Happy New Year!

It's good to be back, ladies and gentlemen. I'll be here on Mondays all year.

Speaking of Borscht Belt humor, the great Rodney Dangerfield used to incorporate a vignette about running into his classic routine.

When he saw his overweight neighbor lumbering down the block, he asked when he decided to take up jogging.

"Since you started coming home early," went the reply.

I never cease to be amazed how many people in my neighborhood I see running January 1st and 2nd, but who then gradually go MIA for the remainder of the year. A similar pattern I'm certain usually occurs with health club enrollments.

However, since I did my best impression of the inhabitants of Jurassic Park with regard to this year's holiday food intake, I should be the last one to cast aspersions on New Year's resolutions, physical or otherwise. If I gain any more weight, rumor has it Aetna will put me in the high-risk category.

Nonetheless, 2011 should be an exciting year for the profession as well as us here at Accounting Today.

Last week, our web editor-in-chief Mike Cohn compiled the top stories for 2010 in his weekly Inside Views missive and, if anything, 2011 should produce an equally compelling roster of issues, particularly in the areas of tax, financial reporting, and mergers and acquisitions.

This year may be a go-or-no-go moment for International Financial Reporting Standards and completion of the convergence projects between FASB and the IASB, which places an unenviable burden on newly installed FASB chair Leslie Seidman.

We'll also get a taste of how committed the administration is to tax reform, a subject undertaken and subsequently dropped like a boring prom date by several past Congresses. And, from a guilty pleasure perspective, I want to see which celebrities get ensnared in tax problems, because I'm tired of writing about tax-cheat retreads like Wesley Snipes. My early odds-on favorite in this category is Nicolas Cage, who reportedly is some $14 million in tax arrears.

Also look for 2011 to be a banner year for M&A, as many firms who put off making succession plans while reaping the largesse of the 2005 and 2006 economy now face some painful decisions on the future of their firms.

Closer to home, you've noticed the enhancements to our Web site, now rechristened AccountingToday.com, and our transition on the print side to more of a practice management vehicle, while the breaking news will be steered online.

We also welcome aboard Danielle Lee, who will assume coverage of our well-received Accounting Tomorrow and Practice Resources sections, carrying on the stellar standard begun by Liz Gold.

This year, I'll also take a proactive measure and tell those who plan to inquire if we accept bylined submissions. The answer is yes, but the one non-negotiable guideline is that the column cannot sound like an ad for the author's services.

With that, I want to wish everyone a healthy and prosperous 2011.

Till next Monday...

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