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I was taking the lift down to the ground floor, to meander off in search of food for lunch. While in the lift I had the pleasure of overhearing a conversation between two peeps who work on the same floor as me, but in a different company. These two work in their finance department – how do I know this? they were chatting about journal entries and reconciliations.

What I overheard made me realise how good my own co-workers are, and that’s a major thing to admit. These two wonderful examples of sloth were chatting about how they can’t determine a discrepancy so they will be allocating this difference to “Unreconciled Differences”.. good lord! Everything in accounting can be explained, if one is detail oriented enough to actually do some analysis.

One of the wonder twins said that she is just wiped, doing four journal entries this morning. I almost expired from supressed laughter. It’s a slow day for me if I do only 4 journal entries in an hour during monthend/yearend. As well, wonder-wench just finished reconciling her November bank statement. For those not in the know, there is a time limit that the banks place on companies when discrepancies caused by bank errors are discovered; after said deadline whatever discrepancies still exist is up to the customer to swallow. The usual deadline is, depending on the bank, no later than 30 calendar days later.. wench lost this time.

These two perfect examples of laziness just shocked me, shocked. I wonder if this company ever goes through a Sarbannes-Oxley Audit, if they did then these two twats would not hold onto their jobs because obviously they are incapable of meeting certain expectations. There are many basic principles in accounting and amongst them that these two ignored are:

  • Timeliness – it is expected that transactions are completed in a timely fashion so that the requisite stakeholders can make informed and educated decisions.
  • Conservatism – expenses must be recognised as soon as they are incurred, while revenues can only be recognised once there is a legal claim to them.
  • Matching Principle – the expenses incurred in earning revenues must be recognised at the same time as the revenue is recognised, no deferring of expense recognition to make the P&L look better – basically no offloading to the Balance Sheet til a later time.

If I was their manager I’d give them a serious talking to. And if I was in a position where I could influence any future hirings of them, I wouldn’t tolerate their laissez-faire attitude towards financial reporting.