'Wow" would be sort of an understated onomatopoeia to describe the past year in terms of events, changes and headlines within the accounting profession. As this is my 11th end-of-the-year column, I'll again foolishly predict that 2012 could not possibly top the previous year, despite a decade of being proved wrong. Perhaps this is why I rarely gamble while attending various events in Las Vegas.
But I digress.
One need only comb through the past 12 issues to see that the profession has been anything but sluggish. For example: Capping a year of whirlwind M&A (including 14 unions between late October and the first few weeks in November), Clifton Gunderson and LarsonAllen announced their marriage just after we ring in the New Year, creating a Top 10 firm - CliftonLarsonAllen - with annual revenues in the neighborhood of $550 million, 85 offices and more than 3,600 employees.
That blockbuster marriage came just weeks after the American Institute of CPAs decided that the Financial Accounting Foundation's proposal to create a separate council for private companies, in lieu of a board independent of FASB was, well, just not the answer to the three-decade-old debate on differential standards. So, at its Fall Meeting of Council it empowered its members with the task of coming up with alternatives, including the potential to establish its own standards board.
Stay tuned. This promises only to get more interesting.
While perhaps not generating headlines quite as large, the SEC earlier in the year released its long-awaited workplan on how International Financial Reporting Standards might be incorporated into the U.S. financial system, while adding the noun "condorsement" into the accounting vernacular.
There were changes at the top at both Big Four Firms Deloitte and KPMG, as well as Sage Software, while McGladrey & Pullen agreed to buy back RSM McGladrey from parent H&R Block, ending its alternative practice structure. And PCAOB Chairman James Doty called for changes to the auditor's reporting model, including the ongoing debate over audit firm rotation.
Meanwhile, 2012 promises to be an exciting one for us as well. First and foremost, it will mark our 25th anniversary, a quarter-century of reporting on the accounting profession - a pretty fair track record for any publication in any field. It will also be the first full year of our well-received and ground-breaking Accountants Confidence Index, an economic barometer as seen through the eyes of the accounting profession, which debuted in our September issue in partnership with ADP. We'll also continue the WebCPA Client Connection, our benchmarking and analysis tool, as well as our monthly profiles of innovative and growth-oriented CPA firms. So if you feel your firm has an interesting story to tell, well, you know how to reach us.
In a sneak preview of our edit calendar for next year, we'll spotlight such emerging issues as green accounting, how to run your practice in the cloud, business process outsourcing, how to explore new service lines and client niches, determining whether your firm needs an ad agency and, for the first time, one of the critical but often unheralded positions in a CPA firm - the administrator.
So let's look forward to a great year together.
Finally from the staff at Accounting Today, we wish you a healthy and happy holiday season. We're looking forward to a great 2012.
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