Today's column was going to be about the acquisition of AmEx Tax and Business Services for $220 million by H&R Block, but Bill Carlino, editor-in-chief of Accounting Today, literally beat me to the punch.

Yesterday, he wrote an excellent WebCPA INSIDE VIEWS column on the acquisition using a boxing analogy, as he often does in his column. I always thought he uses that analogy because in a prior life, he covered that beat. I now understand why he continues to use that analogy, because boxing is like life.

And I feel like "Two-Ton Tony" Galento, who was mentioned by Bill in yesterday's column. Howard, a.k.a. "Prac Daddy," will also rise from the canvas. In my case, it will be a column on another subject.

The "subject" is the subject line on e-mails. You see, I get hundreds of e-mails every week, and although trees aren't being cut down, as is the case with my Snail mail, much of my e-mail, like the paper ones end up unopened and tossed in the trash bin. I should point out that my computer refers to my disposal file as the politically correct "Recycle Bin." Would love to see what these e-mails are recycled into.

Nevertheless, to the subject of today's column. It is my theory that most people leave writing the subject line of an e-mail for last and spend very little time doing so, happy that they finished writing the text. Others try to force you to open the e-mail by using the misleading and very overstated term "Breaking News."  And virtually everyone uses the same subject line for everyone.

I would suggest that if you aren't going to customize the text for various readers, at least customize the subject line. Don't just say Sam Baker is a new partner in the firm of Jones & Kay. That might work for a recipient that basically reprints the release as a firm personnel development. For Practical Accountant, it is better to write Jeanne Smith, cost segregation specialist, joins Jones & Kay as a partner. That will get me to open and read the e-mail, and probably mean I will end up using Jeanne as source.

One other important aspect of e-mails is that, unlike paper correspondences, e-mails are saved in your archive electronic folders in a manner so that the subject line, which appears when you call up the electronic folder, has a shelf life.

In closing, Bill, in case you want to know, my title to the column that you pre-empted would probably have read,  "Just Cheap Desserts: Consolidator Consolidated."

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