It is the year-end ritual even for accounting publications--a top ten list. No, it is not the "Top Ten Best-Dressed Accountants" or the "Top Ten Accountants by Earnings." Rather it is my "Top Ten Accounting News Items" from the 2002 issues of Practical Accountant.

Here, in my opinion, in ascending order of importance, are the top ten news items of 2002:

  1. Costs of certain weight-loss programs qualify for medical deduction.
  2. IBM buys PWC Consulting.
  3. Barry Melancon donates his stake in CPA2Biz to charity.
  4. Failure of the Shared Services AICPA/State societies initiative.
  5. The 62.7 percent vote against the bylaw change that would have authorized the AICPA to support a new global credential for CPAs and Non-CPAs.
  6. Simpler minimum distribution rules for qualified plans and IRAs.
  7. GAO auditor independence rules with a list of non-audit services that an auditor is prohibited from performing for an audit client.
  8. Resignations of SEC Chair Harvey Pitt, SEC Chief Accountant Robert Herdman, and William Webster as head of Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.
  9. Demise of Andersen
  10. Enactment of Sarbanes-Oxley legislation

In addition, here are three honorable mentions

  • Auditing Standard Board's issuance of a fraud standard.
  • Formal announcement by IRS that it won't tax frequent flyer miles
  • The enactment of economic stimulus legislation that provides additional first-year depreciation.

All of these lists are subjective, of course, but they are fun for all. For those who prepare such lists, they get to make a judgment of what qualifies.For the readers, it allows them to reflect on what happened this year and to see if they agree with the selections and rankings. After all did not I leave out the approximately $80 million dollars loss by CPA2Biz shown in the AICPA annual report?

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