Some tax professionals may read the title of this post and immediately think, “I agree. We are getting some work done, but it isn’t great work.” Other tax pros may think I am crazy. A lot of blood, sweat and tears have been put into their tax department. Theirs is not like other tax departments. They have the right tools in place and the processes are buttoned up and solid. Well, I am here to tell you that if you work for any sizeable tax department, you are wrong. Your tax people may be trying to do great work, but they are not. Do you want to know the reason? It is simple: M&Ms. And, I am not talking about the multi-colored candy with the hard shell. I am talking about managers and meetings.
While often times necessary, I have never been a big fan of long documents, full mostly of words, to convey messages or describe processes that are really important. I think people get lost in the details and often gloss over the things that are important when a long, wordy document is put in front of them. As an alternative, I have always been a big fan of visual images to inspire different perspectives and ideas about a particular problem or as a reminder for how to tackle a project or given process.
One of my favorite types of images is a mind map, a diagram with associated words linked together around a central key word or set of ideas.
Always love getting the tax updates at industry conferences from our Big Four colleagues and others out there who also have the arduous task of keeping abreast of the latest politics, legislative discussions and ongoing debates in Federal and State corporate taxes. At the Association for Computers in Taxation (ACT) conference in Clearwater Beach at the end of May, we had one such assimilation of the facts as well as some good discussion on what folks thought that would mean for us corporate tax pros trying to get ahead of it all.
Rebecca DiGangi and Dustin Clements of Ernst & Young started us out with a status and current thinking on the ever twisting and frustrating conversation of corporate tax reform.
Never has it been more apparent to me that every child needs a champion than as I have watched my own two young boys grow up over the last ten years. My husband and I have been their biggest champions whether it has been in school at a teacher’s conference or on the soccer field during a tough game. No matter what kind of experience my young boys are having, they need to know and believe that my husband and I are there for them. And, while we may not always be happy with a decision they make or the outcome of a particular event, we fully support them and value them as the little individuals that they are and the grown adults we know they one day will be.
One of my favorite things about attending and speaking at industry conferences is interacting with tax pros. There is a wealth of knowledge outside the normal confines of the endless PowerPoint presentations. There is a good reason why roundtable discussions, panels and case studies are the favorite format selected by tax pros when responding to conference surveys. We like to hear what our peers/colleagues are doing out there and what their thoughts are…what are their challenges, what things are they attacking and automating, what innovative ways are they overcoming problems in the tax department?