Richard Lavina, co-founder of Taxfyle, is using financial technology to bring efficiency and innovation to the tax and accounting industries not traditionally on the forefront of rapid change.
"At the conclusion of one of my corporate CPA projects, I handed over an invoice for millions of dollars," he said. "I noted that I wasn't getting that personally which means there must be a more efficient way to get your taxes done. Usually accounting is one of the last industries to see some progress in software and innovation. I thought about empowering CPAs to do their work more efficiently and effectively. That same day, I took Uber to my office and thought about the driver's freedom from clocking in and out and that they get to eat most of their kill per ride. My thought was to combine that model with more efficient accounting software."
Thus was born Taxfyle, an on-demand marketplace where customers can connect in real time with tax experts to do their taxes for them. "It's as simple as uploading your documents and letting an expert on other end do your taxes for you," Lavina explained. "All follow up is done through the app. We also have a web-based, browser-friendly login so you can work on your desktop. It's extremely simple. I'm a CPA and if it was a pain for me to do taxes, I thought it would be a pain for others who don’t have a business background, let alone someone who is a CPA. What's easier than passing the buck and letting someone else do the dirty work for you?"
Lavina's advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is that you must be fully committed and ready for hard work. "It's easy to think the idea is everything, but that can lead to pitfalls in fundraising or establishing a business," he said. "You have to realize that things in practice are harder than on paper so the best way to assert some sense of confidence in potential investors or co-founders is to just go ahead and create the product. Create the beta and try to get some customers. You do that and you check a lot of problems off the list, like how does this look and is there a product/market fit. Entrepreneurship is binary. You're either in or out. If you're going to do it, do it. Dive in head first."