I just celebrated my 10th anniversary as a partner with the state and local tax (SALT) practice of Plante Moran, a public account-ing and consulting firm founded in Michigan in 1924. I work with businesses that have multistate activity, which creates a constant and thriving learning environment and an opportu-nity to provide creative solutions for our clients. I moved to the Grand Rapids area with my wife when I joined the firm 16 years ago. We joke (now) that she moved here crying, since both of our families live in the metro Detroit area. But we’ve become so entrenched here. It fits us, and we’ve developed a great network of good friends – it’s home. GREATEST CHALLENGE/OPPORTUNITY Technology will continue to have a big influence on all of us and at a faster pace than what we’ve experienced so far. There-in lies both the challenge and the opportunity. Conceptually, in the area of tax return compliance services, we’ll see greater automation and the use of data analytics to help prepare returns. As a result, technology will drive the need for our staff to function at an advisory level sooner in their careers.
WHY I BELONG TO THE CHAMBER
Belonging to the Chamber has allowed me not only to stay connected to what’s going on from a broad public policy standpoint but also to stay on the leading edge of new or changing tax policies that affect our clients, our SALT practice, and our firm.
WHY I SERVE ON A CHAMBER POLICY ADVISORY COMMITTEE
The forum enables me to have an impact on state tax devel-opments and, from my perspective, to influence them in a fair and balanced way. For example, a group of committee mem-bers recently met with the Michigan Department of Treasury about possible legislative changes that haven’t yet even been introduced in a bill. We had the opportunity to provide input that early in the process. To be at the table and have those discussions is a great benefit to my clients, who, just like the Chamber’s membership, are a diverse constituency.