Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The glory days of auditing

For anyone who knows what auditing is, it hardly sounds like something that would have glory days. In its simplest terms, it's basically a means of verifying a company's financial accounts. Are you still awake? Hello??

Much as it sounds deathly dull, it's how my husband and I started out in accountancy and, to be honest, we had a blast. There was normally a team of you of similar ages sent out to the company's premises and over time you get to know your team members really well from spending so much time together, and know what makes them tick, and guffaw.

My husband's memories include one audit where he was working next door to the company's accountant who suffered with persistent flatulence. Every time she broke wind, she'd immediately get out her Impulse and spray it, oblivious to the fact that the auditors in the next room could hear the parp, then the spray and were doubled over in silent hysteria. At another company, he was looking through the accountant's cupboard for a file and knocked over some floppy disks, whilst restacking them, he noticed one labelled 'Tits and Bums' which to his glee he held up to the window connecting the office to that which his colleagues were working in. More hysterics ensued.

My own favourite memories inevitably invole working with the same senior who taught me everything I know about auditing. His sinuses were in an awful state, until the day when he returned to the room following a meeting with one of the directors, to announce that the guy's body odour was so bad that it had cleared his sinuses for the first time in years, and he could smell the pine trees outside. Another time he returned to the room in stitches and wouldn't give away what had happened, eventually he admitted that he'd been to the loo and his zip tab had broked off. Resourceful as ever, he'd fixed it with a paperclip.

Of course, it wasn't all laughing until your pelvic floor was fit to give way. My husband worked for a manager with unrealistic dealines and worked every waking hour until the team broke and started to work to rule. In contrast, my workload was light, but I seemed to get a reputation for a reliable person to undertake mundane tasks, from collecting cheques from clients to collecting staff members from hospital. I vividly remember being sent to collect a cheque for a long overdue debt from a poultry processing client and being told to take the office mobile phone (those were the days!), "in case they try anything". I quietly wondered whether I was supposed to hit them with it. On arrival the premises were grim, blood everywhere from the door handles to the photocopier, but I got out with the cheque and without having to wield the mobile phone.

To this day I'll never understand how it was never fed back to us that from the client's point of view, it sounded as if there was constant uproar from our room on-site. Perhaps the managers and partners shielded us from it on the basis that we always got the work done, or perhaps the clients were oblivious. I certainly never get any such feedback on my teams, which makes me a bit sad in a way. I'd hope there are still some laughs to be had out of auditing.

Image from FreeDigitalPhotos.net  

No comments:

Post a Comment