Julio Gonzalez: Leading the Way in Specialized Tax Practice

Julio Gonzalez | Engineered Tax Services | The Enterprise World

The business world is constantly evolving, and a new crop of successful business leaders emerges each year. As we move into 2023, it is important to keep an eye on those who have achieved great success in their respective industries and are poised to continue making a significant impact. From tech moguls to  financial innovators, these individuals have proven themselves game changers in their fields, and their insights and accomplishments are worth following closely.

One of the standout leaders in the accounting and accounting services industry is Julio Gonzalez, founder and CEO of Engineered Tax Services, a professionally licensed engineering firm that provides best-in-class specialty tax services. With several decades of experience in the field, Julio Gonzalez has established himself as a leading expert in tax credits, incentives, and grants services and is often called, “The Most Interesting Man in Tax.”

His team of seasoned professionals, including tax attorneys, engineers, scientists, and CPAs has helped countless accounting firms across the country provide their clients with valuable resources and expertise. Julio’s vision and leadership have propelled ETS to the top of its industry and cemented his place as one of the most successful business leaders to watch out for in 2023.

Professional Experiences & Challenges 

Julio Gonzalez founded ETS with the aim of  being a valuable resource to the accounting community  nationwide. Julio Gonzalez noticed that many accounting firms needed more resources and expertise to assist clients with tax credits, grants, and incentives. The firm’s team, which includes tax attorneys, engineers, scientists, CPAs, and other experts, has helped establish ETS as the nation’s leading provider of specialty tax services, tax credits, incentives, and grants services.

Julio Gonzalez has been  the CEO at ETS for  over two decades. Julio Gonzalez believes his whole life has been dedicated to bringing tax incentives and tax credits to all small businesses across the country, and always will be. 

Julio Gonzalez works  in Washington, D.C., with the administration,  the House and Senate to advise on tax reform and is the go-to tax expert representing many national organizations and associations. Julio Gonzalez is a regular public speaker on a national level regarding tax reform and tax sophistication for wealth preservation.

Nation’s Leading Specialty Tax Engineering Firm

ETS was established in 2001 with a vision of providing accounting firms with the expertise to offer  their small- and mid-sized business clients the same tax breaks enjoyed by gigantic corporations. ETS has offices nationally, and is headquartered in West Palm Beach, Florida. The firm’s slogan, “We Marry the Science of Engineering with the Principles of Tax & Accounting,” stresses the combination of engineering and tax/accounting principles to offer a comprehensive solution encompassing technical and financial expertise.

It is the country’s largest specialty tax engineering firm specializing in preserving wealth and United States’ job creation through research and development manufacturing tax credits, grant studies, energy tax incentives studies, cost segregation depreciation studies for buildings, real estate state and local tax incentive studies, and alternative tax optimization studies.

Julio Gonzalez observed that all businesses could benefit from tax strategies like cost segregation and R&D tax credits. Still, such benefits were not accessible to smaller firms that formed the backbone of the U.S. economy. As a result, ETS began offering specialized engineering tax studies to mainstream America, a service previously only available to the Fortune 500 and public companies through the then-Big 8 national accounting firms.

More than 20 years later, ETS has become the leading specialty tax practice in the United States by delivering winning tax solutions to the American middle class, minority business owners and small businesses. In 2020, the firm achieved a major milestone by acquiring. The Growth Partnership, a leading advisory group to the CPA community that also produces The Rosenberg Survey, the benchmark survey of U.S. mid-sized accounting firms. ETS also acquired ABLE CRM, a firm that customizes Customer Relationship Management systems for CPA firms to help them make the best use of limited time. In 2021, ETS acquired INSIDE Public.

Accounting, the nation’s largest resource in accounting firm practice management and economic reporting. In 2022, ETS also invested in a payroll service firm to give accounting firms and their clients access to affordable and intelligent payroll solutions. In the same year, ETS also acquired a grant writing firm to give all businesses access to much-needed federal and state grants. With these acquisitions, ETS has established the largest specialty tax and consultative firm to the CPA community nationwide.

Battling Challenges

Julio Gonzalez has faced numerous obstacles throughout his journey with ETS. At times, he had to wait for payments to arrive in the mail to make payroll, which made the journey particularly challenging. When he started the firm, tax credits and incentive firms did not exist, and he played a key role in creating the industry today. Despite the ongoing stress involved in running the business, he strongly believes in himself and the value of his firm’s services.

He faced the challenge of building a client base for ETS. This required extensive travel to visit accounting firms nationwide to educate them on tax credits and incentives. 

Julio Gonzalez also faced two significant challenges in maintaining and growing his business during the COVID-19 pandemic and in the aftermath of 9/11 when travel was restricted, and the internet was still new. He adopted a traditional approach when  travel was not an option – he picked up the phone.Julio Gonzalez understands that during times of uncertainty, one must work even harder because the outcome is unpredictable. Julio’s resilience and dedication have allowed him to weather many storms, and his business continues to thrive.

According to Julio, no single defining moment has led to the success of ETS. Instead, it resulted from hard work, perseverance, and extensive travel by various means of transportation. Building the firm from scratch with only a few thousand dollars in the bank required great courage. Despite the challenges, the firm ultimately succeeded, but it took 22 years to achieve the level of success that it enjoys today.

Solutions – Strategies – Services

ETS is a professional services organization dedicated to helping clients achieve their financial goals. Its focus is on providing innovative solutions, educational resources, and awareness that promotes tax-saving credits and incentives to mainstream America. ETS offers a range of sophisticated tax mitigation and wealth-building strategies, including cost segregation, R&D tax credits, 179D energy tax deductions, 45L energy tax credits, Worker Opportunity Tax Credits (WOTC), and Wireless Infrastructure Technology (WIT) services. As industry experts, the firm stays up to date with the latest regulatory changes to ensure that clients’ tax claims have the maximum chance of acceptance by the IRS and other tax bodies.

Initially, the firm focused on cost segregation, which allows clients to accelerate real estate depreciation. It then expanded to help businesses obtain energy tax credits, which Congress established in 2006 to incentivize energy-efficient buildings. The firm has also expanded to offer tax credits for hiring and research and development (R&D). In addition to these services, ETS maintains a team of lobbyists in Washington, D.C., to advocate for tax credits and incentives that benefit American businesses and the economy.

With tax laws changing more frequently, it can be difficult for accounting firms to keep up, making it all the more important for the firm to have a seat at the table. Julio has emphasized the importance of engaging in ongoing discussions around tax credits and incentives.

Views on Entrepreneurship

Julio Gonzalez believes that the primary responsibility of an entrepreneur is to be a  great employer. He pays close attention to the needs of his employees, especially the three generational age groups that comprise his workforce, and adapts accordingly to ensure a positive workplace culture. He takes pride in the fact that his firm has gone from having no internet or work-from-home options to having a 99% remote staff.

Giving it Back to the Employees & Clients

ETS has great people on board. The firm’s president, Jeff Pawlow, COO Tess Honan, and Kate Shockey, director of HR and talent acquisition, are responsible for creating a positive work environment and ensuring employee satisfaction. Julio Gonzalez recognizes the importance of supporting and looking after the employees.

He acknowledges that his leadership style has evolved, and he has learned to prioritize the well-being of his staff. Julio emphasizes the importance of work-life balance and acknowledges that long work hours do not work for everyone. The team is unique due to its passion and expertise, which allows them to create great experiences for the staff.

Julio Gonzalez emphasizes the importance of helping clients save on taxes to keep their businesses operational, generate more revenue in their community, and contribute to the nation’s GDP. ETS has had numerous successful experiences with clients who have been able to grow their businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic due to tax optimization. Julio Gonzalez says every client is equally important, and the firm is proud to have played a role in their success.

How Engineered Tax Services Decided to Grow

ETS has been investing continuously to support its accounting firm clients. The firm has a family of companies called Engineered Advisory, which includes The Growth Partnership consultancy, ABLE, a customer relationship management (CRM) system, and INSIDE Public Accounting, a monthly practice management publication. The firm collects data from almost 1,000 accounting firms annually to produce two well-regarded benchmarking reports. 

Recently, it added payroll and grant-writing services and an annual conference to link accounting firms to its comprehensive suite of services. The firm always looks ahead and has created an Engineered Advisory office in the metaverse. The decision to expand its products/services is based on providing more support to accounting firm clients and anticipating their future needs.

Personal Preferences

Julio Gonzalez states that his favorite book is How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. He credits the book for giving him the mindset to relate to people, connect with them, and grow his business from zero clients to thousands. He also admires Dikembe Mutombo, the iconic Congolese-American former pro basketball player. According to Julio, Mutombo is not only known as one of the best defenders in NBA history, but he’s also considered the Mother Teresa of the Congo. Through his foundation, Mutombo built a 170-bed hospital in the capital city of Kinshasa, which has treated almost 500,000 men, women, and children. 

Julio and Mutombo both grew up in poor communities, with Julio’s North Miami neighborhood being infested with gangs and drugs. The cycle of violence and poverty can persist for generations in such communities, and Julio Gonzalez believes that “there’s so much love, but there aren’t a lot of jobs and resources.” He hopes the new grant services offered by his firm will help black and brown communities get an equal chance of receiving well-deserved grant funding.

Julio Gonzalez finds inspiration in various business leaders, from J.P. Morgan to Jeff Bezos. He considers the quote by former professional football player Ray Lewis that “overnight success takes decades” to be the most inspiring one he has read. According to Julio, constant vigilance is a strategy, and his firm takes a proactive approach. When asked how he copes with the rat race of the business world, Julio Gonzalez replied that he finds energy in the benefits his firm generates for people across the country.


“Engineered Tax Services is the country’s largest specialty tax engineering firm which specializes in preserving wealth and United States’ job creation through IRS engineering-based services.”

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