About this time every year, the last quarter, or as bean counters love to refer, 4Q, we are invaded by small swarms of bespectacled and invasive, fretting busybodies at my job. They are usually young 20-somethings entering the work force straight out of the scintillating Finance Academia and they often prosper to count big beans at one of the Big 5 or 6 or 7, god knows, I forget how many “big” accounting firms there are now. They are thrust into the monotonous and tedious grunt work of auditing for they must pop their accounting cherry and pay the dues of earnest dreary accounting hardship before they can even think of wearing the prized three letters (CPA) that every bean-counting pencil-necked geek strives to embellish his title with.
Yeah, every Fall, we get invaded by these auditors.
Busybody, nagging, anal and repressed accounting types.
They march in with their briefcases and laptops and smart slacks and embark on steadfast mission of scrutinizing the work that I and others in my department have performed in the previous year.
They devoutly make sure we have crossed our t’s and dotted our i’s, and after their compulsive work is done, they write a thorough report summarizing our performance. For you see, during the year we must abide by a set of stringent regulatory guidelines which seek to protect innocent corporate bystanders who may be trampled down by “suspect” financial practices. These guidlines, called Sarbanes-Oxley (SOX), are a set of rules that seek to steer the corporate ship in a predictable and trustworthy fashion and which proposes to “tighten up” business practices.
It is pure bullshit.
It is a tardy and emptily symbolic gesture on the part of lawmakers to “deal” with the egregious legacy left behind in the wake of the Enron scandal (and other similar ass-rapes of the investors inflicted by other equally inglorious firms). SOX is ridiculous and meddlesome and it’s like closing the barn door after the horse has escaped. It creates tons of extra work which is ostensibly cloaked in “accountability” but which is really a major exercise in the Cover Your Ass strategy. So throughout the year, we must obey SOX regulations and in the final quarter, we must bare our work to a rotating group of fledgling accountants who come into our office and “sample” all the fruits of our labors (randomly, of course) and “test” it against existing SOX regulations.
It’s an annoying exercise is hen-peckery.
It’s like…say you’re a young, single bachelor in your 20s living alone in an apartment. It would be like you hiring a middle-aged overly meticulous and meddlesome woman to waltz into your apartment and inspect it for all signs of dirt and disorder and giving her the right to compose a detailed report which other strangers have every right to investigate in order to appraise the hygienic state of your living quarters.
It’s invasive and counterproductive. And it gives someone a job which involves churning out reams of ridiculous and useless bullshit.
There is a mentality inherent to this invasion that just grates the hell out of my nerves and patience.
It symbolizes a lack of accountability and trust in today’s professional society. Everything must be in writing and the paper trail is King. Trust which should be intrinsic to mature human decency is cast aside and disregarded, and counts for nothing. Nothing at all. SOX and other meddlesome government regulations presuppose juvenile mentalities and treat subjects like thoughtless, impulsive and reckless children. SOX dictates that everything must be memorialized in writing and in the form of mutual contracts. Fucking lawyers, squeezing the lifeblood out humanity. The lawyers, and their minions, the accountants, who clamor behind them with their stooped shoulders while wielding adding machines. They make me sick!
Not to diminish anyone’s importance in the scheme of civilization, but what use do these people serve?
What the fuck do they create which constructively benefits society other than fixating on mindless rules and regulations and regurgitating an endless stream of data and figures which represent nothing original or innovative. Auditors man, they are nothing but rehashers and reformulaters. They take data, gobble it up and spit out some meaningless bullshit; a tiresome prying glimpse into your ability to operate (obediently) within the context of burdensome regulations. What use are these paper-pushing auditors with their adding machines and SOX guidelines. What are they creating that will be of material use to society?