Harold Adrion is an international tax consultant in New York. With over thirty-five years of experience, Harold specializes in cross-border transactions and tax planning. Harold works with large multinational corporations, as well as nonresident business investors.
Harold graduated from Albion College in Michigan before moving to on to receive his law degree from Quinnipiac Law School in Connecticut. It was while in law school that he found his interest in tax law.
Even in his free time, Harold continues to follow any changes in the tax laws. He regularly contributes to tax journals. He also enjoys playing the violin.
How did you get started in this business? What inspired you to start this business?
In my second year at law school, I had decided to take a tax course. I found the course challenging, but I enjoy a challenge. I had the feeling that I would not do entirely well, so I continued to work harder at it, and it paid off. I ended up with the highest grade in the class and continued taking tax courses thereafter.
When I graduated, I chose to continue with tax law and joined a firm where I was able to hone my skills. International tax law was alluring to me in that it is constantly changing. You need to be aware of all the moving parts to advise properly. I found I have a knack for it and involved the interplay of different country laws.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
I am grateful that I really didn’t ever doubt that this was the direction my career would go. Ever since that first tax class, my interest lay with tax. It was only natural for me to continue studying and eventually begin practicing this area.
How did you get your first customer?
When you first graduate with your degree, most people seek out a successful firm that will enhance their skills. I was fortunate to join a firm early and was able to build my clientele quickly. I gained a lot of experience from my initial place of work, which made it easier to transition to different positions as time went on.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works well to generate new business?
I don’t do very much marketing other than referrals. This is not an area that requires advertising. It is a very specific area of expertise and referrals are still the best source for new clients.
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
Thankfully, international tax law is black and white. There aren’t tough decisions to be made so much as ensuring my client is following proper tax protocol for their transactions. If we, as tax consultants, are doing our jobs to the fullest, then there is not much room for error or tough decision making.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
My experience, of course, plays a role in my success. I am a hard worker. Clients appreciate my timeliness and my accuracy in providing the proper information for their transaction.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
I don’t think I can narrow down just one. I have been involved with a number of deals that have had successful outcomes. I find the conclusion of every transaction satisfying, knowing that my job has been completed.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
International tax law changes regularly, both from the US and from foreign countries. We will keep being diligent with current laws to be sure our clients will be prosperous in their transactions.
What business books have inspired you?
There isn’t really a specific book I’ve read that has guided me in my career. I read a lot on recent developments. These help to keep me informed on current trends and on-going information about my field.
What advice would you give to someone interested in international tax law?
I would recommend they obtain a masters in tax; either an LLM or MST, then find a large accounting or law firm that will help them build their experience. Tax law has several areas to specialize in. Only through experience can you find your niche to work in.