Why doesn’t anyone like auditing? Yeah, I guess it sucks if you’re at a big firm and all you do is tie in schedules. But that doesn’t mean it’s awful. It means tieing in schedules sucks. It means that what you’re doing is particularly boring and your job has been segregated to a point that makes your 9-5 seem meaningless. It’s just a matter of perspective. Anything can be awful if you define it narrowly enough.
If you enjoy strategy on a very high level then auditing is awesome. Yes, awesome. I’m in the middle of auditing a public company for the past two years.
I’m dealing with the following people – my partner, the management of the public company, the buyers and the minions who work for the latter two. While putting together an audit strategy for two years at once, I’m trying to appease all these people, sometimes set them against one another all while trying to meet my deadlines.
It’s intense and it requires a lot of foresight – which I don’t fully have – as well as the ability to adapt quickly to changing circumstances. Here’s a good example.
As of yesterday we only had the financials. We’ve been requesting source documents, bank statements, deposit books, invoices, a/p listings – everything you need to do an audit – for the past month. Not surprisingly the buyers contacted us wondering how the audit was going. We told them. It wasn’t. We didn’t have anything. Not thinking, I told them what we needed. Now this had the effect of throwing the bookkeeper under the bus, because it looked like she’d been sitting on her hands doing nothing for the past month.
So yesterday went like this.
- Partner mad that the audit hasn’t started – gives me a “get er’ done” look
- Bookkeeper calls pissed off that I’ve unknowingly thrown her under the bus
- One of the buyer’s minions calls confirming why I need all of the info I requested even though we have draft financials. I try very hard not to call her retarded and politely explain that I need the information to audit the draft financials so we can remove the draft watermark.
This is the good stuff. This is when you get to strategize and solve problems.
- I let the bookkeeper vent for half an hour. By the end we’re joking and she’s offering to take me out to lunch. Solid.
- She also agrees to bring in all the source documents. Cash money.
- Buyers are satisfied that we have the info and can now begin. *air five unsuspecting co-worker*
- With all the info I draft an audit plan and tell my partner that we’ll do the audit meeting the following afternoon (today).
- That afternoon I send out all my confirmations in one email and set deadlines for when we need them back.
This is good stuff. This isn’t boring. Obviously I’m going to tie in schedules and do other things that aren’t as exciting. But those are just very small aspects of a much more elaborate process.
I know a lot of people who hate audit. I think I’m happy where I am.
Krupo – The new Metric CD is sick. I’ve been listening to it on my ipod all week. Do you listen to the Yeah Yeah Yeah’s? I think you might like them.
Kel – The CPA progress chart is a really cool idea. Good luck with the studying.
Francine – If you stop by and still read my ramblings, thanks for the phone call the other day. Hopefully that position got filled. “Button down mafia” is still my favorite phrase of 09.