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client service part deux

Sure, auditors are a pain in the arse for clients, but it definitely goes both ways. I'd pay a good amount of money to get 5 minutes to yell at/ream out/insult/put them in their place. They get to say whatever they want to, but we can't..and it's really painful to hold it in. I can understand the Ari Golds of the world, and the 'client/customer is always right' phrase...but seriously, these contracts should come with a clause w/ 5 free minutes to say whatever I want to say to the controllers and VPs of the world.
Ari Gold, Entourage

Client: "I don't understand why you want this"
What I say: "Well, this is why.."
What I want to say: "Well you dunce, instead of wasting time asking why I want it, just give it to me and move on with your life"

Client: "I don't think that's right. Let's ask your partner/snr mgr if he wants to do this"
What I say: "Sure...let's touch base with him/her right now"
What I want to say: "Look, you POS, he will either agree with me and ask you to give me what I need or he will give in to your request because he has to play 'the client is right' card more than me, not because he disagrees with me, but because he thinks you're a stubborn fool and doesn't want to waste time or money talking to you about a minor issue"

Client (for private companies): "Can we get the financials issued by this date?"
What I say: "Well, we'll try our best, and hopefully it'll work out"
What I want to say: "Probably not, because the odds are that you will be stubborn and hesitate giving me what I need to issue these financials on time. Or, because your team will make some mistakes and will then try and defend them egotistically instead of acknowledging it, recording the adjustment, and moving on"

I can think of so many more, but I have to stop. What other examples can you think of?

Comments said…
That's ok...your clients get to yell at you and the trade-off is that you send your interns/new hires to us to do "interim audits" which is a fancy phrase for "hey, train these guys for us" and they walk around the building looking like lost robots looking for a friendly face. :/
notfordisplay said…
Haha, care to expand on your comment? Always good to get other perspectives. said…
Yeah - you guys send your newbies around during your interim audit times...usually when we're trying to close the month...Wednesday of close week...and we have to explain the same 10 things to the new class that we explained to the previous group just a few months before.

You know...little nuances about our does what and why.

The best course of action with a green auditor is to let them fumble around with their words while they try to explain what exactly they want. Don't finish their sentences for them...just wait...wait...awkward pause...sigh..."you mean...THIS?"

"uh...I think so...thanks"

(they'll never return again!)

I realized quickly that if you go out of your way to help an auditor - they always come to YOU. :/

My buddy in the cube down the hall is always the sucker...the "go to guy" for the newbie auditor crop.

Anonymous said…
Well, "another71" you also need to realize that the fact that junior audit staff are sent to do audit fieldwork saves your company a ton of money. Would you rather pay an audit junior's charge out rate of $65/hr or a senior partner's rate of $400/hr+ to do the same work?

Also, as auditors we must ask the same questions year after year (regardless of our experience level) because we are required to document that we have done so in accordance with our rules of professional conduct.

You should ease up on the "new class" as they might be your boss one day:)
Anonymous said…
I don't know.. I always feel like I'm getting the "auditor is always right" attitude, a little questioning and you guys get all defensive =(

Can't just make the changes without a good reason (other than "we say it's right").

p.s. I'm not a "client," i'm one of the fund accounting people getting pushed around by both the client and the auditor =(
notfordisplay said…
It's subjective..and obviously I'm biased...but at a majority of my clients, most of the people running the accounting department just shouldn't be. Sure, there are many really good employees out there who know exactly what they're doing, and it's really refreshing talking to them. But that's only the case less than 50% of the time. said…
Would you rather pay an audit junior's charge out rate of $65/hr or a senior partner's rate of $400/hr+ to do the same work?

From one extreme the the other...I would just settle for the regular auditors that I deal with on a quarterly basis. I rarely saw their manager there, much less a you know the partner only sweeps in at the end to look things over.

Also, as auditors we must ask the same questions year after year (regardless of our experience level) because we are required to document that we have done so in accordance with our rules of professional conduct.

Yeah, but it's the "learning curve" stuff that I'm talking about that gets dropped on you when you're trying to close the month and under the gun and oh yeah - both the internal AND external auditors are bugging you with questions that can wait...

You should ease up on the "new class" as they might be your boss one day:) So true...nevermind the fact that a Big 4 auditor with 4 years of experience may or may not know how to create a statement of cash flows...the Big 4 stamp on their resume makes them a lock for manager and $100k+. Oh yeah - and they're better than you...just ask them. :)

...I just wanted to give the other side of things...Controllers are dumb yada yada...auditors are annoying...yada yada....we all have SOX to thank for job security.
Oh that is so true!! There have been many a times I have walked out of my client contact's office wanting to scream out loud out of sheer frustration. Believe me I am not asking these questions and making these requests for the hell of it.
speckles said…
As someone who is now a partner and worked up to become a Finance Director in a corporate...

Both sides have an element of truth.

Audit firms send out junior staff with no experinece plus with attitude. It rubs corporate accounting staff up the wrong way and wastes their time.

At a more senior level as an auditor it grates to see clients staff are not that great and they are paid heaps more than you.

I remember those times well!!!!

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