Even if we manage to avoid the fiscal cliff as a nation, it is pretty much impossible to avoid the fiscal cliff news cycle. 24-7 updates on the web, TV and social media have bombarded Americans with pundit opinions, what-if scenarios and the specter of uncompromising politicians.
What does it all mean? Unfortunately, many Americans don’t seem to understand the potential implications to their own financial situation. That was abundantly clear during a fiscal cliff call in show airing this month on NBC4 evening news in Columbus. During the news hour, a group of Ohio CPAs fielded hundreds of calls from central Ohio viewers.
One remarked he was really surprised at the number of callers who really had no clue about what could be coming. But they took the first step to getting advice by making the call.
Now is really the time to map out a “what-if” scenario and CPAs are uniquely positioned to offer sound tax and financial advice to not only clients, but the public as well.
CPAs can help educate the public in several ways:
- Consider authoring a blog post for your firm’s website, offering a free webinar or serving as a content curator of external articles.
- Talk to your friends and family to make sure they understand the basics.
- Call your local civic organization (Kiwanis, VFW Post) and ask if they would be interested in a half hour presentation on the fiscal cliff.
- Become an OSCPA volunteer and serve as a media spokesperson for tax call ins and related interviews.
Not only will your efforts generate positive publicity for your firm, but you may also bring in new clients. Most importantly, you can use your skill set to help those less informed get ready, even if no one knows quite what to expect come January 1.