Audit Urban Legends Part 1

 

You’ve all heard them, those urban legends from auditing. I figured it was time to start sharing. Now, I know the following story is true because I heard it from the former secretary of a chief audit executive.
 
Two audit managers had gone to a happy hour shortly after five o’clock. A couple of hours later, deciding they were too drunk to drive back to the office, they sat in their car waiting for a cab. They turned on the radio to pass the time and heard a breaking news story. The announcer reported that a local auditor, behind in his work, had escaped his office and was looking for someone to finish his final report. Well, both managers began to get frightened (no manager wants to face an auditor who has missed a deadline) and began talking about leaving in spite of how much they had been drinking.
 
About that time, they thought they heard a noise. One of them tried to claim it was the wind, but neither of them believed it. Hearing more noises, the driver finally panicked, fired up the engine, and sped back to the office. They jumped out of the car and, as they walked away, they started laughing. In the safety of the company parking lot it all seemed silly. One of them looked back and pointed at the car door in horror.
 
There, stuck in the handle of the car, was a half-finished audit report.
 
Any stories you’d like to share?

Posted on Mar 1, 2009 by Mike Jacka

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  1. Recently, I attended an IIA convention’s happy hour. As the hours grew long and the drinks had flowed, auditors began to let down their guards. I probably drank too much because I can’t remember the auditor’s name but can see his face clearly. He told the tale of a typical, operational audit finding. It was like a pet: cute, neat, fun to hold, and something to be proud of. Well, after he had logged many more hours to the audit, the thing began to grow. Pretty soon, it was no longer cute. It had grown beyond what the auditor expected. It ate too much, made a mess of the workpapers, and the auditees started biting back. So before he had to deal with it in the report, he opened the lid, dropped the thing in, and flushed it away as "immaterial". He trusted his problems were over. Now, anytime auditors go near that process their hours go missing. Auditees are morbidly scarred and afraid to talk. The THING lurks in every dark, deep corner of that organization. Everyone knows it’s there, few speak of it, and none dare confront it. I heard the auditor accepted a position in Marketing.

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