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30 YEAR ANNIVERSARY

Posted by Admin Posted on Feb 01 2015
On this day 30 years ago (February 1, 1985), I walked into the CPA office of a local firm. And my accounting career was born.   One of the things that really helped me was that we had to do a lot of the tax returns by hand.  Meaning, I really learned why things worked the way they do and how the numbers flowed from one place to another.  While tax returns then were complicated but they are not nearly as complicated as returns of today.  I am not sure I could do a tax return by hand today. One of the problems I have seen in newer accountants are that they assume that tax returns are correct when they come off the computer.  They don't take that critical look to make sure that the return is correct. Well, we have all heard the old computer saying "Garbage In Garbage Out."

And tax returns are not the only thing that has changed drastically in the last 30 years.  Financial statements have also evolved to a much more complicated document as well.  I think that is the by-product of Enron, Worldcom and other accounting scandals.  Like many other things, Congress and the AICPA (our governing body) went crazy with rules that the small clients will never have.  But, we must document that these things are not there. So time that we are on a project (and thus our bills) have increased. But the AICPA has introduced a couple of things that will help us going forward.

And the technologies have been the biggest change. Our computer in 1985 was the size of a file cabinet not including the input terminal or printer. Then we bought our first "laptop" computer which was the size of a suitcase and weighed about 30 pounds. Actually, instead of calling it a portable computer but a luggable computer. Today, everything is in the clouds.  That could not even have been a dream back then. Do you remember logging into AOL and hearing the tones of the modem dialing a number and hearing the magical voice say "YOU GOT MAIL."  And I remember a computer consultant teaching me Windows 3.1 and me telling her "This will never fly." Wow, was I wrong.  The consultant is still a friend and she has never reminded me of my "prediction." 

So, what is the next 30 years going to look like?  We know that technology will continue to advance.  What that is going to look like, I don't have a clue.   I think at some point, the tax code will need a total revision.  The code has gotten to the point that even the best tax preparer could not learn all the provisions.  Eventually, I think the public will say enough and force Congress to get serious with tax simplification.  

I want to thank everyone for helping me get this far.  My success is a result of the referrals that you have given me.   And so, I thank you.



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