It's hard to believe, but we've come down to our final issue of the year.

On a personal note, this is my 11th such column, and each year I have maintained that the next year cannot possibly match the previous one with regard to its effect on the accounting profession.

And each year, without fail, I'm wrong. There's something to be said for consistency.

With the passage of health care reform and financial reform legislation, tax preparer registration, the battle over tax patents, IFRS and the ever-closer prospect of developing a separate GAAP for private companies, 2010 stacks up against the events of any year, at least in the decade I've served in this post.

Add to that the top-level executive changes at the Financial Accounting Standards Board, with long-time Chairman Bob Herz's abrupt and still largely unexplained departure amidst a lengthy list of convergence projects due to be completed by June 2011. We also witnessed the meteoric rise of green accounting, culminating in the formation of the International Integrated Reporting Committee, whose goal is to create a globally accepted framework for sustainability accounting.

A sluggish economy did little to dampen a year marked by high-frequency merger activity, including such headline-grabbers as RSM acquiring Caturano, Marcum expanding West and acquiring Stonefield Josephson, and the New York-area betrothal of Eisner and Amper Politziner & Mattia. I don't think I'm climbing out on an unsteady limb by projecting that 2011 should see an equal number of unions.

The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board emerged largely unscathed from a Supreme Court decision on its constitutionality, a legal challenge that had wended through various courts for five years.With that pressure removed, the PCAOB wasted little time in issuing a spate of announcements that include a series of stricter risk assessment standards and a plan to impose tougher sanctions on firms that don't adequately supervise their staffs, and drafted a petition to lawmakers to allow the board to make its disciplinary hearings of audit firms public.

As we wind down 2010, there will also be changes on the home front. As I mentioned several issues back, Accounting Today will undergo an evolution on several fronts. First and foremost, we will transition to a monthly. As a result, we will offer more practice management "how-tos," including case studies, firm profiles (for which many of you have already submitted potential candidates) and strategies to grow your businesses and remain competitive.

Our founding mission of bringing you breaking news will not change. However, that will be channeled to our online portal, which, after eight years as, will be rechristened to more closely align with our core brand. Along with its new moniker, the site will feature a redesign that incorporates our new CPE learning center - the Accounting Today Institute - as well as Client Connection, our recently sealed partnership with benchmarking and analytics provider iLumen. And of course, we'll continue to provide our digital edition of Accounting Today to those readers who request it.

2011 will also bring some staffing changes, as we're sorry to bid goodbye to Liz Gold, our senior editor and the driving force behind the widely read and highly successful Accounting Tomorrow, as well as our social media efforts. We wish her all the best in her future endeavors.

So from the staff at Accounting Today, we want to wish all of you a healthy and happy holiday season and a happy new year.


Bill Carlino

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