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  • Writer's picturePaula Field, CPA, CFE

Austin, TX: Home of The World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play

Updated: Apr 5, 2023

We all know who Dell is, the technology company founded by Michael Dell, with their base of operations in Austin, Texas. Most golf enthusiasts also know they put on a golf tournament every year called the Dell Technologies Match Play……well, I take that back, not every year. The Covid pandemic stifled the tournament for the last couple of years. Dan and I went back in 2019 and we went again this year, 2023…They started it back up in 2022 but we didn’t make it back until this year. They also announced that this was the last year for the tournament. I am not exactly sure the reasons why, but some were speculating that viewers don’t know like it when the pros don’t finish their putting and pick up the ball when the other player wins the putt. Anyway, for us, it seems to be the end of an era.

The course at the Austin Country Club is so beautiful, and the drive down to Austin from Dallas was full of bluebonnets and wildflowers this spring as they were blooming and basking in the sun that finally showed up. The Texas highways are all abloom, thanks to former Texas Governor, Ann Richards. Love my great state of Texas! While Austin is known for its college and “keep it weird,” mentality, the town is quite beautiful. Roads carved out of “Austin” limestone and plenty of hills full of trees and green nature abound. The course is lovely, in the distance the Pennyback Bridge sets the scenery for homes and lookout locations overlooking the Colorado River on Highway 360.

I will be sad to not be going back. We watched two days of golf and had drinks, snacks, and meals, and enjoyed comradery, laughter, friends, and business in an environment where you feel welcome and rejuvenated by your attendance.

When I think about all the people involved in bringing this project to fruition, it’s an enormous task. Just from my vantage point I saw, technology lines that were laid across the course, staging set up to barricade spectators away from vitally important areas, food preparation, restroom service, games, stores for shopping golf apparel, and the list goes on. PGA officials, course officials, announcers, tv crews, sound crew, someone moved the hole on the 13th green in front of us…I didn’t even know that they could do that. I learned something new.

Shuttle bus drivers, directors, hotel activities, people in golf carts, concessions, Wi-Fi, and TVs. Not to mention the crews ahead of time that put up the temporary structures that we enjoyed ourselves in that provided shade, officials that roped off the walkways when the golf professionals were teeing off and walking through the crowd to the next hole.

On the Colorado River, the boats were stacking up for a glimpse of the players teeing off for the 14th hole. There were police on the water, restaurants to tie up to for some food and drink without leaving their location, etc.

The atmosphere was pure and dedicated to a day in the sunshine. It was quite an experience, to say the least, and while I don’t yet play golf, maybe next year, I do love a good spectator sport. I met new friends and enjoyed conversations that invariably turns to my profession as a CPA. Everyone can relate to me with some experience in their past or present related to taxes. They are memorable for so many of us. Especially when we think that we’ve paid too much, either for our own filings or when they rely on someone else to help us prepare them.

A couple I just met this weekend explained to me that they had always used Turbo Tax but committed to using a CPA when they got married but didn’t feel like that person helped them save any money in taxes. I get it. There are so many articles online about how to save money on taxes that when you turn to a professional you are expecting a better deal than what you can do on your own.

I offered a few suggestions, like when you are a W2 employee, your options are limited…some people in that position start a side business or purchase a rental property so you can take some extra deductions that aren’t available to a simple W2 income earner. Of course, everyone knows that you should be maximizing your retirement contributions to bring your taxable income down…or maximizing your Roth 401K or Roth IRA so your retirement income grows tax-free for future benefit…that won’t help to reduce this year’s taxes, but it can help in the future, with all things considered, that your investment will grow tax-free. While none of us have a crystal ball, historical performance is a good indicator of the future.

Then we got to talking about supporting our parents and yes, you can take them as dependents if you provide more than half their support…so there! Hallelujah! The more we talked the more I learned about their situation, and we found something that they could use to help reduce this year’s taxes. Whew! I found something I could share that restored the reputation of the profession with this couple!

But seriously, when you think about the Dell Technologies Match Play tournament and relate it to what CPAs do, there is a common background that I can share to bring relevance to this beautiful weekend I shared with my husband and my business. Like all the people that worked behind the scenes to put this tournament together, CPAs work in the background of business to make sure the financials of the business are recording the activity properly.

As for tax planning, communicating with your CPA about everything going on in your life is vital so they can help you plan and make decisions to save money and keep more of what you make. In business, we compile information while you run your business, so that we can provide real-time information about the financial shape of your business. We are number crunchers. We take all the financial data happening in a business and turn it into relatable reports that deliver information to decision-makers.

If you are wondering what could be available to you in the form of tax planning, reach out, because we can help you. Sandra, our Business Manager, often tells our clients that we must get all up in your business, but that is so we can understand how to better help you. Without knowing everything that you are going through, as an example the couple supporting their parents, we wouldn’t know to offer that as a tax option or opportunity.

If you are wanting your accounting out of your hands, or someone else’s hands, and wish it were operating behind the scenes instead of an activity that you keep having to worry about, reach out to a professional that can take your accounting department off your plate so you can focus on the work of your business.

The golf pros walk the course and play their game…as a business owner, you should be doing the same thing. Accounting and tax shouldn’t be something that you have to have buzzing in your ear. Like the guy holding up the QUIET sign when the pros are taking their swing, you should use a CPA to cut down the distractions and quiet the crowd of all the accounting noise in your business life.

Sam Burns won the tournament, beating Cameron Young, 6 and 5, in the final round. Burns birdied five of the last six holes to secure the win and took home $3,500,000 claiming his fifth victory of his PGA career.

Picture of Dan and I from the final Dell Technologies Match Play Tournament in 2023.

Picture of us from the 2019 tournament.

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