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Excess documentation

Sorry for the delay, it's been a little crazy. Still on the questions from early October.

The amount of documentation required during audits seems outrageous to me. I must spend half of my time tidying up documents, making them look perfect, and get called out if one little item is not formatted properly. And so much of it seems redundant. Especially for workpapers that really go nowhere. Maybe it is just my organization, but can you touch on audit workpaper documentation? Thanks.

Some people are real sticklers for documentation, but that's the nature of the job I guess. As auditors, we're trained to be anal. So when you take people who are already anal in nature, the job makes them uber-anal.
You know the ones I'm talking about - notes shouldn't be in text boxes, fonts should be the same, columns should be set in a particular manner, absolutely no decimals, not more than two tabs per excel workbook, indexing your paragraphs, no uneven spacing, I could come up with 100 more.

Not going to lie, there are certain things I have pet peeves about myself. At the end of the day, it's "documentation, documentation, documentation". It's not how we audit it, it's what we document at the end of the day that matters. This job is basically a fear-based job. We are doing our best so we can look good in front of the PCAOB. That's why the bells and whistles matter. And the number of checklists and required templates, don't even get me started. Unfortunately that is the world we live in now. The pre-SOX 404 era - those were the glory days. No more. Makes you think, is it even worth being partner now?


SMerchant said…
Completely agree with your point here. There are pros and cons for the excess documentation. I keep it sticky note - "Be the point" doesn't have to excess if you follow the above statement. At the end of the day, the work you do is less for the actual audit and more for the internal quality reviews.
Anonymous said…
This is a question irrelevant to your post, but I'm really hoping to hear your thoughts on September vs. January start dates for new hires.

Most of my peers / class and I signed the full-time offer that's supposed to be starting in September of this year. However, HR has now provided us an option to defer our start dates. I'm considering deferring to the next start date - January. Do you think this puts me at a disadvantage? Would missing planning and interim work in the fall affect my intermediate (2nd year staff associate) year performance? Would Seniors be so busy during busy season that they wouldn't have time to teach me / properly give instructions? Is it more difficult work in busy season? Thanks!!

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