Tax Traders has achieved B Corporation (B Corp) Certification in recognition of its efforts to help transform the economy into a more inclusive, equitable and regenerative system.
When Josh and Nicola Taylor founded Tax Traders in 2011, their vision was to change the way local businesses pay taxes, and become a force for social good in the process.
Not only has the firm just become one of around 150 New Zealand companies to receive the accolade, it was also named Best for the World in Governance in its first year, placing it among the top 5% globally for ethics, accountability and transparency. It's one of only 11 NZ B Corps to be recognised as Best in the World.
The criteria that companies have to meet to be eligible for the certification are notoriously strict, and typically require applicants to make significant improvements to processes across their organisation in order to demonstrate success to the judges. That wasn't the case for Tax Traders, as their deliberate approach from day one has seen them structure their business with their clients, employees and communities at top of mind.
“The first time we heard about B Corp was at a CA ANZ conference in 2019,” says Josh Taylor. “One of the speakers was talking about the benefits, and it was like he was speaking our language. We’d found a group of like-minded people who were just as passionate as we were about wanting business to be a force for good.”
Doing business differently
Through the early parts of their careers, the couple saw firsthand how socially irresponsible business could be, and drawing on their backgrounds in banking and law, they wanted to play their part in creating a fundamental change in how economies operate.
"We had an idea that we could demonstrate an alternative approach, show others what it means for business to link with purpose by placing people first and contributing what we could to solve the problems the world faces,” says Josh. “We wanted what we do as a business to result in healing, joy, and deep satisfaction for people.”
Long before customer-centricity became a buzzword, Tax Traders set out to place their customers at the core of its business model. “When we started our business 10 years ago, the system was aimed at serving the large corporates, but it wasn’t delivering options for SMEs and small taxpayers who needed flexibility around the length of term or the option to pay in instalments rather than lump sums,” says Taylor. “We wanted to help companies pay their taxes at a time that suits their cash flow, but also satisfies their obligations to the Tax Office.”
To give its customers the level of flexibility, functionality, and automation they needed and were asking for, Tax Traders developed a cutting-edge software solution that has placed the company at the top of the tax technology industry.
“We started by asking, ‘What are the challenges our customers are facing? How can we solve them? How can we help them flourish?’” says Taylor. “Rather than creating a tool that worked for us and selling it to our customers, we figured out their needs first and built tools around them. We then had to figure out how to deliver it at a price point that would work and how to make the software work for us.”
Making the world a better place
Tax Traders’ mission extends far beyond helping New Zealanders pay their taxes on time. “We want people to go home after working eight hours and be better humans and better parents because they still have energy in the tank,” says Taylor. “We want them to feel better about themselves at the end of the day than they did at the start. We’re putting energy into making the world better.”
Being a Certified B Corp comes with a broad range of responsibilities and companies need to be re-certified every three years, but Tax Traders is up to the task. “Once you become a B Corp, you wonder, ‘How can we become a better B Corp?’” says Taylor. “It’s a way of life. The B Corp categories are governance, customers, community, workers, and environment, and you can’t make the B Corp standard without being competent across all of those areas. You have to believe in what you’re doing - it can’t just be a box-ticking exercise.”
"We had an idea that we could show others what it means for business to link with purpose by placing people first and contributing what we could to solve the problems the world faces."
Josh Taylor, Tax Traders
Josh and Nicola believe businesses have a responsibility to help make the world a better place. “Anyone can run a business and give the profits to charity, but if you’re harming your employees, damaging the environment, or leaving your community worse off as a result, there’s no amount of money that can undo the damage you’ve already done. We need to be socially responsible about the way we do business. We need to start from a point of looking after our employees, our community, and the environment, and whatever profit is left after that is our profit. That principle is at the heart of B Corp and it really resonates with us.”