Looking to find out more about TaxConnex? What better way than hearing from our Founders and partners? Learn from the best by hearing from the ones that built TaxConnex. Over the next few months, we will be highlighting the Partners of TaxConnex. First up, our Founder and CEO, Robert Dumas.
Gain insight into why Robert started TaxConnex and his plans for our future as well as how sales tax has evolved over the years.
Can you tell me about your career leading up to TaxConnex?
I graduated in 1985 with a Masters in Tax. I was trained in income tax and expected to have a career in public accounting, but I only lasted a few years in a couple of different large CPA firms. I then went to the BellSouth Corporation tax department and had various roles. BellSouth gave me a lot of different non-income tax related opportunities and exposed me to business processes I found more interesting than income tax. After 8 years at BellSouth I took a voluntary termination package and became an independent consultant in tax and accounting. One of my new tax clients did sales and use tax outsourcing, so I got exposed to sales tax, sales tax processes and the great opportunity to simplify and reengineer a very complex process. As a result I started a sales tax outsourcing company called Tax Partners, which was the predecessor to TaxConnex. Tax Partners was built around a comprehensive proprietary tax return preparation technology.
What inspired you to start this business?
I started TaxConnex to try to fix what didn’t work well with my first sales tax outsourcing company. Specifically, I wanted to build the company around a comprehensive process and methodology for all aspects of sales tax compliance – not just tax return preparation. This describes Connexion – our proprietary web-based workflow platform, which allows us to provide white-glove customized sales tax engagements.
When was TaxConnex founded and how has it changed since its inception?
Taxconnex began business in 2009. Our values and mission have not changed over the last 12 years. The primary change has occurred in the development and enhancements to our technology – Connexion, which did not exist in 2009 but has allowed us to scale the business to where we are today.
What have been some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced?
Our very large market does not understand sales tax compliance. Consequently, they believe the solution to sales tax compliance is technology only. They think it should be ‘push button’ with no human interaction required and look to software companies to solve the administrative pain.
What accomplishments/milestones are you most proud of?
I was very proud when we hit over $5M of annual revenue in 2018 after 9 years in the business. I am also very proud that we will hit over $10M of annual revenue in 2022 – doubled in size in 4 years! I am also very proud of our proprietary platform – Connexion. It is fun to watch the significant enhancements and functionality changes we have made over the last 5 years.
What do you hope is in store for the future here at TaxConnex?
I want TaxConnex to build a powerhouse sales and marketing organization that will allow us to be $20M of annual revenue in 2025. We doubled our size in in a four year period from 2018 to 2022 and I believe we can double our size again in a shorter three period due to our proven track record of quality service.
What TaxConnex core value means the most to you?
I value service the most. I don’t believe client satisfaction is possible without exceptional service and I don’t believe exceptional service is possible without the other 4 values: transparency, integrity, responsibility and excellence.
What qualities do you think a leader must possess to be successful?
I believe in servant leadership and our values. I believe leaders need to be service oriented and operate with a clearly defined set of values. A servant leader with a clear and simple mission who demonstrates the values everyday can achieve great things.
What do you think makes TaxConnex unique?
I think we are the only sales tax compliance firm that really ‘gets it’. We understand the perfect combination of people and technology necessary to successfully manage a sales and use tax compliance outsourcing.
Was there anyone in your early career that inspired you to be an entrepreneur?
I was inspired to be an entrepreneur by an uncle. He ran a successful family business and was cool. I wanted to be like him. Once I became an entrepreneur, I was blessed to get a mentor that helped me be a successful entrepreneur!
Best advice an aspiring entrepreneur?
Just do it. Start no later than your mid-30’s. Be passionate about what you do.
How have you seen sales and use tax change since you’ve been in this field? And do you think it will continue to change and develop in the years to come?
The first major change I saw was the SSTP in the early 2000’s where an attempt was made to simplify state sales tax nationwide. The second major change was the 2018 Supreme Court case of Wayfair v SD which created economic nexus as the new nexus standard. The Wayfair case dramatically increased the sales tax market and the opportunities for providing sales tax related services.