Auditors: Understanding the Language of GAAP

I often get called for guidance with auditors.

For those in the business realm, take this a freebie:


Yes, we can all spend a small fortune and MAYBE influence their position, but auditors are the most stubborn proffesionals on the place of this planet. Resistance is futile. While there are some cases where calling in a third party expert on certain complex GAAP, in the end, I have watched this crumble as your auditors will always make the final call.

Now, I am a fighter. I never give up, but with auditors who bill by the hour, I start the conversation to the tune of: “What do you want?” It’s economical at this point.

I’ve gotten to the point where they agree on the phone with the GAAP analysis…you peaceably rest your head, thinking “It’s over”…Oh no, they are just sick of talking…for now. Tomorrow a new partner calls and it’s like nothing you verbally accomplished even happened. The stalemate.

I speak limited GAAP – yes, it is the most unemotional, numerical language on the face of the earth. However, it’s not different than law in the sense that all agreements must be read thoroughly to gain an accurate picture of which accounting treatment should be rendered.

So in the end, these jokes give me a good laugh on how to not take a $2.1M loss on the balance sheet seriously. Like they don’t think that we will be trying to call an expert to retaliate…but in the meantime…jokes and laughter solve some frustrating issues…even when one know’s they are correct!

Joke: “Doctor, Doctor. Every time I go on an audit I get covered in rashes. What could it be?”
“Mmmm. Let me take a look. Aaah. As I suspected. Ticks.”

Joke: What do you get if you cross a wild, ferocious, man-eating tiger with an internal auditor?
A very dull tiger.

Joke: What does an auditor’s wife ask her husband when she can’t get to sleep?
“Tell me about your day, dear.”

Joke: A woman went to the doctor who told her she only had 6 months to live.
“Oh my God!” said the woman. “What shall I do?”
“Marry an auditor,” suggested the doctor.
“Why?” asked the woman. “Will that make me live longer?”
“No,” replied the doctor. “But it will SEEM longer.”

Joke: What happens when you lock a wild hyena in a room with an internal auditor?
The hyena stops laughing.

I am laughing right now. Okay, if you are not, you have never had to deal with auditors, and I wish you the good fortune to never have to!

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