For many, “tax” conjures up a looming date on the spring calendar, or maybe even a few lines from a Beatles song. At HBM, tax is a vitally important function – and it’s also an area where we have a very real ability to support and add value to our portfolio businesses.
That’s why we’re thrilled to welcome Kate MacDonald to HBM in the newly-created role of Tax Manager. Kate will manage the federal tax compliance of the enterprise and provide state tax compliance support across the portfolio. Along with executing tax planning, she’ll monitor regulatory and legislative developments and support tax due diligence and integration for acquisition opportunities.
Kate’s experience working with multinational manufacturing businesses is a great asset to HBM as we continue to evolve and grow. Just a few weeks into her new role, we sat down with Kate to learn more about her background and what she’s looking forward to as she settles into HBM.
Kate, tell us more about your professional background.
KM: After college I started working at Grant Thornton in their tax department. During my early years at GT I worked closely with a large family client that had around 20 partnerships that all rolled up into individual tax returns. It was a great learning experience, and after several years I decided to specialize in corporate tax work. From there I began working with GT clients across the country honing my corporate tax skills.
Eventually the time was right to make the switch away from professional services. I went to work in-house for a client as a tax manager, where I focused on corporate compliance, federal and state tax compliance, provisions for financial statement audits, and M&A support.
What let you to HBM, and what interested you about the opportunity?
KM: I first learned about HBM from a former co-worker who introduced me to the HR and finance teams. I really enjoyed my early conversations. What ultimately led to my decision was HBM’s entrepreneurial feel, and well as its family-friendly culture.
How do you envision building out and defining this newly-created role?
KM: I want to focus on working with our portfolio companies to centralize the tax function, which will give us more insight into how book to tax difference should be calculated. In general, there is just so much a tax person can learn about a company when they are working in-house.
How do you see yourself engaging across our businesses?
KM: This really works best by physically going to the portfolio companies and meeting the teams. Since each portfolio company is so unique, I’m excited to gain a better understanding of each business so we can start creating an effective tax function as part of the overall financial and book keeping strategy.
What tax issues are you monitoring most closely in 2019? What do privately-held businesses need to be thinking about?
KM: Right now, a lot of companies are thinking about state tax exposure given the recent South Dakota V. Wayfair Supreme Court ruling. States are going to start looking at physical presence standards differently than they did in the past. As trends like e-commerce continue to change buying patterns, tax laws evolve too.
When you’re not thinking about tax compliance, how do you spend your free time?
KM: When I’m not at work I’m spending time with family – which includes my husband and three-year-old daughter!