Congress and Your Accounting Department

Volatility on Capitol Hill isn’t just pageantry on the nightly news; it has real effects on your company’s accounting department and its choice of software.


Like most Americans, I’m trying to forget the mud-wrestling we saw on Capitol Hill in 2011. Every few weeks, it seems, America’s future hung in the balance, and across the political spectrum a cast of characters seemed intent not on solutions but on brinksmanship. Volatility and uncertainty ruled.

Were these political machinations confined to the nightly news, we might have found amusement in this theater of the absurd. But they spilled into our lives in a myriad of ways. During one partisan brouhaha, for instance, Congress played chicken with the payroll tax, extending the drama right to the doorstep of Christmas. The escalation had corporate payroll department managers on edge. Accounting for the lapsed tax credit—would have been no simple feat. Financial accounting is a complex process, and ensuring that adjustments cascade properly through a corporation demands time, patience, and extra resources. Not the kind of project that the employees in payroll want to undertake on Christmas Eve.

Thankfully, the financial department dodged that bullet. But who among us expects peace in Congress this election year? Better to brace for volatility. And for your accounting department, that means flexible financial software. You should ask yourself whether your payroll team would have been able to adjust your accounting system had the payroll tax expired last month? Are they prepared to impose new tax treatments on repatriated corporate profits, or capital gains?

These items could change as Congress and the President take steps to shore up the country’s financial infrastructure. Is your own financial technology infrastructure ready for this kind of volatility?

Now’s a good time to ask. Congress is back in session tomorrow.


[TechMATCH Pro provides information about various financial software packages for interested software buyers.]

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