,” he says. He credits CPA Canada for its efforts to expand members’ skillsets beyond audit and traditional accounting areas. “As CPAs, we should help clients mitigate their fear so we can all transition together.”

FUN FACT

He once gave a speech in front of the Japanese imperial family.