Sophia Timba | August 21, 2023
Crunch the Numbers
Patrick Roberts ’10 launched a successful accounting firm at the age of 23.
For most, managing finances is a necessary, but dull and daunting task. For Patrick Roberts ’10 it is an opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives.
“Most people are flying blind when it comes to their finances,” Roberts said. “My job is to empower them with knowledge and wisdom while providing clarity on how their finances look.”
“My job is to empower [clients] with knowledge and wisdom while providing clarity on how their finances look.”
Roberts graduated with a degree in accounting and has been at the forefront of the industry in the surrounding Rochester-area for over a decade.
“I fell in love with the idea of being an accountant,” Roberts said. “I was the treasurer of our church, I did some bookkeeping work… I became very well rounded very quickly because I loved it so much.”
Roberts’ passion stems from his belief that accounting is about the people, not the money.
“We are fighting a perception that’s been personified by Hollywood that we’re just geeks with the numbers in the background,” he said. “There are so many different facets to accounting. It’s a matter of making the decisions that will serve and benefit you the most.”
Following graduation, Roberts jumped straight into a whirlwind career. Everything started well. He was recognized for his hard work early on and was offered a Senior Accountant position after just one year in the field.
“I literally skipped two years in my professional career with this promotion,” he noted. “Like a young buck eager to learn, I was really eager to tackle this new opportunity.”
Five months later, things took a turn for the worst. Mere weeks after closing on their first house, Roberts lost his job. All at the same time, he and his wife tragically lost their pregnancy.
“I had pretty much every hardship you can have, all within the same quarter,” Roberts recalled.
How someone handles their hardships can often define them. Roberts saw a chance to take a leap, starting his own accounting firm at just 23 years old — Roberts Accounting.
“In two years, I had three offices and 10 employees. By this time, my wife and I also had two kids – a 2-year-old son and an infant daughter,” Roberts said.
“I just love helping people. I think that’s what grew the company so fast. Clients don’t just want their tax return done; they want to understand what they can do better next year. They want to plan for their future.”
Despite being the founder and CEO of his own accounting firm in his early 20s, Roberts was only getting started. After graduating college, he found himself just two college credits shy of being eligible to sit for his Certified Public Accountant exam. On a whim, he decided to take a programming course to qualify for his certification.
“Clients don’t just want their tax return done; they want to understand what they can do better next year. They want to plan for their future.”
That course became the cornerstone of his second business – a software company called TaxExact ®. TaxExact is a SaaS model tax software developed to automate the 1040 tax review process.
“Little did I know that course would become the very foundation of my knowledge to develop this software,” Roberts said. “I wouldn’t have known how to code without that two-credit course I took on the fly.”
While he may look like the pinnacle of success today, Roberts remains humbled by the hardships he faced early in his career, and by those he continues to face.
“When you look up to someone that you want to become, don’t put them on a pedestal. What you see is a perception of the truth, but it’s very often you’re missing something in the picture,” he said. “Success is about feeling content and fulfilled in where you are and what you’re doing. Success is not owned; only rented, and rent is due daily.”