The Scrap Yard and the Watchman

Once upon a time, there was a company which had a vast scrap yard in the middle of the desert. Wise and powerful people in the Company looked upon the scrap yard and said, "Someone may steal from it at night." So they created a night watchman position and hired a person for the job. 

The wise and powerful people in the Company then asked, "How can the watchman understand the job he is to do if he does not have proper instructions?" So they created a Planning Department and hired two people - one person to write the instructions and one person to do time studies.

Then the wise and powerful people in the Company, always on the alert for potential problems said, "How will we know the night watchman is doing the tasks correctly?" So they created a Quality Control Department and hired two people - one to do the reviews and one to write the reports.
 
Then the wise and powerful people in the Company began to wonder, "How are these people going to get paid?" So they added two positions to their Human Resources Department - a time keeper and a payroll officer – for which two more people were hired.
 
Then the wise and powerful people within the Company thought of a new concern. "Who will be accountable for all of these people?" So they created an Administrative Section and hired three people - an Administrative Officer, an Assistant Administrative Officer, and a Legal Secretary.
 
At the end of the year, the wise and powerful people got together to review what they had wrought.  "We have had this structure in place for one year, and we are $918,000 over budget. We must cut back." They laid off the night watchman.
 
So…..
 
In your last audit, did you suggest more controls, did you report too many controls, or did you just layoff the watchman?
 
(Thanks to Allen and Mark for this.)

Posted on Oct 29, 2010 by Mike Jacka

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