Chances are that Taxhub’s “Head Tax Geek” George Birrell is thinking about taxes right now. With the season upon us, his vision for an easier and better way to navigate consumer tax preparation leaves behind the notion that there are only two ways of doing taxes (the DIY route with an SAAS product or a mom-and-pop CPA shop). No more! There is a new “sweet spot” between technology and live interaction with a CPA that has a 75% customer retention rate--this vision is an online hybrid of the two traditional methods that citizens have had for decades. Taxhub’s virtual CPA platform offers expert-level tax and business advice for a class of small businesses who previously have not had access due to cost restrictions. It’s a new day for those who are side-giggers, solopreneurs, self-employed, freelancers, contractors, and rental property owners.
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Twelve years into public accounting, George transitioned to controllership for an engineering firm in New York City. Determined to bring customers better efficiency with their tax prep experience, George began discussing his ideas with skilled professionals and began assembling a team that could help bring his idea to fruition to serve a broad segment of the private tax-payer market. Thus, the virtual CPA platform, Taxhub, was born.
Says Birrell, "the whole business model of Taxhub is based on the most efficient way to deliver a quality tax return. By creating our super-efficient process, we can cut costs and deliver CPA-level tax advice to a segment of the market that could previously not afford it...our core purpose is to level the playing field by giving small businesses access to the same tax expertise that has only been available to large corporations."
The platform gives personal access to a whole new generation of citizens who couldn’t afford CPAs. Because the platform operates digitally, they save money on overhead and can provide high-quality services at a fraction of the cost. The platform provides a traditional CPA firm with half the time and cost commitment. Many “solo-preneur” clients have been paying a much higher marginal tax rate, but they don’t need to be. In fact, low overhead in virtual business models have allowed CPAs, doctors, and financial advisors to develop real relationships with their clients in an organic and natural way.
Of Taxhub’s model, George says, "I have seen other startup competitors with our same business model that launched the same year Taxhub did and raised very large rounds thinking they would be able to scale like a traditional SAAS company. They have stumbled hard, damaged their brand, and wasted a lot of advertising money.”
“Ultimately,” Birrell states, “I want Taxhub to be a go-to source for CPA level professional tax and business advice for small businesses who previously have not had access to this due to cost restrictions. Our typical customers can definitely benefit from having a CPA-level person analyze their unique situation and give specific advice and tax planning that a DIY software will never be able to provide.”
Accountants love how organized Taxhub’s client interaction process is. They no longer have to deal with walk-in customers who expect them to drop what they’re doing and then engage with the client with no notice. Taxhub’s platform significantly reduces the back and forth exchange of information between clients and CPAs that are typical of working with a CPA firm. This allows for much more efficient use of the CPA’s time which then reduces cost for the client. Says Birrell, “a lot of our clients just have one or two structural changes that can save them thousands of dollars...but don’t realize it because of lack of access to financial expertise...the problem we face is changing the small business mentality that they can't afford a CPA or high-level tax professional. In reality, a lot of our customers get quick easy tax planning advice for under $300 dollars and they end up saving thousands in taxes just by following our advice.” Clients are also assigned the same CPA year after year which allows for a much more personalized relationship to develop.
Of the Taxhub process, George adds, “it’s so efficient because we have spent the last four years iterating how and when the information is exchanged between client and CPA. From our platform, clients provide the relevant information and documents upfront then once we have processed this information, a live call or video chat is scheduled which makes this call much more productive than talking without knowing anything about a client’s situation (like in the traditional CPA process). A lot of our new clients are surprised at how easy the process is and how quickly they get their taxes filed. This is the core of our business model which is to provide efficient and convenient access to CPA-level advice for a class of customers who have been overlooked by CPAs in the past.”