April 22, 2022

Fasten Your Seatbelts

Fasten Your Seatbelts

The big news this week is that the TSA is no longer enforcing the mask mandate on airplanes and other modes of public transportation. At the moment, the Centers for Disease Control asked the Department of Justice to appeal the ruling that lifted the mandate and different transportation authorities and airlines are enforcing different rules, so who knows how it will all shake out. In the meantime, good luck to all of you frequent commuters and travelers in figuring it all out.

Let’s hope all this confusion doesn’t lead to a new rash of bad behavior on planes and trains (and more resignations by frustrated flight personnel) as both business and personal travel pick up. It’s going to be very important to tread carefully as we take this major step. We’ve already endured a rash of incivility on planes the last two years, even with the FAA imposing steep fines on unruly passengers. Disputes over masks accounted for more than 70% of the complaints the FAA received last year, and there were many of them—5,981 to be exact.

The good news is the FAA just announced it will be keeping its zero tolerance for unruly passengers in effect indefinitely. There seems to be no limit to how inconsiderate some passengers can be. I thought I’d heard it all, until I read about a passenger who earlier this week was arrested for opening the passenger door of a departing Chicago-bound plane as it was on the tarmac and then used the emergency slide to exit. Continuing to crack down on rude, aggressive and dangerous behavior is the only way we will be able to enjoy air travel this summer and continue to support the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors, which are all still recovering from the pandemic.

Speaking of which, business is moving forward here at Marcum. We just announced that our much-loved Marcum Workplace Challenge is finally back on the calendar. We’ll be holding this annual walk-run charity fundraiser at Jones Beach on Long Island on August 2, and it’s looking like we’ll have tremendous participation. Meanwhile, we’ll be holding our Consumer Products & Retail Symposium in Los Angeles in May and our Marcum New York Food & Beverage Summit, live and in-person, in June.

I hope other companies that are grappling with higher costs will keep an eye on what’s going on in industries like retail and F&B as they look for fresh ideas for growth. One thing I’ve learned during my tenure in accounting is that no matter what market conditions arise, there are always companies that find a way to thrive. And they’re usually the entrepreneurially-minded ones that are open to trying new avenues for growth.

Our first major tax deadlines of the year have come and gone, as has the annual SEC filing season, and we’re about to finish the traditional private company financial statement deadline of April 30. I need to use this week’s column to acknowledge and thank every member of the Marcum team for getting us through another January-April busy season. Public accounting truly is a team sport, and there’s no better team than the Marcum team. My personal thank you to all of the Marcum team members who, day in and day out, make us as good as we are.