There are basically two types of managing partners. Those who are willing to do things a little differently, and a second group that basically likes the status quo and is suspect of any suggested change to how the firm operates. I love the first because they are willing to experiment and ultimately discover new, better ways to run their firms.

It is interesting how the two types will handle the  "American Job Creation Act of 2004," which President Bush signed on October, 22, 2004. The statutory text runs some 650 pages and there are 600 pages of explanatory text in the conference report. That is a lot to digest.

I think that when a new law comes down, most firms have one or two individuals report on the changes to the firm. Partners then individually decide what actions they will take with regard to their own clients.

Wonder how much time is spent systematically identifying and analyzing business opportunities in brainstorming sessions or how much time is spent reviewing exactly how clients will be impacted. Perhaps staff members should be asked to identify business opportunities as a result of the legislation with the best submission getting dinner for four at a restaurant. Another possibility is that if the firm is part of a firm association, the managing partner can arrange a conference call with other managing partners of member firms to discuss opportunities and how they are handling the new law.

Actually, I would love to ask all of the managing partners the following question:

"American Job Creation Act of 2004? (pick one)

  • Headache
  • Blessing
  • Other, please specify ________

I bet the answers would go a long way to explain how their firms handle such new tax legislation.

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