Calming the feathers

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March 1 - Well the close of the last financial year did not go quite as planned.

The auditors sent someone to do a stock count. And they caused merry hell saying we had everything wrong and then saying as they didn't agree with our stock on some sample vehicles we'd have to bring all in.

This rapidly escalated to a stand off and I had to call the audit partner and make clear we were doing exactly as we have done for years which they have always signed off and I was profoundly unhappy at having my business disrupted by someone who had no clue what they were doing.

In fairness a manager arrived very quickly. A review was done. The auditor who had caused problems was sent to the office. But far too many of our people had to stay late for no good reason. I was not amused, at all. And the partner has been told so. Not least because they agreed all was OK in the end, of course. I want things to be right. We invest in things being right and a kid of 23 is not going to upset the apple-cart.

I'll calm down again, sometime soon, maybe.


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02nd Mar 2012 08:16

Look on the brightside

Too often auditors don't challenge and just follow the previous years workings.

In the inverse of your case, years ago when I was an auditor we planned changes to the audit programme for one client and consequently discovered several frauds diverting money into the directors' pockets... the MD complained to the partner... who couldn't believe that his long-term client would do such a thing so he pulled the team off and put in a new team following the old audit program and then signed off a clean audit report. A few months later the Inland Revenue then investigated and found the same frauds.

So please don't be too hard on this guy.

Yes he needs to learn from this - he could have handled it more discretely and shown more cautious judgment; being slower to get excited, more aware of the disruption caused, and more careful expanding his sample. And, yes, it was annoying and disrupting for your business.But, on the other hand, what if he had been right? What if somebody on your team had changed something without telling you and this had been the moment it came to light...

So its not 100% bad. There is a brightside. He stood his ground. and was prepared to challenge. And in this, at least, he should be encouraged.



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to chatman
02nd Mar 2012 11:33


alistair_king wrote:

consequently discovered several frauds diverting money into the directors' pockets... 



But then, if it is you diverting money into your pockets, well done!

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By k743snx
02nd Mar 2012 12:44

Don't be too hard on him (2)....

He's twentysomething - still a relative baby. Having studied hard and long, his head's probably swimming with "sustainability", "green accounting", "thought leadership", "ethical lenses" and all the other guff in the accounting press. What he lacked was a sense of proportion in carrying out his job. Once he acquires this, he should be fine.

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02nd Mar 2012 17:11

and now we wait....

For an 'Any Answers' question from a young auditor about how to handle difficult clients !

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14th Mar 2012 11:29

I've thought for some time that...

THe CEO is a bullying Martinet who always has to be right.

Wasn't he an auditor once? Was n't he young once?

He should show some empathy...


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