I work for an advertising firm, a rather large one with affiliates across the globe. One of my responsibilities is to ensure that inter and intra company transactions balance with other affiliates. This may sound easy, but it is not.

From an Accounts Payable perspective an intercompany invoice is treated in much the same way as a third-party vendor; it requires proper sign-offs, coding and handing over to Accounts Payable for processing. The kicker is that unlike third-party vendors, I have to balance against the global affiliates. So if Paris is saying that I owe them $9000 Euro then I have to make sure that I match to that. I don’t have to do a monthly reconciliation with third-party vendors, so Account Management can sit on their arses and not process those invoices until a month or two later (and deal with the collection calls themselves).

I am answerable to my manager, the Regional Intercompany Manager and the overall Worldwide Parent Company.

Today I get an email with the gist being “oopsy, I forgot this, this is an intercompany invoice from January that I haven’t brought down to you”. I have just gotten through a rather extensive email communication with the ones at fault. Their stupid assumption was that Finance automatically enters invoices and then they are just signing off on them.

Idiots! I set them straight. But this seems to happen every couple of months – where I have to remind them that yes we are part of a global conglomerate, that yes we are answerable to someone other than a manager who strokes their creative egos.