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Showing posts from January, 2008

racing down the deserted streets

You know, it's kinda sad the little thing in life we find to amuse ourselves...the jokes get funnier after 9pm...it could be a bad joke but if it's after 9pm, and we're all mentally cooked, we're pretty much laughing at everything.
On to another topic, for my fellow auditors, how about those uncongested streets out there when we leave at 10-10:30 pm on the weekdays. I burned my tires racing down the streets back home, street racing team members back until where-ever they take their exits....if there's one thing good about working late, it's not dealing with traffic. Have to look at the silver linings right!

Wall Street Journal Article

Not sure if I'm allowed to post this, but it's a good article nevertheless


By Suzanne McGee
The Wall Street Journal
January 22, 2008
Public-accounting firms are ramping up efforts to hire and retain senior-level talent as new auditing and accounting rules continue to fuel clients' need for their services. As demand grows, poaching among firms has intensified, and pay and perks are on the rise.
"People keep one-upping each other, going to experienced people with bigger salaries and other perks," says Lorraine Hack, executive director of the financial officer practice at Russell Reynolds Inc., a New York executive-recruiting firm. "Companies are bending over backwards not just to hire new people but to try and keep the ones they have, offering them flextime schedules and other benefits."
"We beg, we borrow, we steal, we grovel, we scour the world" to find accountants with five-plus years of experience in public accounting, says Mark Friedman, New York…

controllers

Memo to all controllers/assistant controllers out there: your internal records or general ledgers are not adequate supporting documentation for us, no matter what you think. How can you put a number in your financials and say that the general ledger is the final support, even if it's in the millions. If you find it hard to understand why we aren't using that as evidence, well stick a post-it in your office: public accounting auditors do not just trace stuff from one number in your internal record to another number in your internal record. Please go back to school and sign up for introduction to accounting, or google 'public accounting' to understand what we do. We can understand if you think we only do taxes, but if you really think a piece of paper that your team creates is exactly what we were looking for, well, just move to another position. Please!

empty buildings

midnight, midnight, midnight..got a nice little welcome to busy season start. Absolutely empty buildings, darkness everywhere, the only movements are by the cleaning folk, but they leave by 9-10 too. Come back home, mindlessly spend a few minutes watching tv, hanging out, then sleep. Few hours later, you're back in the same place with your audit family, i.e. team. Same shit - you have a good time with them, tempers flare in the wee hours of the night, fun stuff.

Link of the month

Just got sent this link, and found it absolutely hilarious, but sadly true. It's about what auditors really do, and that it's definitely not taxes. The only tax information I know is the stuff I learned from the CPA exam (which I've already forgotten) and the required information to complete my personal tax return. Even for this, I use the help function all the time on the tax softwares to help explain stuff to me.
One of the best parts of the article -
"According to D’Amato, busy seasons are typically three things: “using calculators the size of pizza boxes and wearing ties in a casual environment to show their clients that they mean ‘business;’ beating up a clients’ junior staff for a month straight about the lack of internal controls because the signatures did not fully penetrate the triplicate on the department-wide birthday card for Larissa in Accounts Payable; and completing a 38-page internal controls checklist on the petty cash fund while completely ignoring the…

planning

This is in response to the "what planning do you do prior to starting an audit?" question in the comment question.

Most people, including me, seemed to have gone through a "wtf do I do" moment when they first seniored an engagement. I had to look to others for help. Heck, I literally asked a senior manager something on the lines of.."What do I do now?"
I was used to doing the significant account work, and had little or no experience doing the planning/admin stuff. Wouldn't it be easier if we could just google "how to plan an audit" like we did for our college papers. Anyway, this is what I can come up with (keep in mind that it might probably be different for any firm) -
a) Plan the schedule accordingly - make sure that the current hours your team is budgeted for will be enough. For example, if this is your first year senioring, and the person on it last year was a few levels above you, odds are, unless you're a superstar, you will take mo…

big 4 overtime lawsuit

Just clicked on the ad on the right side of this page and it was absolutely hilarious. The ad's title was "Big 4 overtime lawsuit" so how could I not click on it? If you do see this ad, check it out and enjoy.
One thing I don't get is that it assumes that employees with their CPAs get paid Overtime. I must be missing something there, since I don't know of any big 4 firm that pays Overtime in the US.
For those of you who don't see this ad on the top right...
here's the link:

http://www.big4overtimecases.com/

The Power of Caffeine

Day 3 - no caffeine yet, and I'm struggling.

I figured i'll do the whole 'eat/drink healthy' thing during busy season by cutting off soda/coffee for atleast 21 days, following the 21 day hump rule, where-in I need to try something for atleast 21 days before giving up on it.

But my system is currently low on fuel, and I'm struggling. Not sure if it's a good idea to audit and not be caffeinated to get the energy to do it. Check that - definitely not a good idea.
I've tried tea, V8 vegetable juice, fruit juice, water, odwalla protein shake and I'm still struggling to be pro-active.
This reminds me of two instances -
we had an intern during busy season, and this kid just got into a food coma every day after lunch. The poor kid wasn't used to office hours being that he was still in college, and was literally half-asleep in his chair by 1 pm every day. Not a good impression made as an intern.
This other kid was this pristine 'eat healthy' kid who never …

Busy Season'08

For those of you already in our wonderful profession, hope you have a fantastic busy season....and are excited for the coming months. Say goodbye to the Sun for now.
I'm not mentally geared for this busy season yet and I'm already on deadlines and such. So not completing any work is just not going to help me. Oh well, the work's going to get done eventually right. Or is that just the wrong attitude to carry going into Busy Season'08...guess I have to wait and watch or get on my arse and start plowing through stuff right now.