"Since our focus on online retail, we have seen a large influx of young employees." - Tim Hütte in the fynax interview

Fatih-Kağan Taşkoparan

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First a tax assistant, now Team Lead in e-commerce. In this fynax interview, Tim Hütte tells us why the focus on online retail was strategically important, why career changers can also get off to a flying start in tax firms and what you should pay particular attention to when advising e-commerce companies.

What role do you play in the company?

I work for the law firm ETL Meyer Hütte & Kollegen in Bochum. I was initially employed as a tax assistant, but am now Team Lead for fynax and Felix1 and therefore generally responsible for e-commerce. My areas of responsibility include the orientation of the e-commerce division, strategic employee and client acquisition and the further development of the Bochum office.

How many tax consultants or employees do you have?

We have a total of 30 employees, including two tax advisors, trainees, tax clerks, the back office and employees in the coordination department. Although the majority of our firm is made up of tax specialists, we also have a few career changers who do not come directly from the industry and are retrained by us accordingly. You can also make a start as a career changer in tax firms, we are quite open and have had good experiences.

When did you and your law firm join fynax and why did you decide to do so?

We became part of fynax in October 2021. The reasons behind this can be summarized relatively simply: the industry is super exciting, complex, but above all also current and interesting and therefore simply a topic that can inspire young people and breathe new life into the dusty image of the tax consultant. Working with fynax is also an important point of reference for young people, because since our focus on online trading, we have seen a large influx of young employees.

What makes a good tax consultancy for you?

Tax advice is made up of the words tax & advice. Ideally, it's just that - proactive professional advice to prevent problems and keep your accounts in order. In contrast, tax advice that focuses solely on calculating tax and telling you how much you have to pay or get back would be a rather poor choice. The focus of a good tax consultancy is on advising and specializing in individual business areas and business models. This means that when changes are imminent or new decisions need to be made, it is important that your tax advisor does not leave you to make these decisions alone, but advises you with foresight.

What makes the e-commerce sector so exciting?

You come into contact with many more different topics than in any other industry: for example, there are online retailers who sell emotional cards used in psychological treatments, while on the other hand there are fashion retailers who may specialize in yoga clothing. The range of goods is super complex and varied and the different sales channels, marketplaces and payment providers also lead to quite complex structures in processing.

Online stores offer numerous advantages over bricks-and-mortar retailers, such as reaching a potentially larger customer group. What special features does an online retailer have to consider compared to a brick-and-mortar retailer?

The special feature is the digital presence and its impact: an online retailer automatically serves a much larger group of recipients than a bricks-and-mortar retailer, who generally only addresses walk-in customers in the pedestrian zone. E-commerce allows you to gain a potential customer base throughout Germany. At the same time, however, we are also seeing a blurring of national borders: I can easily sell my products both in the EU and worldwide. Nevertheless, you have to take a differentiated view, as there are also disadvantages. E-commerce is therefore both a blessing and a curse: on the one hand, it is much easier to set up a company, for example through dropshipping, and in case of doubt you only need a cell phone and laptop. On the other hand, there is simply a lot more competition on the market from which you have to stand out.

What are the special features of advising e-commerce companies?

You always have to keep in mind that young entrepreneurs have completely different concerns than long-established retailers. The approach has changed and many young founders are already planning in advance with the aim of preparing for an exit. This requires a completely different consulting approach than in traditional business consulting. In addition, e-commerce companies have many more points of contact with regard to VAT. Dealing with taxation in third countries is much more relevant for e-commerce companies than for stationary retailers. This is also the great advantage of fynax and the ETL Group. They are internationally positioned and have a strong presence abroad.