January 4, 2014 by Tony Novak
I just reviewed the health care resource pages at Intuit Accountant web site meant for CPAs and other accountants who provide advice to ndividuals and businesses. In short, I am unimpressed. It is clear that the effort was well intended, well produced, and that the content was likely applicable at the time it was written. But so much of the law and practical tactics have changed in recent weeks that this (as well as other published resources) are not much help to professionals who are advising individual and business clients now.
My bias has been to cover issues from a “street level”. I start by gathering information on what are people thinking, asking and planning to do (or not do) in response to the new law. From that starting point, I believe, accountants can come up with more practical advice for their clients. This approach means dealing with more errors, public misconceptions, political biases and other interfering issues that professionals typically would rather avoid when providing advice. Certainly providing health care advice is not as “clean”, for example, as providing most types of tax advice. One example of this street level approach to advice about the Affordable Care Act is my recent webinar delivered to the New Jersey Society of CPAs. I don’t think the recorded video is published yet but the complete slide show is available online. I think the difference in approach to ACA advice is evident. Of course, the issues will continue to evolve week by week and former advice publications – including mine and Intuit’s – will continue to fade in usefulness.