What does the reelection of President Bush mean to your practice? Figure it out. After all, there is some justification to the criticism that accountants tend to look back, rather than being more forward thinking.

Don't think of this exercise as taking out a crystal ball, but rather as a scientific analysis of what is likely to happen. If you need proof that such an analysis works just look to this year's election. In 2000, who could have predicted that the decision of whom would be president would be decided by the sunshine state?

Contrast that with the 2004 election. I can remember right after the Democratic Convention, Tim Russert, host of NBC's "Meet the Press," stating that the key to the election would be Ohio. Lucky guess? I don't believe so, in part, because at the time he explained why he thought Ohio would be the key. 

You might want to begin with an analysis of President Bush's acceptance speech. He stated, "We'll reform our outdated tax code. We'll strengthen the Social Security for the next generation."  If successful, that could result in extensive transition tax planning and a whole new set of replacement of tax strategies. If private accounts are created for Social Security, there will be a greater demand for investment managers. 

Consider also the likely repeal of the federal estate tax and what that will mean to your clients in terms of the passing of assets, current estate planning strategies, and life insurance needs.

Look at how individual clients will be impacted. For example, if a business has a large number of minimum wage employees, there won't be a push to raise the hourly minimum wage that might have happened if Kerry was elected President. Or how about energy companies that will probably have greater opportunities to expand their drilling operations without government restrictions. 

Bottom line: What opportunities are out there? And, what are the potential staffing and marketing implications?

The interesting thing is that the more you do this type of analysis, the better you will become at it. It will also allow you to provide this type of invaluable service to your clients.

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