Our Islands, Our Future

Robert Kawahara, from one of Maui’s largest CPA firms, Kawahara + Hu LLP CPAs, strongly believes in giving back to the community. He has presented workshops on Tax Strategies for Small Business at previous Hawaii Small Business Conferences presented by Maui Economic Development Board  and supported by the County of Maui Office of Economic Development. This year the conference was cancelled; however, Kawahara is offering a newsletter with information and strategies for small businesses in the community.

Kawahara explained, “COVID-19 has caused an unprecedented strain on our healthcare and economic infrastructure. Our federal and local governments responded with stay-at-home restrictions and significant economic stimulus. While uncertainty makes it difficult to describe a future outcome—causing anxiety in all of us—our role as CPAs is to provide some certainty to our clients so that they may make informed decisions.”

At the beginning of the pandemic, Kawahara quickly realized that his company needed to communicate effectively with clients, so they created an email newsletter. The newsletter has helped cut down on the number of calls from clients which were relatively similar in nature. Kawahara stated, “The newsletter makes the calls quicker and more to the point since the clients  have a better understanding to start with. Right now, all CPAs should be doing tax returns. However, with the new economic stimulus we have been forced into learning a whole new law that affects every individual and business, while still needing to provide guidance. Our roles as CPAs have not changed because of the pandemic, only the sense of urgency for answers. Our role should still be viewed as strategic advisors and decision-makers who assist in making informed decisions.”

Kawahara advises clients to read as much as possible and then email their CPA questions in a yes-or-no format. He added, “Have patience in waiting for responses. Most importantly, realize that CPAs may not have all the answers. Guidance is changing literally by the hour. Our resources are stretched to the limit in addressing the economic stimulus. We appreciate your understanding and offer our newsletter at”

During this difficult time, most businesses will find relief and support from the SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loan, SBA Paycheck Protection Program, and Employee Retention Tax Credit and State of Hawaii Unemployment.

Robert Kawahara, Kawahara + Hu LLP CPA