June 22, 2018

For Once, a Burned Out Auditor Wrote an Honest Answer to a Stupid Question

A large part of any accountant’s job is to write boring answers to boring questions. Most people meet an accountant and think, “Oh, you’re good with numbers,” and while that’s a safe assumption, what really lurks underneath is a masterful chronicler of complex rules in the most banal language possible.

A large part of any accountant's job is to write boring answers to boring questions. Most people meet an accountant and think, "Oh, you're good with numbers," and while that's a safe assumption, what really lurks underneath is a masterful chronicler of complex rules in the most banal language possible.

For those accountants who haven't completely abandoned their right brains, writing memos on matters such as internal control procedures or tax law interpretations is an especially painful exercise. For others, the desire to answer dull questions with unfiltered responses burns deep. I know this because I experienced it personally, but also because we've received excellent examples of it.

Here's one from a "burned out" Big 4 auditor who had to "document that a company’s management somehow has appropriately determined that accounting information/data is reliable and complete":

For those not football literate or recently briefed on Tony Romo, refer to this.

Although it might be unwise to submit this to a superior for review, we understand the need to get these things out of your system now and then.

I imagine there's a vast treasure of snarky accountant responses to questions just like these out there. If you're a regular creator of them and think you can top this, we'd love to read your stuff.

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Face It People, Nothing Much Can Be Done About the Revolving Door

Revolving_Door2.jpgThere’s constant conspiracy theories bellyaching about certain companies getting their former big shots into public service and regulatory positions (we’re talking about you, Maxine Waters).
Well now there’s speculation about former Big 4 partners working at the IASB.
We get it, those who used to work at the big firms shouldn’t be writing the rules. So who the hell is going to do it? Shall we have the likes of Friehling & Horowitz appointed as the standard setters?
The large firms have the biggest pool to choose out of, so natch they’re going to have some of the better candidates to delve into this wonky rule-writing stuff. We’re probably lucky that there are people out there that actually want to serve on these boards, lots of Big 4 partners can barely turn on their computers.

SHOCKER: Doesn’t Appear that Stanford Auditors were Doing Any Auditing

allen-stanford_1018295c.jpgLast week’s indictment of Allen Stanford has brought up the always popular question when fraud, occurs: “Who are the auditors that were asleep at the wheel of this disaster?”
Well, in this case, the auditors were a local UK two-person shop, CAS Hewlett, which must be Queen’s English for Friehling & Horowitz.
It doesn’t appear that CAS Hewlett has a website, but they’ve been doing the Stanford “audits” for at least 10 years, so obv they’re legit. PwC and KPMG both have offices on Antigua but Stanford preferred to stay with its “trusted firm”. Totally understandable.
And the best part? The founder of the firm, Charlesworth “Shelly” Hewlett died in January, approximately a month before the story broke on the Ponz de Stanford.
This all adds up to who-the-fuck-knows if audits were even occurring and for us to speculate if Shelly needed to get got because Stan knew that the poo and fan were coming together. Just sayin’.