As the managing partner and CEO of Habif, Arogeti & Wynne LLP, Dan Simms is responsible for setting its strategic direction and managing its resources to achieve its objectives. He has been a leader in the move to take the accounting profession digital and is a frequent speaker to professional services organizations on the subject of using technology to make measurable improvements.
Q. What can businesses do with their accountant to plan for 2011 and beyond?
What we are attempting to do is to stay on top of the legislation coming out of Washington and meeting with clients and advising and projecting to help them make informed decisions and develop a strategic plan for the next couple of years. We’re telling our clients, ‘We don’t think there will be another dip but also that there probably won’t be a whole lot of improvement until some time in 2012.’
Q. Will there be any significant changes that will affect businesses during the next year or two?
We are staying very close to our clients, making sure that we are being proactive in reaching out to our clients, that if they need assistance, they know we’re here. But without a doubt, with the tax bill that was recently passed for small businesses, it’s looking at their legislation and helping clients to project. I think there will be an uptick, just based on the new (Section 179 expense) increase and the extension of the bonus depreciation. That’s going to help to some extent, assuming the companies have the cash flow to purchase the equipment they need to run their business.
Q. What problems have you seen from your clients and from your prospective clients?
A lot of clients who have come to us have had problems with their banking relationships, with their financial institutions either lowering their lines of credit or increasing the covenants that they operate under and their question is whether we can help them find another financial institution. The answer almost always is, unless you have a strong balance sheet or you’re willing to guarantee you have substantial assets, now would probably not be an appropriate time to move to another financial institution unless they’ve completely cut you off. At that point, you have to look for whatever other options are out there.