How the appropriate company tradition can cross time zones

Nicole Moriarty explains why she feels at home with Patreon despite practically stepping into the company during the pandemic.

Nicole Moriarty started working as an international tax manager at Patreon in the middle of the pandemic. This means that along with many of her colleagues, she has never set foot in the company’s office. But she is also in the unique position of being the only person on her team based in Ireland.

However, her new colleagues and the diversity of her job made her feel at home. Here she tells us why.

“Even though I’m in a completely different time zone than the rest of the team, I’ve always felt included and valued.”

If there is such a thing, can you describe a typical day in your job at Patreon?

As the only member of the finance team in Ireland, my day starts a little earlier than the rest of the team. A typical day could be spending the morning answering questions from our consultants that got through my inbox overnight, or doing transfer pricing documents and tax research.

The afternoons are usually reserved for meetings with the US team or for meetings with our community happiness team to answer tax questions from our creators and customers.

As the tax team and the broader finance team, we are in regular contact to minimize the distance and reduce the burden of working remotely on all of us.

What types of projects are you working on?

Our tax team is currently a slim team of three, which means that you really get stuck in what is thrown at you. Although I have a background in corporate tax, my role requires ownership of all taxes that apply internationally. This could range from new VAT requirements in a country where we operate to R&D credits in the local area.

Internally, too, there is a great passion for making life easier for our users, both creators and customers – especially when it comes to taxes. Many of our developers have no financial background, so it is important to us that our product is as user-friendly as possible. This includes reviewing how taxes are handled on our website and making improvements that will improve the user experience.

What skills do you use every day?

Taxes are really a multidisciplinary role that offers a nice mix of accounting and law. My day could include both sticking to the numbers and starting Excel to research tax legislation and interpret the new tax law.

Taxes also affect many different areas of business, so it’s important to develop close relationships with other teams in the company.

What’s the hardest part of your work day?

Like many people, I came to Patreon during a global pandemic and have not yet met many of my colleagues. Patreon really went out of their way to create team spirit, especially on the Dublin team where the majority of people have not yet entered the office.

If we miss those little coffee breaks or five-minute chats before meetings, we all find it harder to get to know each other. Fortunately, when Zoom catch-up and quizzes are needed, it won’t be long before we all personally team up as a team.

Do you have productivity tips to aid you during the work day?

The teams at Patreon are very good at scheduling meetings that last just under 30 minutes or an hour. Between zoom calls you have a five or ten minute window in which to have a cup of tea or just take a break from the screen. I’ve found this to be very helpful when working from home and advocate taking small breaks throughout the day to keep productivity high.

What surprised you most when you started this job was important for the role?

The biggest surprise was how valued creators are. I always knew that Patreon was a company built for the Creator, but after working in startups, before realizing that a company’s core values ​​can often change as it grows. The role of the creator in internal decision making is very widespread. No creator is too small for their experience to be ignored and used to improve the platform.

All teams, even those not faced with the user, have a keen interest in the creator story. As a company, we often share insights into various creators and very regularly have a variety of creators speak at our company-wide meetings known as “all hands”. It is evident that the company founder is a creator first and then a businessman, which only serves the mission of creating a space where creators can thrive and get paid.

How has that role changed as this sector has grown and evolved?

I think we are in a very unique and arguably unusual position as a company, especially from a tax point of view. Digital services and online marketplaces are a bit ahead of tax legislation, and therefore our view of tax authorities often changes very regularly.

The way the world communicates and does business has grown rapidly in recent years, but tax law has not kept up with the pace. We are therefore constantly obliged to monitor the changing laws and guidelines while trying to somehow fit into the current narrative.

To make it even more fun, tax authorities often fail to agree on a single approach for businesses like ours. Therefore, compliance with local regulations in all relevant countries is at the top of our priority list.

What do you like most about the job?

Working in a team that has a common mission. It’s testament to our finance team leader that he has brought together a group that are extremely talented and share each other’s passion. Even though I’m in a completely different time zone from the rest of the team, I’ve always felt included and valued.

There is an extremely high level of mutual respect and an environment has been created that enables growth. Everyone is on the same page trying to get the same result for the company. Without a doubt, the best thing about working at Patreon is the team.