September 28, 2018

The Power of Planning

The Power of Planning

With the fourth quarter starting Monday, many of our clients are finalizing their business plans for 2019. Here at Marcum, planning is a key thrust for us year-round. I’m a strategy guy, and one aspect of my work that I like the most is putting plans into place to achieve our goals – and helping our clients prepare for future growth and profitability. There’s a logic to the process that I truly enjoy. And there’s a lot of joy when a plan actually comes together and works.

In the past few years, planning has changed a bit. It’s a little more challenging to think long-term and invest for the future, while still managing the day-to-day. I remember when people used to talk long-term, 5-year plans. Now it seems with the pace of change that five years is an eternity in business.

The business environment has always been unpredictable, but now it’s even more so. The political climate is turbulent, technology is changing almost every industry (accounting is no exception!), and the business landscape is becoming a lot more international. Meanwhile, mergers and acquisitions in our field, once relatively unusual, are now a common growth strategy, meaning the roster of competing firms is constantly shifting. The pace of business has also sped up, accelerating the planning cycle.

Many of you are seeing similar changes in your own industries. In fact, it’s hard to come up with any industry that’s not being disrupted in some way. As I think about our practice areas – real estate, financial services, construction, manufacturing, distribution, food & beverage, healthcare, media & entertainment and retail, to name just a few – they’re all being disrupted by factors that are forcing companies to rethink and reinvent the way they do business.

But that’s all the more reason to hunker down and plan. In this environment, you need to be prepared not just for the most likely scenarios but for the wild cards, too. If you don’t have a plan B, C and maybe even D and E, you’re going to find yourself in trouble somewhere down the line and miss out on opportunities to find an advantage amidst all of the change.

This is why we encourage our clients to learn to love planning. The last three months of the year are the final opportunity any of us will have to hit those big goals we set back in January. Take advantage of October, November and December, and close the year on a high note. If you didn’t do as much planning as you expected earlier in the year, set up a meeting with your Marcum team to tackle your planning for next year and beyond. It’ll give you a jumpstart on 2019.

As regular readers of this column know, it isn’t only strategic planning that I encourage our clients to do at this time of year. Many of you have already spoken to your accountant about your October tax filings, but if you haven’t connected, there’s no time like the present. And for those of you who get your personal taxes done here at Marcum, it’s not too late to solidify plans for your fourth quarter taxes. It was a big year in terms of changes to our tax laws, and we encourage all of our clients to make the most of them.

Our regular Tax Flashes and newsletters help you stay abreast of tax law changes and what they mean for individuals and corporate taxpayers. Tax reform has affected pass-through entities in particular – impacting many, if not most, of our entrepreneurial clients. Also, the Annual Marcum Tax Guide will be coming out in November. It contains articles to help you understand the major ways our tax laws have changed.

On another note, we’ve got an exciting lineup of events coming up this fall, so I hope we’ll see many of you in person. On October 1, we’ve got the Marcum Mid-South Construction Summit in Nashville. Then on October 4, there’s the Marcum Government Symposium in Davie, Fla. The Marcum Real Estate Summit takes place in Philadelphia on Oct. 17 and New York on Oct. 29. Meanwhile, the Marcum California Construction Summit in Irvine, CA, is on October 18, and the Marcum Women’s Forum is taking place in Chicago on October 19.

November and December are just as busy. We’re holding the Marcum Women’s Forum – Boston on Nov. 12 and the Marcum Women’s Forum – San Francisco on Dec. 6. We’re also holding our 2018 Year-End Tax Seminars at locations around the country throughout the month. Our event site will give you the details.

These are great opportunities to hear from some of the top thought leaders here at Marcum and in the broader industry in these subject areas, so mark your calendars. And if you’re traveling to attend one, maybe you’ll get lucky and have a chance to catch a football game in the cities with stadiums or to check out the fall foliage while you’re in town.