Today's column will not be humorous and it will not afford information about stocks, bonds, mutual funds, asset allocation, or financial planning. Instead, it has to do with where you are right now. You are on the Electronic Accountant's award-winning Web site, and there is obviously a reason for your being here. Let me explain.

Over the past five weeks, I have undergone a surgical procedure involving an inflamed gall bladder and an abscess on the liver along with battling an infection running throughout the body. I was in the hospital for 12 days and spent another three weeks at home recuperating. I am now back at the office albeit on a limited schedule. What's this have to do with anything? Simple.

My office is one of many in a corner of the fifth floor in a building in lower Manhattan. I am part of the Accountants Media Group (AMG), which publishes Accounting Today, Accounting Technology, Practical Accountant, CPA Wealth Provider, Marketplace, and special reports plus this particular Web site. AMG is part of the Thomson Corporation.

Interestingly enough, the publications mentioned are the preeminent ones in the accounting field. In my opinion, the best journalists in the accounting community author the materials in these publications. Amazingly, if you ever visited AMG's offices, you will find only two dozen people (representing editors, sales, art, production, and circulation), all putting out these top quality products. Visitors to the offices are stunned that such a small staff can wield such wonderful publications. The reason? Extraordinary professionalism from the reporters to sales personnel.

I am the senior person here, which means I am simply the oldest in terms of years and have the longest publishing/journalistic background…some 43 years in the business.

But what separates the people here and what they produce from all others is not only their experience but their heart, as well. While I was flat on my back, the entire office came together to make sure that whatever I had been working on saw the light of day. Many toiled overtime, even weekends, to accomplish what was necessary, and for which I am most grateful.

In my lifetime, I am have been fortunate to work with many of the best companies in America, including Gulf + Western Industries, The New York Times, McGraw-Hill, and Barron's. Clearly, my favorite place has been here at Thomson and with these folks at AMG.

If you look at the publications (and they are here for viewing on this Web site), you will see not only the best written stuff in the accounting industry (very rarely does a publication here issue a correction because they are so accurate) but something even more. Behind those words there is soul, there is sensitivity. That's why companies love to come here to be quoted, that's why vendors eagerly advertise in our pages, that's why the readers--the accounting community--embrace each publication.

Sure, this is a self-serving column but when you lie in a hospital bed with six different tubes going in and out every which way, you do have time to think and reflect. And if you think deeply enough, you come up with some clear-cut answers. For me, this is just one of them.

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