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Here’s how Congress can improve customer service

By ,

I believe that much of the economic ills of the nation stem from the political ills of the nation.  I continue to believe that in Washington, partisanship has trumped good judgment and focus. 

 Our mission at Katz Nannis + Solomon is to profitably provide financial management and tax advice to entrepreneurs and their companies at all levels of the growth curve.  We keep that goal clearly in sight and eliminate any unnecessary distractions.  There may be decisions that have to be made that will upset certain stakeholders; however, it becomes our job to convince them that those decisions will result in our achieving that goal.

 Downturns and losses can only be reversed in two ways — improve revenues and eliminate unnecessary costs.  Sometimes you must spend money, according to the old adage, to make money. 

At KN+S, our business survives and prospers because we have a unique core differentiator that our customers want and need.  Our goal is to expand our client base and increase revenues in those areas, and to do so sometimes requires us to borrow.  There is no better way to improve confidence with our stakeholders than by a prudent plan to enhance revenues.  Our success at focusing on what we do best builds that confidence.

 Eliminating fat from our cost structure leads to a leaner-run business. However, once the fat is gone, it does not make good business sense to trim costs that are vital to the continuing ability to run the business.   

 Much of what we do is tax planning.  The complexity of the tax code has been discussed often and simplification and reform would be ideal.  However, we still need to serve our clients. 

Our goal is to bring the complexities of the law down to plain English.  We have done our job when we hear our clients say: “Wow, I never fully understood how that law affected my business; thank-you for explaining it in terms that I understand.  Now I can take that information and properly apply it to how I run my business.”  I am a big fan of the KISS principle (Keep it simple, stupid).  By reducing the issue to its basic component, it becomes so much easier for our clients to comply.

 Another way that we sometimes spend money to make money is to invest time in our clients.  Our clients are entrepreneurs, many of whom have a great idea, little cash and little knowledge of how to grow a business.  Sometimes a little unpaid advice results in future services. 

Unfortunately, Congress doesn’t view its constituents the same way we view our clients. It often seems that its end goal is re-election , whereas our end goal is a successful, prosperous company.

Lawmakers would do well to spend more time worrying about what their constituents and the country need and less about winning political points.

If they need help realigning their commitment to us — their clients — ask anyone in a small business and we’d be happy to share with them our unpaid advice.

Larry Nannis is a partner in Katz Nannis + Solomon, a CPA firm in Needham, Mass., and past chair of the National Small Business Association.

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