Through STDL, Hamm Builds Better Tax Software

by Mark Carter  on Monday, Apr. 7, 2014 12:00 am  

Sales Tax DataLink CEO Noel Hamm believes he has build a better "mousetrap." 

Frustration led Noel Hamm to create tax technology startup Sales Tax DataLink — you know, that whole "build a better mousetrap" idiom.

He calls the frustration with current tax software products on the market the "catalyst" that led to STDL's founding in Bentonville four years ago.

"Over 20 years, I worked in all sectors of tax compliance from audit to compliance to technology," he said. "In doing so, I had a front row seat to the issues and how software companies responded. Basically, I recognized a delta developing between customer tax needs and the general software model."

Hamm thinks his "mousetrap" is better because it thinks ahead.

"We offer software that is intuitive, protective and relevant," he said. "While this might seem to be a norm between technology companies, it is not. Our customers' testimonies sum it up well: 'STDL products are light years ahead of the market.' We think forward, and our products show it."

Hamm compared the tax technology available on the market today to a cellphone.

"The question is: Do you want a flip-top or the latest smartphone? Our solutions are like tomorrow's smartphones."

A client firm of Innovate Arkansas, STDL has grown to 10 full-time employees, but Hamm said the team can be expanded depending on the project.

"It depends on the month and task queue," he said. "We run a solid team of 10, but can expand quickly for projects. Our hiring concept is like a cloud server. We can dial up global talent and scale back, resulting in controlled cost. Our goal is to be dynamic. As a startup, I like to think of Sales Tax DataLink as a giant starting to grow."

The technology behind the STDL software is transferable, Hamm said, but he has no immediate plans to expand beyond the tax industry.

"We want to be the king of the hill in tax before seeking the next mountain," he said. "There are tremendous opportunities in tax."

More: Here's Noel Hamm's 5 Tips for Startup Success



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