I recently visited our nation’s capital, but more importantly Capitol Hill. During my visit, I observed our legislatures in action and met some elected officials. I have always preferred to have a bird’s eye view when it comes to politics because politics and business can be complicated. However, in the last few years, I have come to realize that politics can do more to unite us rather than divide.
The most important thing to remember for every entrepreneur or business owner is that our common thread is government; we’re all impacted and influenced by government laws and rules. It does not matter what industry you are in, the product you sell, or the service you perform, all businesses are regulated in some way, shape or form through laws. This means that resources are being pooled in through various means to manage the affairs of the industry in which you serve, to protect your business interest and those of consumers.
As an entrepreneur, being informed and understanding issues that impact your business allows an opportunity to have influence on resources and possibly form a movement around an issue that brings about change at a large scale. During my trip to Washington, D.C., a landmark case was decided when the Supreme Court made a decision that allowed subsidies in federally operated healthcare exchanges to be settled under the Affordable Care Act legislation: King v. Burwell. This legislation will affect many businesses and will have a significant impact on the bottom line of your business, especially when it comes to managing healthcare decisions for your company and determining compensation packages for your employees.
However, it’s not always the hefty laws and rulings that have such a broad reach. For example, throughout the year, laws and policy decisions are being made on a day-to-day basis in our municipalities that affect our business and the community, issues dealing with education that impacts our workforce, transportation and economic development. Many businesses receive tax bills and notices from state and local government agencies that regulate their enterprise and their profession but have no input on resources that are being utilized. This is why it is so important to pay attention to not just state and federal issues that affect your business, but also the local ones.
Politics is not an easy thing to navigate but as a business owner, being informed on issues and understanding how it affects your market, industry and customers makes a lot of business sense. Joining a local, state or national association, committee or board that focuses on issues in your industry or profession is one way of gaining knowledge on how laws and rules will impact you. It truly provides an opportunity to be ahead of the curve. And you don’t have to go all the way to Capitol Hill to engage in politics, because politics is still very much alive on a local level. If you focus on the issues and stay informed about what affects your business and your customers, you can do a lot at the local level to unite all stakeholders.
Gerri Lazarre, CPA, MsTax is a certified public accountant and principal with TriMergeCPA and TriMergeTax in Miami, Florida. Lazarre specializes in providing professional advisory services in the areas of accounting, audit and tax planning to individuals, businesses and nonprofit organizations for more than 13 years. For more information, please visit www.TriMergeTax.com and www.TriMergeCPA.com. Connect with Gerri on social media at Twitter.com/TriMergeCPA, Twitter.com/TriMergeTax or https://twitter.com/GerriLazarreCPA.