It Takes a Village
I am wearing many hats these days.
As the owner of a progressive CPA firm I am responsible to my staff and clients and their financial success.
As the president of a chapter of my professional group I am responsible for the vision and leadership of the group and for enabling them to operate successfully while ensuring the wellbeing of the administrative staff and the financial stability of the organization.
As a board member of an Education Foundation for professionals my responsibility is making sure that our organization is relevant to our members as we provide them with the tools to properly advise their clients and bring value to their professional relationships.
I am a member of an advisory board for a not for profit whose outreach is to high school students, their teachers and advisors. My responsibility is to the executive board where I help them make a greater impact on the future of the students they serve and to the students by sharing my knowledge and experience with them in the form of feedback on their projects.
As a member of a professional tax council to a technology company whose potential impact on a variety of end users is unlimited, my responsibility is helping them use their power for the betterment of others.
And yes one of these is my day job! I take time for me each day, either going for a run on the beach or working out in my home gym. Yet, I do not cook, clean, do the laundry nor sleep more than 6 hours a night! I am fortunate that I know when to ask for help and I have the support of my husband, family, professional associates and staff. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
It takes a village!
Today I remind you about the importance of giving back even though we see that the new 2018 tax law the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has taken the tax saving incentive away from financial giving. You all know that your value is not necessarily in your check book or your financial statement, but rather from the impact you make on others. The accountant in me must remind you that for 2018, even if you have paid off your mortgage, you can only take $10,000 in SALT (State and Local Tax and Real Estate Tax), (hopefully) have minimal medical and dental expenses and have not donated enough charity to push you over the new standard deduction of $24,000 (married or $12,000 single), you can donate something more valuable than money – your time, your heart and your passion.
Again, the accountant in me must remind you to keep a contemporaneous record of the out of pocket costs of your volunteer work. For me it is the cost of commuting to the site of the function via car or subway or ferry (thank you Mayor De Blasio for resurrecting the NYC ferry), the cost of uniforms, instructional aids, athletic gear (if you are coaching little league or other athletic club) or nonperishable food (if you are working in a soup kitchen).
If you follow your passion and share your knowledge and energy you will be rewarded by the connections you enable, the information you bestow, the ideas you spark in others, and the satisfaction you get from knowing you were relevant. On those nights, you fall into bed exhausted and have a solid good night’s sleep.
For those of you who love to shop or organize please remember to document the clothing donations you make to the local charities. Remember it takes a village and we all do our part to give back even if there is no tax benefit!