In a recent brainstorming session about the near and long-term goals of the Electronic Accountant and our sister publications, a trial balloon was sent up: What should we (if anything) be doing to help the accounting profession weather the fierce storm that is roiling it from every direction these days?

It’s a fair question. Accounting Today is the independent newspaper of record for tax and accounting professionals, Practical Accountant is its hands-on, how-to guide, Accounting Technology keeps readers updated on the latest technology trends in hardware, software and the reselling market, CPA Wealth Provider taps into the growing financial advisory niche, and Electronic Accountant brings you the most up-to-date news and resources to help you run your businesses.

Our editors and reporters have spent years, and in many cases, decades, covering this industry and although we’ll never know it as well as those of you who live it every day, we like to feel we’ve got our fingers on the pulse of the tax and accounting community.

So far, we’ve tried to give you all of the details about the various bills in Congress that finally boiled down to the corporate reform act signed into law last month. Practical Accountant associate publisher Howard Wolosky penned a thoughtful and comprehensive summary of what the bill will mean to accountants (click here to read it.)

. We are currently planning on conducting another large scale survey to gauge the impact of the new law and the Enron-related fallout on the profession’s future, and we will continue to stay on top of all the industry trends, reporting them to you before, and more comprehensively, than anyone else.

But that doesn’t quite satisfy the question posed in the beginning of this column. Is there something more that the accounting press can – or should – be doing to help show the world that your chosen field is – and always has been -- an honorable, trustworthy and vital profession? That just as the greed and criminal acts of one corporate CEO fails to tarnish the institution of chief executives, no one should judge accountants entire on the bad acts of a few?

And of course there’s the possible cascading effect of the Sarbanes-Oxley law, if states see fit to more closely regulate even accounting firms with non-SEC clients.

So here’s my challenge: Write to me. Tell me your greatest concerns for the profession and the kind of information you’re NOT getting that’s vital to the way you will be doing business from here on in. How has Enron and everything that’s come after affected your business, your clients’ perceptions, your personal feelings about what you do every day?

I’m hoping that enough of you will respond, and from that grassroots effort, we’ll be able to help you navigate through the hurricanes and maelstroms that may lie ahead.

-Tracey Miller-Segarra
Tracey.Miller@amgpubs.com

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