Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Tuesday, Jul 16, 2002
Columns - Say Cheek
WHEN you want to learn a new language, especially in adulthood, you don't start with `A for apple, B for boy' and so on. The motivation is more need-based and it is not uncommon to find one learning the swear words first. And now, the craze is to pick up choice phrases to pulverise the accountants.
`Bring them to book' is doing its rounds but it is too hackneyed. The affected ones understand this because they have been dealing with books the main and the subsidiary, cash and bank, first and second. `Make them accountable' is another war cry, a favourite among the politicians who themselves would not like to be accountable. Accountants are also comfortable with such a shout because it has their pet word, account.
`How can we bank on you?' people ask the auditors, and they reply, `Cash please, for that's how we like to be remunerated so as to keep the money out of record.' `Don't you have a soul?' the common man asks, `Sole? No, ours is a firm,' reply the partners.
`Have a CoP, do you?' could be plain question to know if they hold certificate of practice, but they're strangely fleeing.
`I spent too much time with the binders,' rues an audit assistant, `but now we are in a bind.' For somebody who collected too much evidence about too little things, many professionals find it tough to marshal enough evidence to show they had acted wisely. `Adjust,' they are advised, `with reality.'
With every journal and magazine, newspaper and e-zine, talking about the neo-villains in the corporate tragedy `now-showing' the only thing that can go in `narration' is a tale of woes. When `trials' approach, `balance' would be the last thing to go with it. And perhaps bed `sheets' are where they bury their faces, obsessed with `differences' that are beyond `reconciliation'.
`They made too many entries but it's exit time now,' could be a dramatic way of depicting their predicament. `For every transaction there is an equal and opposite reaction,' is the new science law.
`If only their lives were in a file,' rants the anti-Andersen man, `I would have put it in a shredder.'
But accountants are only too clever and too eager to perform the Houdini act. `How?' you could ask them. `Suspense,' they say.
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