What Is External Audit

Kimberly Watson, Editor in Chief
May 26, 2008 /

I am busy a little bit. As little as the only toilet at a rock concert. Because of audit, bless him… What audit is? … um, for simplicity’s sake imagine … well, for instance a man who shovels coal. It doesn’t matter where he shovels it. In a pile for instance.

And then two or three clerks appear. Completely smooth, with laptops – unbelievably serious. In short, auditors. They walk up to a fellow and say:

- “Hey there. Wanna take a load off? We have a couple of questions.”

- “No, I gotta keep working,” he waves them off. “I’m basically working for two guys here.”

- “Order from the management, my friend,” the auditor mutters. “So all this crap is going nowhere. Take a break.”

The worker stops.

- “What is it you do here?” The external auditor starts with an idiotic question.

- “Well…I’m tossing this coal into that pile,” the worker explains the obvious.

- “Mmhmm. I see.” The auditor types something on his laptop. “What for?”

- “Well,” explains the worker, “so it all ends up in that pile.”

- “Aaahhh,” the auditor understands and bangs something out on his laptop, “And how are you moving it?”

- “With a shovel. Are you slow or something?” The guy starts to get annoyed.

- “Uh huh, uh huh, with a shovel, which means…” the external auditor types out a jig, “And where does it say you should move it with a shovel and not by hand? or kick it along for instance?”

- “Uhhh…” the worker searches for an answer, “it’s easier with a shovel.”

- “Yes, we understand that,” nod with an air of importance the devils in suits, “but it has to be in writing somewhere. So that’s the first deficiency. And what, if you don’t mind, if the shovel breaks?”

- “I’ll grab another one from the shed,” shrugs the worker.

- “Uh HUH!” snort the citizens in ties, “Who has access to the shed? Who said you should get another one there? Who do you write to if there are no more shovels left? Who do you inform of your broken shovel? Where are the necessary forms and evidences????”

- “What the hell’s all this for?” the fed up worker says. “We still work. 20 years we’ve been working like this.”

- “Yes, yes. Thank you for your cooperation.”

The devils nod and type on their laptops:

“This is all a huge mess! Nothing works! Everyone’s moving what he wants! The shovels aren’t secured! Shocking disorganization!”

And they leave…

The management hits the worker with his own shovel.

A half-year later. Different auditors with different laptops run up to the worker.

- “How’s the progress? Things getting better?”

- “Of course!” The worker responds energetically, not wanting to get hit with a shovel again. “Here’s the paper – If a shovel breaks go to the shed, get a new shovel and get back to work. If there are only a few shovels left – call the supplier and tell him he’s a dumbass. As soon as the shovel breaks, call the director, the head accountant, the supplier, the General Secretary of the UN and say that your work equipment broke. There’s a lock on the shed and only I have the key. Everything’s there. Chew on that, assholes.

- “Hahahaha!” Yell the external auditors and pitter-patter on their keyboards, “How much coal is moved every day? In kilograms, shovelfuls, and pieces of coal? What do you do if a piece falls off of the pile? And if you loose the key to the shed? How do you identify the difference between coal and a normal rock? Where are the papers?”

They write “Shocking disorganization!” and leave.

The worker goes to get a shovel between the shoulder blades.

A half-year later.

- “How’s the progress?”

- “Here’s the paper, see? Everything you wanted! For Christ sake!”

- “Muhaha!” The keys rattle on the laptops. “Who checks the reports? Where’s the registry of pieces that have fallen off the pile? Of broken shovels? The time log of people let into the shed? Prove that you called someone! Where’s the call log? How can you prove that you went for the shovel yourself and didn’t send someone else?”

“Shocking disorganization!”

The worker goes to get a shovel between the shoulder blades, in the neck and head.

A half-year later.

- “Sha! Where’s your control procedure to make sure that measurement procedure is correct in order to ensure correctness of reporting? Where’s the list of those responsible for separating coal from regular stone? Where?!! Prove that you shoveled eighteenthousandfivehundredfortythree times! Where are the evidences? Where?!! This is how you should work: shovel, note, check, double-check, document, put it in the outbox! Is that how you work? Don’t whine, get more people!”

The worker goes to get a shovel between the shoulder blades, in the neck, head, kidneys, bladder, spleen, and liver.

A half-year later.

- “Hahahaha!!”

The worker goes to get a shovel…

They get to see the happy ending:

“In criminal news today: a team of external auditors was beaten half to death with a shovel by a unknown person.”


2 Comments for “What Is External Audit”

  1. Angie

    Brilliant mockery yet so accurate in description

  2. AGA

    this is a very cool article
    can i email this article to my friends?
    would that be okay?

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