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December 2, 2010    
Publisher's Note
Rob Nance, Publisher What do you want most for the holidays? In addition to world peace, a few days to relax, and a bountiful holiday meal with family and friends, perhaps some of these things are on your list:

• Clients to meet your deadlines
• Brass tax season sundial
• Computer monitor No. 4 for those accountants who already use three monitors
• Your boss to serve coffee and a croissant to you every morning in January
• Shiny new 10-key
• Holiday card from Ben Bernanke
• Fancy robe with your firm/company logo on the back
• Vacation next year with no interruptions from work
• A crate of Tuna Helper and a jug of eggnog (breakfast of champions)
• No job stress

During December, we'll highlight gems from what accountants tell us they have on their Christmas lists... except for those on Santa's Naughty List. Type holiday wishes here – it takes five seconds – and you can even make up a name if you don't want to use your own. Have fun with it and pass it around to coworkers and clients.

Rob Nance
Publisher
publisher@accountingweb.com

Top News
UBS releases names of U.S. taxpayers with unreported accounts
The Internal Revenue Service has dropped its legal action against Swiss bank UBS AG after the Swiss government handed over the names of 4,000 U.S. taxpayers who had undisclosed accounts at the bank.
IRS Doghouse Web site enables consumers to rate IRS employees
Consumers with a bone to pick with the IRS have the opportunity to share their experiences. Originally designed as an IRS profile database, IRSDoghouse.com has evolved into a free and anonymous Web site where anyone can rate agency employees.
Deloitte Consumer Spending Index continues decline
The Deloitte Consumer Spending Index declined in October, primarily due to softness in the housing market. The index is designed to track consumer cash flow as an indicator of future consumer spending.
Texas CPAs suggest toys that teach children about saving, budgeting, investing
With many people facing challenging financial situations and an economy desperately trying to rebound, the TSCPA believes this holiday season is the perfect time for children to learn the importance of money-mindedness with affordable toys and board games that won’t break the bank.
Small business employment index indicates 49,000 new jobs; wages down slightly
Small business employment continued to show growth in November, although wages were down and hours worked remained flat, according to last month's Small Business Employment Index by Intuit Inc.
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Under the Radar Part 1: Five new features in Excel 2010
I have to admit, I was underwhelmed when Office 2010 was released. You’d think that an Excel expert would like nothing more than a shiny new version of Excel, but my initial experience with the new user interface in Excel 2007 left me feeling chastened.
Under the Radar Part 2: Five new features in Excel 2010
I introduced you to five subtle changes that Microsoft added in Excel 2010 that I’ve found quite helpful in part one of this two-part series. In this second part of the series, I’ll discuss five more features that have boosted my productivity in Excel.
Tips to consider when making year-end estate planning decisions
Big changes are coming to the estate tax in 2011 with or without Congressional action. At the end of this year, the estate tax reform passed in 2001 is set to expire. Lawmakers still have not made up their minds what to do about estate tax reform.
Year-end tax planning tips
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Advise clients about donor-advised funds
Affluent individuals may be less inclined to establish or continue a private foundation. Private foundations can involve substantial start-up costs and annual administrative fees. Some clients may consider another option that is growing in popularity.
Firm/State/People News
Morrison & Company merges with WithumSmith+Brown
Forensic accounting firm Morrison & Company, P.A., has merged with New Jersey-based CPA firm WithumSmith+Brown, P.C. Effective this week, the union adds 14 professionals to the WS+B roster.
Texas CPA firms announce merger
Richard T. Baumeister, Jr., CPA, managing partner at Sanford, Baumeister & Frazier, PLLC, has announced that the Fort Worth, TX-based accounting firm will be merging Hugly PC, a North Dallas-based accounting firm, into SB&F.
Company announcements: Week of November 29
Following is the latest roundup of firm news for the week of November 29, 2010.
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What’s new in QuickBooks Premier 2011 – QuickBooks Sweepstakes!
Take part in the AccountingWEB sweepstakes to have the chance to be the winner of one of two free Not For Resale licenses of QuickBooks Premier 2011 that AccountingWEB and Intuit are giving away.
The Firm of the Future – Part 2
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"What kind of writing issues does your staff have?" When a potential client calls to ask me to conduct a writing seminar, this is one of my first questions.
10 out of 9 accountants can't count
There are basically three types of accountants: Those who can count and those who cannot.
Kaplan Weekly Quiz
KaplanAre you prepared for the CPA exam? Test your knowledge and keep your skills sharp by taking the weekly CPA Exam Quiz, brought to you by Kaplan Schweser CPA Review and AccountingWEB Education & Careers Zone. New questions will be posted for each section weekly. Take this week's quiz.
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