Stay up to date on changes that affect your profession.
Harold Adrion is an international tax consultant working in New York City. He has been practicing tax law for more than 35 years. He has provided his expertise on numerous international transactions, including mergers and acquisitions. He strives to provide his clients with the best services through strong communications and consistent studying on the ever-developing tax landscape.
He has worked with the Treasury Department, as well as the Internal Revenue Service on tax treaty issues.
With many clients overseas, requiring Harold to work long hours, it’s hard to imagine he has much free time. When he does, he enjoys playing and continuing to learn the violin.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
I became interested in tax while I was in law school. It started with me taking a class that I’d found challenging at first, but I excelled in. I continued in tax through graduate school, so it was second nature to me by the time I graduated.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Since most of my clients are international, my typical day starts early with calls to Europe. I am constantly reviewing tax law changes and how they affect the transactions I am working on. I am on the phone late into the night with clients in Asia.
How do you bring ideas to life?
First and foremost, through research. Tax laws change frequently, so if I learn something needs to be updated in an existing transaction, it’s imperative that I communicate that with my clients as quickly as possible. I make sure that I understand what my client is trying to accomplish, find the best method to reach that goal, then apply it.
What’s one trend that excites you?
Many countries have been recently making strides in becoming more transparent with cross-border transactions. Personally, I think this is long overdue and I am excited to see it happen. I feel it will only make things easier to complete.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I drink a lot of coffee throughout the day. Since I work such odd hours to maintain open communication with the international community, I need to stay on my toes. I also find time to exercise, which helps with mental alertness.
What advice would you give your younger self?
The advice I would give the younger Harold Adrion would be the importance of reading as much as possible. When I was younger, I never understood how much reading allows you to learn new things constantly. This not only a benefit to everyday life but in my professional life, one can never know too much. The tax world is always changing, and I have been saved from making several mistakes, just from taking the time to educate myself and read further.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
I would say something that some people do not further agree with me, is the importance of integrating technology into our everyday work life. It is important that we stay knowledgeable about incoming technologies so we know how to use them as best as we can.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
No matter what profession you are in, it is important to keep up with any changes in your area of expertise. I recommend reading as much as you can. With a constant shifting in international tax law, reading is the best way to keep pace with changes that may affect my clients.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Especially with tax law, you need to be responsive and accurate. I’ve built my reputation as someone who will not only be effective but will keep my clients informed at every step as well.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
Not necessarily what I would consider a failure, but certainly something I’ve had to work on is dealing with different personalities. I need to be sure we are communicating effectively in order to understand their goals. After so long in this field, I can do this, but it was a work in progress for some time starting out.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
One business idea that I would propose would be an online clothing company that allows your image to be superimposed on the clothing itself. You would no longer have a difficulty of scrolling through multiple pages with enormous choices; they would already condense options for you.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I continue to take music lessons every week. I find peace in it and I believe it’s still the best money I spend.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I use several different tax software programs. They keep me up to date on any changes in international tax law and are extremely helpful in my day to day work life.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I would recommend for those interested in gaining more information about the world of tax and investment to read “Principles of Taxation for Business and Investment Planning”. This book covers the fundamental things people should know.
What is your favorite quote?
I would say something I have always lived by has been “push yourself, because no one else is going to do it for you”.
• Be accurate and responsive
• Stay up to date on changes that affect your profession
• Make time for yourself
• Maintain your interests outside of work
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.