Through its Business Model and Mission, ATAX Promotes Diversity in Franchising
The ATAX tax-preparation and business-services franchise takes pride in assisting multicultural taxpayers and business owners. Diversity is woven into the culture of the 36-year-old company, which is led by President Alberto J. Ortiz.
The company had modest beginnings: It was founded in New York with $200, two computers and a fax machine. When ATAX began franchising in 2007, the company was the nation’s first Latino-owned tax preparation, bookkeeping/payroll franchise. ATAX supports the International Franchise Association’s DiversityFran (formerly called MinorityFran) program, which helps IFA members tap emerging markets and promotes diversity in franchising. ATAX is also pro-veteran, one of 600 IFA member companies helping U.S. military veterans achieve their entrepreneurial dreams through franchise ownership after serving their country.
“We want to serve our clients where they are and mirror the diversity they represent in the language they prefer.”
ATAX’s Pro-Diversity Mission
ATAX isn’t bashful about its pro-diversity mission, stating on its website: “We want to serve our clients where they are and mirror the diversity they represent in the language they prefer. Our retail concept allows you to open the doors to your very own office on Main Street or a location with high foot traffic that allows you to be a financial services center in your community.”
Today Virginia-based ATAX has 73 locations, many of them on the East Coast, and looks to expand. Franchisees enjoy four key year-round revenue streams: bookkeeping, tax returns, payroll and incorporation services. ATAX technology integrates these services seamlessly. As the saying goes, there’s no escaping death and taxes, so the company’s recession-resistant services stay in high demand.
Franchisees enjoy a range of support from ATAX leaders, one of which is tax-preparation and franchise industry legend John T. Hewitt, Loyalty Brands CEO – ATAX has partnered with Loyalty Brands since 2019. (Hewitt was co-founder of Jackson Hewitt tax preparation service and sole founder of Liberty Tax Service.) ATAX starts by helping franchisees find optimum sites or by providing assistance to existing accounting firm owners who want to convert their businesses into an ATAX franchise. Ongoing support includes weekly webinars, one-on-one coaching and multiple site visits annually.
The ATAX brand has been honored in many ways, including: In 2020 and 2021, on Entrepreneur magazine’s list of top 500 franchises, and in 2020, ranked in Entrepreneur’s Franchise 500 and received a Top Franchises Satisfaction Award from Franchise Business Review. In 2014, ATAX was recognized as one of the nation’s Top 50 Low Cost Franchises in the nation by Franchise Business Review (the franchise fee is $40,000, and start-up costs are typically $40,000 to $80,000).
Diversity in Franchising
ATAX franchisees share their insights on the company’s inclusive nature and what its services mean for underserved communities.
Enrique Medina • ATAX – Highlands, Colorado
“As a Latino CPA, I struggled to find a niche of talent and support that catered to my predominately Spanish-speaking client base. I ran my office for 12 years before joining the ATAX family. Now, as an ATAX franchisee, I have the support that I didn’t have running a business solo. ATAX provides tools to make my practice thrive and succeed.
I have witnessed diversity firsthand by attending the ATAX Convention in Virginia Beach. I engaged in great dialogue with other ATAX franchisees from across the country. We are all working to provide great service to our customers. By sharing our success stories, we can incorporate best practices for our offices.
The ATAX franchise is a game-changer for potential entrepreneurs who want to provide value and financial literacy to their communities. Most under-served communities have a language barrier component that hinders an individual or business from asking important questions about their taxes or financial status. Often, there’s a fear of miscommunication with the tax professional. At ATAX, one of our main focuses is community awareness and giving back. Our Back-to-School drive campaign last year provided much-needed school and personal protective equipment supplies to the schools near our franchise locations across the country.”
Digna Cueto • ATAX – Elmhurst, New York
“ATAX started from the beginning with diversity and inclusion in their mission statement. Since Day-One I have felt part of a culture that is inclusive of everyone. Everyone who joins ATAX feels they have the opportunity to grow and succeed. The more diverse we are, the stronger, smarter and more innovative we get.”
For more information, visit www.ataxfranchise.com