Complete Integration with Ilya Radzinsky
Episode 136 of The Unique CPA features Ilya Radzinsky, co-founder of TaxDome, talking to Randy about how TaxDome’s practice management platform helps accounting firms organize their work, clients, and teams in an efficient yet easy-to-use way. TaxDome streamlines workflows, provides visibility for managers, and creates a professional client experience through their secure online portal. Ilya also shares insights on embracing technology to add value for clients and how in addition to the increase in efficiency, digitizing a practice can increase its sales value.
Today our guest is Ilya Radzinsky. Ilya is co-founder of TaxDome. I’m sure many of you have ever heard of TaxDome, and rather than me digging deep itto what TaxDome is, and who Ilya is, I’m gonna let him introduce himself. So Ilya, welcome to The Unique CPA.
Awesome. Thanks, Randy. You know, you asked me, what is TaxDome? So, in official terms, it’s a practice management platform for accountants, bookkeepers, and tax preparers. So if you’re, you know, looking at one of these reports that people are putting out, or searching the internet for a platform, those are the words you’ll see. But odds are, you’re not a software specialist, you’re not an investor, and those are just words that you’re hearing.
But here’s what we actually do in practical terms, right? So we help firms organize and manage their teams, their clients, their projects in really the most efficient manner. So whether or not you’re a doer—so if you’re a preparer or bookkeeper—or you’re a manager, you’ve got different things that you need. So we provide managers with oversight and visibility. And we provide doers with an easy interface to know exactly what they’re working on.
Now, the other thing that we focus on is really the client experience. So we’re not just B2B, where the accounting firm uses our platform, but we’re, you know, an all-in-one tool. So not only are you and your teammates logging into TaxDome to manage your work, but your clients are logging into a secure portal, both from their phone or from their desktop to communicate with your firm. Now, client portals, practice management, these are all terms that you know, exist in many ways, but odds are people want to know, well, how are you different? Why am I looking at you versus someone else?
And the way to think about it is, Apple isn’t the only firm that produces smartphones, right? I don’t know about you, but I use an iPhone, and there’s a specific feeling you get when you have an iPhone, that’s different from from other phones, right?
They all call, they all have apps, but there’s just a completely different feeling from other phones that also produce similar functionality. And that’s really what we do, but in the practice management space—we make it feel easy, all encompassing and fun, and again, very importantly, we focus on the client experience, because practitioners will get used to anything, right? You guys have been using systems that were designed in the 90s and early 2000s. And you don’t bat an eye, you’re used to it, right? That just, it is what it is, that’s you’re used to those systems.
But your clients, you know, they’re using modern apps. They’re used to a Shopify buying experience, right? They’re used to Netflix. They’re used to all these modern apps that have billions and billions of dollars of funding behind them. And when they log in or they interface with your firm, whether you like it or not, that’s what they’re coming to expect, and that’s what they’re comparing it to. So that’s why for us, we focus tremendously on the client experience and giving every firm whether or not your team of five or fifty, right, but you don’t have a million dollar budgets for your own apps. We’re giving you the ability to provide your clients that really amazing experience for all firms.
Yep, got it. I think buy-in from the clients, making that user experience, is so, so important. Because, you know, we are an industry where efficiency matters. And too often I think accountants don’t realize how technology, how these apps, how integrating TaxDome and other things can make them more efficient. Everybody listening to this show knows I’m a big proponent of work-life balance and, you know, efficiencies within the firm, and anything we can do to avoid burnout.
So great, we’ve got the client side, where they’re going to have buy-in, because it’s user friendly for them and they’re gonna see this ability. How about from the accountants’ side? Because to me, that’s just as important. I need to have them feel comfortable with the using of it, the integration of it, and realize that they’re going to have more free time, more efficiencies, because of the integration, so how was that built in to help the accountant on that end of things? Man, that was a long question!
All good, man! I got you. I got you. So I mean, this is how to think about it, right? So the first part of your question, if you boil it down, it’s number one is, what is the firm experience? And number two, how does it tie into the client experience, and how do you get buy-in from your team members? So this is a huge thing, right?
So any—the bigger your team is the you know, the bigger the ship is, right? The harder it is to move, the more people you have to convince. And switching systems, you’re always going to find that person in the middle that just doesn’t want to do it for one reason or not right for one reason or another. Now, that’s really where the flagship product, so to speak, of all this is automation, then it ties into your second part actually where you asked about the client experience.
Because TaxDome provides both the firm and the client experience, you’re able to have the entire workflow of tax, bookkeeping, accountant, wealth manager—whatever your workflow is, you’re able to have the entire thing in one system. So what I mean by that is the automation can not just say, “when this happens, do something else,” but you can have automation between what the client does and triggers something else from your team.
So work-life balance, you mentioned, right? Accountants forever have been spending so much time on A, fielding calls from clients, you know, what’s my status update? Right? What’s my status update, where are you on this, and it’s just a giant waste of time. We allow the client to always know exactly what’s going on, so you can get rid of that.
A second part is, again, keeping the client up to date. You can have an admin that you hire to check in on people, keep someone—send them reminders, tell them, hey, we’re still waiting on you. That’s all automated. But where it all ties in is, because we have signatures, invoices, emails, internal firm workflow, like tasks tied together, you can have things happen when another one happens.
So for example, let’s say you wanted to have an e-signature request—a standard, you know, tax preparer workflow—you prepare the return, you need to send them a signature request, you need to have the review, you need to have them pay you. You can have as soon as the e-signature request is sent as completed, the invoice be sent to the client, or vice versa, if you want to set it up that way. And then as soon as the client signs the document, you can have an automatic task for your admin to go and e-file the return. So at no point does anyone do anything. It’s like a conveyor belt, right? Henry Ford invented this in, you know, 1915 or 1920, whenever this was—the idea of an assembly line works, right? It works for McDonald’s, it works for tax practices, it works for bookkeeping practices, it works for any business. You need to be able to set up a standardized series of workflows and have the job flow through them. And we’re able to do that in a very unique manner, because it’s not just disparate systems of the internal firm system, and then some other system your client interfaces with, it’s all tied together.
Alright, that makes a lot of sense. Let’s, I think I’m going in backwards order. Now we start with the client that went to us, let’s go one step even further backwards. Because the one thing that I see, and I’m out talking about automation a lot—not that I, well, I do have a computer science degree, but I don’t work in a technology firm. But the one thing that I see when I’m talking about that, when I’m talking about efficiencies, is that there seems to be—and I think this is just engrained in people—a fear of some short term, what they consider pain. And so they may consider pain, “Oh, wow, I’m gonna get this new software, I’m gonna get TaxDome”—whatever it is—”and now, all this time and effort that I have to put in to get this going, is such a traumatic experience in my brain”—just my brain, not in reality, but they think it. And they don’t look at these long-term time savings efficiencies that you’re going to have. Is there anything that you try to do to get them past that, “Hey, you know, that’s just going to be so much work for us to integrate, we’re just going to ignore it and just SALY it—do the same thing we did last year”—is that something you run into? And if so, how do you get them past that?
So you always have resistance, right? And the resistance can come from multiple ways. You can have somebody fear client adoption, for example, right? That’s a common fear of, “My clients won’t go for this.” And that’s why we focus on the simplicity of the client experience, right? And, yes, it might be different from some clients of yours that are used to walking into your office, but those exact same clients—I assure you—are not walking into their bank to find out how much money’s in their checking account.
As long as what you provide them is valuable, as long as it saves them a drive, as long as it saves them a trip to the post office, as long as it’s convenient, and they can access it on their phones—I don’t know if you can see this, but I’m holding up my mobile phone.
Yeah! Got it!
Everything’s there. And as long as, you know, all of these people, especially elderly people, right? The biggest thing is “I have elderly clients, they’re not going to use this.” My dad is seventy years old, and he does not want to text, he does not want to use his phone for anything. But the one thing he uses his phone for is to look at a photo of his grandkids, right? He wants it. That gives them value. He loves it and he will not let go of his phone and his iPad, you’d have to rip it apart from his hands. And why? Because he finds value in it. So if he can figure out how to use Facebook to do that, and figure out how to use WhatsApp, your clients will want to use an app if it gives them value. So that’s on the client adoption side.
On the firm adoption side it’s different, right? It’s about delivering, a lot of times, especially as you talk to bigger firms, the people you’re speaking to are often gatekeepers, right? And that’s why I often talk about words like—I don’t want to use the term practice management, because what often happens is you have a firm owner, you have 50 people, firm owner says to somebody, “Hey, go get us a practice management system, you know, figure it out.” That person then starts googling to figure out what is a practice management system? How do I do this? And they’re just overwhelmed.
So one of the things that we do is, we provide key account managers whose goal is to educate you on really what you’re getting, right? So a lot of times people see words, but again, they are not professional software buyers—they are not professional system integrators. They are someone that works in an accounting firm that was tasked with “go set up a system for me.” And that’s an important thing to understand. So we try to keep everything in very much human speak, and try to really explain every single step, walk you through it, and really have you see again, just like your clients, have you see the value of what you’re getting.
So it’s not just about—if you solely focus on the upfront cost, it’s a very negative view, right? All you think about is, this is going to be hard, instead of what you’re getting as a result of the work you’re putting in. Now, one of the things that we do is we allow you to really customize, for your firm, for your workflows, right? So you have some firms that are high touch, some firms that are low touch, some firms that offer just tax, some people that offer a full service accounting—and they might have different workflows for different departments. You might have different setups, you might have different offices. So based on how complex your setup is, that will obviously determine how long the setup will be.
So for example, you know, we were talking earlier, and you mentioned you guys use Salesforce, and Salesforce is a super, super powerful tool, right? It’s amazing, it’s used—it’s the most powerful CRM tool on the planet, arguably. And it’s used by corporations everywhere. And if you look at Salesforce, they put in 30% fees on top for implementation. Why? Because it’s so powerful, and they can customize it to you, but they charge a very, very hefty price for it, right? The actual implementation cost.
Yep, oh yeah.
And this is I think, something that isn’t as clear a lot of times to people because again, they’re not professional software buyers—in that the more complex the system—like SAP, if you’ve ever heard of it out of Germany, for these, these huge, huge companies, it costs more to set up SAP than it does to buy it sometimes, because they’re so powerful, they’re so customizable. So if all of these bigger companies, what they realize is you have to focus on the value you’re getting, not just on the implementation. And from our end, we do everything possible to make it as easy as possible by again, assigning you a key account manager walking, you throw it, ready made templates, really anything we can do from our end to make it easy. But at the end of the day, you have to see the value for your firm, your team and your clients.
Yep. And I think those managers are probably tasked with the, the showing that the value and the ease of integration, or at least helping to ease that integration, because that’s the biggest thing I see is that people shut down when they think they have to start integrating this. So I think anything you can do for that, I think that’s awesome.
A couple things—and I know you’ve said you don’t like to use the project management verbiage—
I’m sorry, practice management terminology. But I’m gonna use it for a second, because there are a lot of tools out there, you know, practice management tools, even though you use different words. And so when we’re looking at, when somebody’s out there trying to decide, what am I going to use? How am I gonna do it? How do you stand out? How do you differentiate? And I know you’ve told us a lot already that probably ties into that, but what are the key things you say, Hey, this is why TaxDome is the way to go?
Sure. I mean, there’s a couple parts to it. One is, I do think that if you’re looking to buy software today, it’s the best time it’s ever been, right? There’s a lot of great options out there. You’re able to do research, you’re able to really see what works for you and what you want. So if you are in that market today, there’s a lot of amazing resources that can help you. There’s a lot of companies, all you know, tackling different problems. So it’s a great place to be a software buyer, a great time to be a software buyer, rather.
Yep. Oh yeah.
Now, obviously, where we differ. And what we recommend to do is, don’t just look at where the firm is, but where the firm is going, right? So for example, we started in 2017. And today, we have over 10,000 firms using our platform. We’re in over 25 countries, and we have over 250 people on our team that are building this product day in and day out. And we’re focused on the future, right? Our goal is not where we are today, but we’re going to be the next Intuit. And I’m, you know, you can hear it here first and so forth. And what I mean by the next Intuit, I’m talking about in terms of size and scale, in terms of value delivered to the industry, rather I would say, right? Being a household name.
And that’s really our goal and we’re going to continue growing we’re continue to do that, developing features, because at the end of the day, a lot of features and problems will overlap, right? Someone comes out with something, someone else does the same. And a lot of it has to do with, what’s your overall big picture? And in my mind, the industry is going to naturally go towards a few key players over time, because this happens in every industry. Because many of these companies that are solving something, over time inevitably, especially in a higher interest rate environment, they’re not going to be able to raise funding. They’re not going to be able to continue on this path that kind of they’re going. And what they’re going to see is, the bigger your product gets, the harder it is to make changes, the harder it is to improve. Because it’s a lot easier to develop, the smaller you are. The bigger company you get, the harder, the longer it takes, and so forth. So from our standpoint, that’s why we’ve always focused on the big picture first, of we are a practice management platform that tackles both the firm and the client, and we cover all that for you, and we’re gonna continue developing, we’ll continue improving those things.
And what we do is we really listen to the clients. So I’m a co-founder, but also I head up the product team. So I have twenty products that report to me, but I’m still speaking to clients every single day. Our sales team, our customer service team, our product managers, everyone is speaking to clients every single day. What I mean by that is anyone building any tool can get bogged down into their own world. But for us, it’s important to speak to clients to learn about their problems and get that feedback on a consistent basis, because the problems we’re solving for today, aren’t—you know, you have to be mindful of problems tomorrow. Nobody from the software buying world thought mobile apps were necessary. And then you wake up one day and you know, you need to have a mobile app.
So we’re always looking to the future. We’re always looking at not from a, “where are you seeing the product today,” but “where’s the product gonna be in two years, five years, ten years?”
Yep, I like that, because you actually beat me to the punch, because I was actually thinking, the next question, we’re going to talk about the future of TaxDome. So I do want to still ask that a little bit. Because you just talked about the fact that you are looking into the future, you’re trying to stay ahead of the curve, which is extremely important. Because if you’re not, you’re gonna be gone. And so there’s a few things. Just, I don’t know if there’s any specific functionality that you think is going to be important moving forward. But I think as important as that is, obviously everybody’s looking at how AI is going to affect how things work. So maybe we start with the AI integration, or how AI is going to be part of TaxDome. Or is it already? So just give us a background on AI and how that’s going to interplay with you.
Definitely, definitely. I mean, AI is—I wouldn’t say it’s the future—AI is today.
Oh yeah, you’re right.
You’re seeing AI is today, and you’re seeing, you know, I saw some great information—there’s a, you know, a CEO of a big AI company said yesterday that he thinks that there’s been more developments in AI in the last year than in the last ten years. And this isn’t some random talking head, this is the CEO of a very heavily funded AI company. So it’s growing super, super fast.
Now, from our perspective, we’ve seen a lot of AI developments in the space. But in my mind, they’re not really groundbreaking, right? I think, for example, composing emails, you know, editing text—those are all things that are going to be the core of Gmail and the core of any email. You’re not really adding much there. I think it’s, most of it is done for, you know, big bells and whistles, “We have AI,” kind of like, you know, putting dot-com in 1999, at the end of your domain, made your company value go up tremendously. So I think it’s a lot similar to that.
We’re doing a lot of work on AI, but internally, we’re looking at it to be a real groundbreaking thing, right? So, you know, we’ve all seen it. I think it’s kind of, it’s all, it’s great, it’s, they’re all wrappers on top of ChatGPT, it’s great, and you know, at the end of the day, I think OpenAI is going to do a lot more with that than any other company can. You know, that’s kind of my viewpoint on it.
So I think AI is tremendous. And I think there’s a lot of companies trying to figure out really the ways to truly add value with AI. There’s the wrapper, so to speak, and then there’s the true value. And that’s really what we’re working on from an internal firm reporting perspective, from a, there’s a lot more there. But I would say it’s not focused on purely the content part, which I think is nice, and we’re going to add that as well. But we don’t want to come out with that, because I think it’s too small. We’re thinking much bigger picture.
Okay. Alright. So we’re going to have to wait and see what the AI integration into TaxDome is going to be and when it’s coming up, but I appreciate that, and your insights on that.
So that was all great data. I’m really interested on you and your product and see where you’re going. But let’s just talk in general for the industry for the profession, you know? What are the, like, the biggest tech challenges you’re seeing accountants have to deal with?
Sure. So I think accountants—let’s call a spade a spade, it’s an older profession, right? The average accountant is over 40, and in terms of tech adoption, it’s not exactly the quickest there, right? Because again, people are older, they’ve got a lot of small businesses, they’re more hesitant to change. But they want to embrace it, right? They listen to this podcast, they’re on all these forums, they’re looking for it, right? They want to dabble their feet, and they want to learn about it. So they want to embrace change, but they’re afraid of it. And not just that, but you know, it’s what we talked about earlier, they’re afraid of not just of whether their clients will adapt to the tools.
And like I said, as long as you add value, people will adapt and find that they love it. You have to remember, why do your clients hire you? One of the biggest reasons clients hire accountants is to make them feel at ease.
Yeah. Oh, yeah.
It really is. You know, we overthink things too much. At the end of the day, if you make them feel at ease, kind of like people hire personal trainers, partially for the experience of talking to somebody for an hour and not just the, you know—they can work out on their own, it’s just a different experience. So if you can make them feel at ease, if you can add value, and then really focus on the, like I said, the adding value and not the administrative part, right?
So if you serve businesses, if you can add value and add insight into the actual finances of the business, the more you as an accountant can embed yourself into, you know, helping them with projections, helping them understand the business end of it, the more you can focus on the business end, and not just on the compliance end, the more you’re able to add value, the more you can charge. And that’s really what, in my opinion, I think the industry should be focused towards.
Because compliance over time is going to become a—it already is—but it’s going to become a commodity. Prices don’t go up for it. But prices for value, if you’re able to save somebody $50,000, you can charge a lot more than you would for simply the compliance aspect of it. So embracing technology doesn’t just mean, you know, turning your personal business, which oftentimes, you know, again, in the accounting industry, as a lot of small businesses, doesn’t mean turning your small business into a faceless corporation, right? They’re worried, “Oh, my clients are going to feel impersonal.” But if you leverage technology, that can allow owners and staff to really double down on again, what they’re being hired for: delivering value. Remember, that’s what the client wants. That’s what they want at the end of the day is they want to feel at ease in their finances, whether it’s their personal, or whether it’s their business. That’s what they’re hiring you, the expert, for, not for simply the compliance.
Yep. And it’s the relationship. I agree with you completely because, I mean, honestly, and sorry, accountants, and I’m a CPA, but none of us are that much different than the other person out there. But it’s that relationship you build with that client, that ease, like you said, of knowing that you’ve got their back, and you’re going to help them and you’re not going to allow them to get into trouble. And if there’s issues, you’re going to help solve it. But that’s the relationship part. We all can have expertise at some level. So that relationship. And then what you said, and you’re talking my language, that value, you can show that value then that you’ve brought, which is amazing.
Alright, so one thing you said when we were just talking there about the challenges is that, sure, we are an older profession. And one thing I want to do is try to change that. But the fact that we are—we have a lot of boomers that own small firms. And so their thought is probably, “Hey, I’m done in a year or five years” or whatever. “Why am I going to take time now, you know, to integrate new software to update, you know, I’m going to sell in five years, and so why am I going to take this pain,” not that it’s pain, but that’s their thought process, “of doing this now, this new integration of some new software?” What do you say about that? Or how do you address that?
I think it’s a great question. Businesses are sold on multiples of EBITDA, revenue, whatever financial term you want to look at. But effectively, someone looks at how much money you earn, and says, “I’m willing to pay X times that for your business.” People will pay a much higher multiple for a turnkey, modern business that is much easier to transition, where the client base is simply transferred through a login, as opposed through a, you know, pieces of paper and some intricate system that nobody that wants to buy a firm will want to work with, right?
If it’s in your head, if it’s some, it’s not a piece of paper, but spreadsheets or you know, ten different systems that nobody knows how they work, and that if you’re away for a week, everything crashes, nobody can figure out how everything works. Nobody wants to buy that business, right? They’ll buy it at the end of the day, and businesses are sold, and I’m sure you know, you go to these conferences, there’s all these brokers there that try to help accountants sell businesses.
And they do. But they sell for low multiples. And if you have a business that is modern, if it’s all digital, the transfer of clients is much easier. The transfer documentation, the transfer of workflows, the transfer of everything is much, much easier. The easier it is, the more profitable the business, the more people will pay for it. So the reason that you should invest in transferring to a system and really digitizing, is because you’re going to make more money off of it. So you know, the best way to think about it is, if you remodel your bathroom, you’re gonna spend, you know, $10 or $15,000, but the ROI on that of selling your house is you know, it adds $100,000 to your house, something like that.
Think of it in the same exact way.: Yes, it’s an investment, but nobody wants to—if you see pictures of a home with an old, you know, clunky bathroom, and it’s gonna look very different than a modern bathroom. So think of that exact same home buying experience, but from the person buying an accounting firm, they’re just willing to pay much more, because they can see that it’s already set up.
Right, we’ve got the efficiencies there. You’ve got a background in investment banking— we were talking about this beforehand—my son does as well. And so you know, getting that, the value of that business up before you sell—that EBITDA up, let’s say—before you sell it, is important. If somebody, let’s say somebody’s listening now, and they think, “Hey, I got three years left,” you know, what is a time frame that they need to really ramp up to increase the value so that they are maximizing that sales price that they can get and enjoy a better retirement?
It’s a matter of weeks.
I think that’s a huge misconception, right? I mean, you know, we were talking before—you’re a firm of 80. A firm of 80, depending on how established your processes are, you’re gonna have to convince 80 people to use a different system, right? That takes time—that takes months, that takes training, that takes workshops, it takes getting a lot of people on board, right? So simply by the more people you have, the longer it takes.
If you’re a firm that’s, you know, under 20 people, you can get set up in a matter of weeks, right? And that’s really the way to think about it is, everything’s in stages. The way we do things is we create an implementation plan for you. So we learn about your processes, we learn about your existing processes. How are you managing your work today? How are you interfacing with your clients today? And then what you do is you create an implementation plan and a transition plan of which systems you’re going to transition immediately, which systems you might want to keep for the first little bit and transition afterwards.
So in the technology world, there’s something called an MVP—it means “minimal viable product.” And oftentimes, firms, when they start transitions, they roll it out maybe to a couple of people, and then they put on one department, for example. And then you add another department, you add another department. And once you have buy-in from one department, everybody else, you know, comes on board. So to your question of how long does it take, it really is a matter of weeks, possibly way sooner. Again, it just depends on how intricate your processes are, how well documented they are already. You know, we can get somebody set up in a day, two days. But when I say multiple weeks, two and a half of those weeks are talking to you to learn about what you’re already doing.
So it’s like getting those processes out of your head onto paper and mind mapping them—that’s actually what takes the longest period of time, not the actual implementation. So the firms that are already slightly more tech forward or thought of this and have those processes mapped out, you’ve done the hard part. The actual setup, the implementation, that’s the easy part.
Alright, so don’t fear change, which is what we do too much. Because one, it’s going to make you more efficient, whether it’s for the next firm owner, or for you, as you continue.
So we just talked about the challenges that firms are facing, but how about you, your firm? I mean, there’s challenges you’re facing too. What are they and how do you address that?
So we mentioned earlier about how we release a lot of features, right? So one of the things that we’re battling with is how to balance releasing new features, and keeping our community up to date on those releases. So because we’re making so many updates, because we’re moving so fast, it’s sometimes overwhelming for our community to stay up to date. Now, we’re addressing this—we’ve built out a dedicated education team. So we have a whole team that’s focused on, you know, kind of like your company, you got departments, right? So we have a whole team that’s focused on making videos and making webinars. They’re constantly updating our help and our guides. We’ve built what we call the TaxDome Academy, for people that prefer more course type work, which a lot of accountants do. You know, give me a structured course, I want to take this and pass that and I’ll know everything that’s going on. We have those.
So learning styles vary, and our education team has done a really great job in creating content for both visual and verbal learners. And I don’t know when this is going to be released, but in the next quarter we’re going to be releasing both—we’ve already released, actually, updated webinars, but we’re also going to be coming out with a bootcamp to really you know, you were talking about how long it takes to get set up, and so forth. We’re doing a five day bootcamp where at the end of that boot camp, you’re going to be fully set up, everything’s gonna be fully done for you, and our team is going to be walking you through that.
So it’s kind of interesting, right? You release so much that then you have to teach people how to use it—that’s a great problem to have, right, is that we’re very forward thinking. And yes, we understand that sometimes, again, people don’t want change, and those people that don’t want change could be people already using your software. But you know, we’re looking to always improve, we’re looking to skate where the puck is going, so to speak. But we are also putting in a great deal of resources to assist with that through the education team.
Yep. I think education is huge. I’m all about education. That’s pretty much what I do, so I appreciate that. I really think you should have your own podcast. You’re good at this!
So let’s transition out—two questions I want to ask. The first one I ask every guest, and then it’s extremely important to me. I know about you now and within the company, but I don’t know about you personally. So let’s talk about what you do outside of work—what are your outside of work passions, because to me that really makes you who you are. Great, IT and TaxDome and all that, that’s part of what you do. But what’s your outside of work passions?
Well, purely from a physical sense, I’ve gotten into golf the past few years. So both my brother and I have taken up golf. So trying to learn to play this very, very difficult game.
But I’m enjoying it. And on another personal side, I very much love to learn from what I consider visionaries, right? So I think there are so many great resources today of really seeing what other people have done and following in their footsteps. So right now, I’m reading Rockefeller Letters, where he wrote—John D. Rockefeller wrote thirty plus letters over the course of thirty years to his son, and it’s fascinating. I find it so interesting because again, he came from nothing, the elder Rockefeller, and then obviously became the richest man in the world. And him writing letters to his son, who was obviously born into insane wealth, I find fascinating, because he sees it from both sides.
So on the one hand, he’s alerting him of the privilege that he has, and in one way, to make the most of it and to make sure that he’s doing it, but on the other hand, to be aware that growing up without means also gives you a certain chip on your shoulder that he’ll never have, so to be aware of that, which I find interesting. So both, you know, I’m a first generation—I’m not even first generation, I’m a zero generation, I’m an immigrant. I moved here when I was six, my brother moved—he was 14—but we moved here from Ukraine and kind of grew up here, so it’s definitely been an interesting path to get to where we are today, but it’s exciting. And that’s why I like looking at what other people have done, and kind of following—learning about others and following in their paths.
That’s cool. I like that a lot. So we’ve got golf and learning from others from the past. I’ll go with those.
And then one last question, if people want to find out more about you, and obviously TaxDome, where would they look?
So, you can reach me at Ilya@TaxDome.com. But I do a lot of webinars for our team, you know, new product releases and so forth. So look out for me there. But otherwise, if you’re a client, I’d love to speak with you, we’re always speaking to clients as much as we can. And at conferences, so I think you mentioned a conference we were at, we did maybe fifteen conferences, maybe even more. So please, if you guys go to these conferences, we’d love to meet you there, talk to you, learn about everything.
This was great, Randy. Thank you so much for the intro, and thank you so much for the time.
You got it, Ilya. Thank you so much for being on the show. I appreciate it.
About the Guest
Ilya Radzinsky, CFA is the co-founder and COO of TaxDome, which he helped establish in 2017. Ilya sports a diverse work experience in various roles and industries, having served as head of software development at PracticeDev as well as portfolio manager at Exis Capital, with a focus on technology, growth, and retail and commodities investments. Ilya had previously worked as a quantitative trading analyst at UBS.
Ilya earned his bachelor’s degree in Finance from Binghamton University, and he holdsa Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) certification from the CFA Institute.
Meet the Host
Randy Crabtree, CPA
Randy Crabtree, co-founder and partner of Tri-Merit Specialty Tax Professionals, is a widely followed author, lecturer and podcast host for the accounting profession.
Since 2019, he has hosted the bi-weekly “The Unique CPA,” podcast, which ranks among the world’s 5% most popular programs (Source: Listen Score). You can find articles from Randy in Accounting Today’s Voices column, the AICPA Tax Adviser (Tax-saving opportunities for the housing and construction industries) and he is a regular presenter at conferences and virtual training events hosted by CPAmerica, Prime Global, Leading Edge Alliance (LEA), Allinial Global and several state CPA societies. Crabtree also provides continuing professional education to top 100 CPA firms across the country.
Schaumberg, Illinois-based Tri-Merit is a niche professional services firm that specializes in helping CPAs and their clients benefit from R&D tax credits, cost segregation, the energy efficient commercial buildings deduction (179D), the energy efficient home credit (45L) and the employee retention credit (ERC).
Prior to joining Tri-Merit, Crabtree was managing partner of a CPA firm in the greater Chicago area. He has more than 30 years of public accounting and tax consulting experience in a wide variety of industries, and has worked closely with top executives to help them optimize their tax planning strategies.