Monday, November 16, 2009

The Audit

Hello Monday.

Another Monday of client audits. If you've never done a client audit, they're splendid. They come in two varieties: the "We're here to dig through your systems and approve you" audits and the "We're here to find a problem/justify my salary/add notches to my belt" audits.

The flow, over 12 years, is inevitably the same: a brief presentation, followed by a tour, then hours of endless review of documents, then questions, then more documents, then a brief conversation concerning any deficiencies and promises "to respond within 30 days", and then the cleanup - of course, followed up by all the work that you didn't accomplish during the audit.

The worst part of the day is that post-collapse, when the auditor is gone and you collapse with a sigh around the table, hopefully having fended off any observations, and you realize that the very thing you often hope for - change of the system - will not happen once again because you have done everything to defend and explain the system to avoid an observation. It's as if by doing your job, you are thwarting the doing of your job.

My only consolation is that, having spoken with other auditors, it is the same everywhere. We all fight the same battles.

It's just that it makes the exercise of what one is supposed to do very hard.

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