Article provided by: The Austin Business Journal
Farm Business Consultants Inc., a Canadian income tax consulting firm that works with farmers and rural small businesses, is launching a U.S. division headquartered in Austin.
FBC is moving into about 3,700 square feet at 8601 Ranch Road 2222 in Northwest Austin later this month and already has 12 employees, with plans to grow to 22 by the end of April, said Rufe Vanderpool, vice president of the company's U.S. operations.
Vanderpool declined to provide revenue figures but said the company employs 450 people in Canada across 13 offices. He said the Central Texas office will serve as a springboard for national expansion — "We'd probably be heading into West Texas for our second office," he noted — and believes the company could double its headcount.
"To service a state like Texas, if we do it to the same level we provide in Canada, that would require another 450 employees," he said.
Despite Austin's reputation as a high-tech hub, Vanderpool said he selected to launch U.S. operations for a rural tax service here because of its central location in the state. Texas has more farms, about 248,800 according to the state Department of Agriculture, than all of Canada, with about 200,000.
He also hopes to recruit high-skilled employees in Austin to develop and manage technological programs for the company.
The Austin office will provide technology, sales, marketing and leadership support for the company's American operations. Vanderpool chose an office complex on the fringe of the city in order to be closer to potential customers in the rural Hill Country to the west.
"I was very impressed with Austin," he said. "I was not so impressed with its traffic. … We don't want to force clients to battle the downtown traffic to come see us."