At Xero, our customers come from different walks of life all around the world. So, it is important that our programs, platform and people are reflective of the unique communities that we support. In the US, Latino entrepreneurs alone have started businesses at a pace 15 times the national average over the past decade. This fast-growing sector, instrumental to the success of the US economy, faces unique challenges and will require dedicated support in order to continue to thrive.
Last year, we announced our partnership with the Latino Tax Professionals Association (LTPA). This year, we’re thrilled to be returning to LTPA’s annual conference, Latino Tax Fest, as lead sponsor. Together, we’re arming tax professionals with the training and resources needed to effectively serve the Latino market.
More than 30 years ago, recognizing that there was a lack of Spanish-speaking tax preparation specialists, Carlos C. Lopez founded the LTPA. As CEO, he leads an organization that provides training and education for tax preparers looking to serve the Latino market.
He says it is human nature for people to feel more comfortable around others with shared life experiences. He equates what small business owners look for in their advisor with the deeply personal relationship between a doctor and their patient. The more Spanish-speaking tax professionals out there, the better.
“A lot of people are more comfortable with a doctor who is more like them, speaks their language and is from the same ethnic background,” Lopez explains. “It’s human nature, even though I wish it were different. If we understand and recognize that, we’ll be able to be more successful.”
Mark Madrid, CEO of the Latino Business Action Network, agrees.
“One of the most prominent inhibitors to a growth and scale mindset for Latino small business owners is access to capital,” Mark says. “According to the 2017 Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative State of Latino Entrepreneurship research report, a lack of preparedness among Latino small business owners may be impeding their access to many types of external funding, especially from government and financial institutions. This is precisely where the trusted advisor comes in.”
The road ahead
At Xero, we’re committed to continuing to support the Latino accounting and small business community. Growing up, I helped my father, an immigrant, run the family business. Often I look back and think about how differently things might have gone if he had an accountant, a trusted advisor, there to help him with all the decisions along the way.
Today, I’m proud to lead Xero’s strategy for the Latino market. We’ve got a lot of exciting things in the works for the market, including Xero certification in Spanish. We recently appointed a new ambassador, Nury Saenz, who will be focused on supporting Latino Xero partners. Come along and meet Nury at Latino Tax Fest, where she will be presenting on how to become a Schedule C champion in both English and Spanish.
At Xero, we know that by connecting small business owners with the right advice and the right platforms, we can exponentially increase their odds of success. Looking ahead, we’ll be partnering with the Latino small business community to make this happen.
Heading to Latino Tax Fest and want to learn more about upleveling your tax practice for the Latino market? Visit us at our booth in the exhibit hall.