Goodbyes and hellos

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Of all the soft skills, the one that is the least rewarding to develop by experience is the ability to say goodbye. In the past few months, we’ve been gaining more experience of it than we’d like here at Accounting Today. Not too long ago we bid farewell to two long-time columnists in Professors Paul Miller and Paul Bahnson — and now we have the sad duty to inform you that we’re also saying goodbye to another mainstay, tax columnist George Jones, who is retiring from our monthly “Tax Strategy” column.

With his co-columnist Mark Luscombe, George has been a fixture of Accounting Today for 21 years (longer than anyone on the editorial staff), regularly providing our readers with actionable intelligence on the important issues of the day in the tax world, translating the impenetrable complexities of the Tax Code, new and pending legislation, Internal Revenue Service regs, Tax Court rulings and more into plain-language advice that tax practitioners could implement in their daily practices.

It was, and is, an invaluable service for the tax community, and we thank him for his two decades of service. He has mentioned on more than one occasion that he enjoyed the column because it allowed him to take a different approach to writing about taxes than he was able to take at his day job at Wolters Kluwer, and while we’re happy to have been able to afford him that opportunity, it seems a poor return for the many hundreds of thousands of words of wisdom he has provided over the years.

If there is a silver lining to this, it’s that, while we’re sure we’ll miss his many contributions, the loss of George doesn’t mean the end of “Tax Strategy,” as Mark Luscombe will be continuing the column on his own. We hope it will be many years before we have to say goodbye to him as well, and in the meantime, we wish George the very best.

A new feature

In the midst of all the goodbyes, I thought this might be a good place to introduce a new feature that will be starting up in the next few months.

To say that auditing is undergoing a revolution at the moment would be a wild understatement: In the course of the next decade, it’s likely to change as much as it has in the past 80 years. Driven by technology, client demands, regulation and more, these changes will reshape the service and its practitioners in ways that are hard to imagine.

With that in mind, in the next few months we’ll be introducing a regular feature called “The Future of the Audit,” where we’ll ask experts in the field to share their predictions for where things are headed, and how best to navigate the road there. We’ll be talking to regulators, pioneering practitioners, consultants and the leaders of the profession to sketch out a roadmap for the future of this service, which is so central to the modern profession of accounting.

Look for it to begin later in the spring — and if there are questions about the future of the audit that you want answered, share them with us at AcToday@SourceMedia.com.

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Career moves