It’s close to the end of another audit. I made a careless mistake that hasn't come back to bite me—yet.
I love audits. For all these years, I've loved the ticking and tying, the double hash check mark on a page that says “perfect.” Not my ticking and tying, but the auditor’s, reviewing my work.
Not everything is correct of course. This is the government. It changes every time a new legislature enacts new laws. Sometimes I care about them, sometimes I don’t. If I don’t care enough, I get nicked. Take accounts, for instance. The government uses hundreds of accounts.
I've added one new account in ten years, so I could pay a zoning inspector from the zoning fund, not the general fund. Otherwise, if the account was good enough for the clerks before me, it is good enough for me.
I’m the veteran of nine audits in ten years now, counting the three fire department audits. My first audit was several auditors of state ago.
The audit manager this year has the same last name as my first auditor of state, who later ran for governor. I voted for him in the primaries, which is another good story I’d forgotten. I wondered if she might be his daughter, but not bold enough to ask. I did find her in the public records; she earns seventy five grand a year. Be still my heart.
I exchanged emails with her to set up the audit and she dropped out of sight. The site manager and two other auditors appeared on schedule. This time I had a “real” audit. The last two have been “audit lites,” as we call them in the trade. Because my first four years were clean, the next four years I was awarded an “agreed upon procedures” audit. They showed up, made sure I balanced the bank every month, stuff like that, and left.
Not this time. As they should, they looked at everything. There was one young ticker and tier who made me do math I haven’t remembered in years to prove out the cost of some services we charge for. Phew! She had a middle sized rock on her left hand. I wonder if she’ll continue to rise, or subvert her career after marriage. Personal information does not flow around the table any more.
But, they were fun women, and the site manager and I shared a lot of accounting jokes in the course of the job. The site manager sent me more than a few questions to be answered by email, and we developed an easy enough relationship. She also has a name too similar to the regional manager’s name.
So, when I got an email from the regional manager asking for my bona fides, which she needed to include in the report, I didn't study on her name closely before I answered, as follows:
I have a BA in English Lit, CWRU, 1965; an MA in American Lit, CWRU, 1970, a BS in Accounting, Lake Erie College, 1978. In the real world I was the controller of a subsidiary of Maytag Corp for 13 years; ran my own business for 20 years, and now am an old lady who is still working. I've done manufacturing accounting, construction accounting, government accounting. I know how to account for a pine tree on top of a sky scraper; I still haven't learned to cook the books.
She replied she was still laughing. Then I saw her name. It could be the most unstuffy audit ever published by the State of Ohio.
|Nine am this morning in my town|