Today's tax world offers no shortage of challenges key to TEI's success is balancing continuity and change.
Year in Review
At Judy's suggestion, a year ago the Board adopted the theme "Be Effective, Stay Effective" for the year, and adopted the following objectives:
* Be Current, Stay Current ... Through Quality Education Programs on Tax Developments and Tax Management Issues
* Be Connected, Stay Connected ... by Enhancing Member Communications and Strengthening Network of Tax Professionals
* Be a Voice, Have a Voice ... Through Enhanced Advocacy
* Be Involved, Stay Involved ... By Identifying and Addressing Demographic Trends and Other Barriers to Membership Growth
* Be Efficient, Stay Effective ... by Improving Operation and Management of TEI
In phrasing the goals the way she did, Judy brought a marketing person's savvy to the Institute's efforts to remain the preeminent association of business tax professionals. But she did more than come up with a few memorable phrases. Day in and day out, she backed the words up with one accomplishment after another. The Institute's 2005 Annual Report (which will be included in the next issue of the magazine) will review the year in full, but consider the following highlights:
Education: TEI held a full complement of conferences, seminars, courses, and telephone/ web conferences. All in all, 2,957 individuals registered for our programs. Our conferences continue to attract top-level keynote speakers, such as Secretary of the Treasury John Snow, Senate Finance Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, IRS Commissioner Mark Everson, and IRS Chief Counsel Don Korb. In addition, we attracted a record crowd for our FAS 109 seminar, and the program for our Second Senior Tax Executive Conference was even stronger than it was for our first.
Networking and Communication: TEI completed work on its 2004-2005 Corporate Tax Management Survey, releasing a book and CD that contained more than 12,000 tables. We also launched a new website and, through more updates and monthly emails to our members, sought to better communicate TEI's positions on specific issues.
Advocacy: TEI's efforts to give voice to business community concerns about tax law and regulations expanded significantly during the year. Among the highlights are the Institute's first-ever testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, our forestalling the enactment (to date) of the misguided CEO Certification and Economic Substance proposals, and our successfully recommending that Circular 230, relating to practice before the IRS, recognize the unique status of in-house tax professionals. We also remained in the forefront of the Schedule M-3 project. Perhaps most important, we assumed a major role in connection with the IRS's corporate e-filing mandate. Finally, we reestablish a liaison meeting with the Multistate Tax Commission, and established a relationship with the Financial Accounting Standards Board (as a prelude to filing comments on the exposure draft on Uncertain Tax Positions).
Management and Stewardship: TEI completed work on a major demographic study of the membership and developed a plan for better identifying and satisfying member needs. We also chartered a chapter in Asia (Singapore), and began efforts (much closer to home) to create a chapter in Omaha, a personal goal of mine since I attended Creighton and began my tax career in Nebraska. Finally, we expanded and realigned our staff, adding two positions (Technology/Database Administrator and Communications Specialist to facilitate our web efforts) and made plans to add a third (Continuing Education Coordinator) in the near future. We also reorganized the Institute's legal staff, separating the roles of General Counsel and Chief Tax Counsel.
TEI and its members owe Judy and all those who assisted her a debt of gratitude for their efforts. They not only helped TEI be effective and stay effective, but they have well positioned the Institute for the challenges that lie ahead.
[C.sup.3]--Continuity, Challenge, and Change
And challenges do lie ahead, not only in the areas that tax executives have traditionally concerned themselves with, but in a growing array of other areas (including financial ac counting, securities regulations, and even criminal law). For six decades, TEI has served its members and advanced its education, networking, and advocacy goals by responding to changing circumstances while respecting the traditions that under-gird our ongoing relevance and effectiveness. TEI remains committed to building upon our record of accomplishment by--
* continuing those practices, processes, and traditions that respond to and advance its members' needs;
* challenging its members and the organization itself to dispassionately review TEI's activities with a view toward assessing their ongoing value in a dramatically evolving world; and
* changing its practices and programs (and creating new ones) to better equip TEI to assist tax executives in fulfilling their obligations to their companies, their profession, and society at large.
At its meeting on August 9, TEI's Board of Directors committed the organization to reviewing how the Institute's global expansion, coupled with the convergence of tax policy, administration, and financial accounting, should affect the Institute's structure, procedures, and activities. To these ends, TEI will undertake the following specific initiatives:
Advocacy. TEI will advance its members' interests on important issues of tax policy and administration, including the rules relating to financial accounting for income taxes. In addition to its traditional liaison and advocacy activities, specific attention will be devoted to (a) contributing to the ongoing debate of fundamental tax reform, in the United States and elsewhere; and (b) expanding TEI's involvement with non-tax agencies, such as the OECD, FASB and IASB, and SEC, as well as the agencies charged with setting or enforcing standards of conduct.
Education. TEI will continue to sponsor high-quality, affordable educational programs. Specific attention will be devoted to (a) expanding distance-learning opportunities; (b) restructuring programs to reflect demographic trends and the changing demands on the time of tax executives; and (c) ensuring that TEI's programs devote sufficient time to management and other non-tax issues.
Communications and Networking. TEI will provide its members with unparalleled networking opportunities. Specific attention will be devoted to (a) enhancing the ability of senior tax executives to network with one another; (b) increasing TEI's stature as the source of in-house bench marking and best-practices information; and (c) assisting members in more effectively communicating the integral role of taxes (and the tax department) to corporate decision-making.
Structure and Governance. TEI will review whether its growth in Europe and expansion to Asia, coupled with other developments, should prompt changes to its governance structure.
Membership. TEI will review its membership criteria and enhance its recruitment and retention efforts. Specific attention will be devoted to (a) conducting a membership satisfaction survey; (b) assisting chapters in their recruitment efforts; and (c) ensuring that the Institute's membership requirements reflect the changing nature of the tax executive's duties without impairing TEI's unique role.
Financial Stewardship. TEI will take steps to ensure the financial stability of the organization. Specific attention will be devoted to (a) ensuring TEI's adherence to the most stringent internal controls, (b) reviewing the Institute's investment policy and making appropriate changes to increase yield without adversely affecting the safety of the Institute's assets; and (c) assessing the appropriate role of sponsorship at both Institute and Chapter levels.
TEI's complete goals and objectives can be found at www.tei.org. I encourage you to review them and let us know what you think ... and, importantly, whether you want to assist in their accomplishment. By working together, we can ensure TEI's relevance and effectiveness in 2006 and beyond.
Tax Executives Institute expresses its appreciation to the following firms that are Platinum sponsors of the Institute's 2005 Annual Conference:
ADP Tax Credit Services
Baker & McKenzie
Deloitte & Touche LLP
Ernst & Young LLP
Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw LLP
McKee Nelson LLP
Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP
Mike Boyle International President
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|Title Annotation:||Tax Executive Institute|
|Author:||Boyle, Michael P.|
|Date:||Jul 1, 2005|
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