Stuff Auditors Say

I’m late to this party. What party? The party that is the book Shtuff My Dad Says. (No, that’s not the title. Yes, we all know the real title. Yes, we know the title uses some of the letters of shtuff and an appropriately placed asterisk. No, I’m not going to go there.) How late? Well, the book was published last year, the blog posts started well before that, and the situation comedy of the same name premiered (and disappeared) in the 2010 fall season.

If you have trouble with certain words that people use (words that require multiple asterisks), you will have problems with this book. And that is a shame, because this is a very funny and, surprisingly, thought-provoking book.

Monday I posted a blog about auditors’ seeming inability to say what they mean. Well, here is an excellent example of a man who doesn’t worry about what others think — laying it out for all to see.

That is the first lesson this book has for all us auditors out there.

But the phrases themselves are the real lessons, whether in context or (for purposes of our discussion) out of context. And, if you think about it, they actually apply to internal audit. Following are some (cleaned up) examples:

 “Listen up, if someone is being nice to you, and you don’t know them, run away. No one is nice to you just to be nice to you, and if they are, well, they can go take their pleasant [butt] somewhere else.”
 “Try not to [soil] yourself”
“Listen, I don’t want to stifle your creativity, but that thing you built over there, it looks like a useless pile [of useless stuff].”
“Cheating’s not easy. You probably think it is, but it ain’t. I bet you’d [stink] more at cheating than whatever it was you were trying to do legitimately.”
“Remember that face. That’s the face of a man who hates himself.”
“Nobody likes practice, but what’s worse: practicing, or stinking at something?...Oh, give me a …break, practicing is not worse than stinking.”
“What are you doing with that rake?...No, that is not raking…What? Different styles of raking? No, there’s one style, and there’s [baloney]. Guess which one you’re doing.”
“What I’m saying is: You might have taken care of your wolf problem, but everyone around town is going to think of you as the crazy son of a [gun] who bought land mines to get rid of wolves.”

Let me end with this thought. My original intent was to give deep insights on each of these – how they might apply to internal audit and to professionalism. In fact, an original draft included such explanations. But I think it’s better to take a look and make your own conclusions. In fact, I’d be interested in your thoughts on how these might apply. Feel free to use the comments below.

And, in an attempt to emulate the honesty I profess we should embrace, let me just say – I believe you can figure these out yourself and, if you can’t, well I’m not gonna waste my time explaining it to someone who, if they can’t figure it out, ain’t worth the time spent explaining it.
Not that I’m disagreeing with you. (Whoops, that was Monday.)

Posted on Aug 5, 2011 by Mike Jacka

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  1. Quote number two should be said to anyone having to do a presentation to an audit committee.

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