We start 2017 in a world few would have expected a year ago. Election results and political strife throughout the world foreshadow a new world order that has us all wondering “where do we go from here?” In business, Uber challenges us to think of a world with driverless cars; Tesla dreams of electric busses and trucks that will reduce pollution; and Amazon delivers goods using drones. Whether positive or negative, real change requires all of us to adapt and to seek out new opportunities for ourselves, our companies and our communities.
The accounting world is also changing rapidly. Technology continues to bring tools that speed up processing and enhance analysis that would have been cumbersome years ago. Businesses are using data analysis to improve planning and marketing but wonder if they are asking the right questions. Tax law changes are expected that will impact businesses and individuals and will lead to likely be no less complex than our current system. Not-for-profits face yet another revision to the reporting model which aims to make statements more comparable for donors and lenders. Finally, we continue to see mergers of accounting firms as the industry, like so many, grapples with succession planning challenges.
At a recent conference, the speaker described the acronym FEAR as False Expectations about Anticipated Results. We don’t know what the outcome of many things happening in our world will actually be. But we add to our own stress and anxiety by focusing on potential negative outcomes regardless of how likely they are to occur. Instead, the entrepreneurs in each of us need to focus on the possibilities created by these changes just as the companies mentioned above have done.
Despite the constant change and inherent fear, some things remain true. We all need advice to help us navigate these changes. We look to our trusted colleagues and professionals to provide ideas and wisdom that simplifies our decisions and points us in the right direction. RINA is grateful that many of you count us among your trusted advisors. For 70 years, we have helped individuals, businesses and community organizations seek their opportunities. Good luck finding yours in 2017.