2001: The Year in Review

Here are the topics that held our attention during 2001, and AccountingWEB links to the stories we provided:

1. September 11: The Accounting Profession Responds

The IRS responded to tragic events of September 11 with tax savings and extended due dates. Many accounting organizations responded as well, with offers of free tax and planning assistance. America Begins to Heal is AccountingWEB's resource page for news of the accounting-related responses to the tragedy, including eyewitness accounts of events in New York City.
American Begins to Heal

2. Andersen and Enron Take Center Stage

Big Five firm Andersen in is the spotlight, facing legal action after energy giant Enron announced bankruptcy plans after errors in the company's financial statements were made public.

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3. US Government Issues Tax Rebates to Nearly All Taxpayers

Some saw it as a windfall, to others it was pocket change, and to others, the tax rebate of 2001 never even materialized. For a few months, however, citizens actually looked forward to receiving an envelope from the government in their mailboxes.

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4. AICPA Members Vote on Global Business Credential

The AICPA's proposed global business credential captured the attention of the accounting press for nearly two years. AccountingWEB's news stories, the AICPA's live workshop presentation, reader comments, and links to information about the credential are all summarized at our Global Credential Resource Center.

5. Tax Act Offers Something for Everyone

Congress passed tax legislation in 2001. From tax rebates, to lower tax brackets, to changes in the marriage penalty, expanded child tax credit, changes to IRA contribution limits, and tax credits for retirement contributions, the legislation offered something for everyone.

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6. CPA Firms Get Feet Wet with New York Legal Practices

CPA practices have combined with legal practices in other countries for years, but the two have been prevented from working hand in hand in the United States. The New York State Bar recently ruled that American law firms and accounting firms are allowed to have a "side-by-side" alliance, which is opening the door for major changes in both professions.

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7. KPMG Consulting and Accenture Go Public

Several accounting firms divested themselves of their consultancy divisions during 2001. KMPG Consulting and Accenture, formerly known as Andersen Consulting, floated initial public offerings and have maintained a comfortable position on Wall Street.

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8. Accounting Professionals Face Massive Layoffs

2001 was not a great year for job security, particularly in the accounting and consultancy professions. None of the Big Five firms were able to avoid slashing their workforces, and many smaller firms felt the heat as well.

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9. Mellon Bank Underscores IRS Security Weaknesses

Mellon Bank employees failed in their responsibility to process tax returns and deposit tax payments. As a result, the IRS is reexamining security measures and moving the Pittsburgh mail processing facility.

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10. Computer Breaches Wreak Havoc

As long as there is an Internet, there will be people who can't resist the temptation to tinker with the service and create electronic mayhem. Protecting your computer with the latest in security measures is a requirement for doing business in the new millennium.

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