Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Accountant Ver 2.0

In his book on Career Warfare, D Alessandro had given a cavemen analogy for the corporate world. He called accountants as the cavemen who would believe that they should spend more on accurate weighing equipment so that the food brought by the hunters could be rationed among cavemen better rather than spears to hunt for prey. Here are some good accounting related comments I found at the New Yorker website

"We are neither hunters or gatherers. We are accountants. "

"New from accounting, sir. Two and two is four again."

"The only thing that can save us this quarter is an accounting breakthrough"

The worst combination can be when accountants excel sheets set BHAGs (Big Hairy Audacious Goals) during budgeting and then company executives get a BFO (Blinding flash of the obvious). That would then lead to quick fix solutions that would finally translate into action items like use less toilet paper or travel economy class.

Moreover regulations like Sarbanes Oxley have given this much maligned corporate species a fresh lease of life. You now have to fill forms like Vendor approval form for even buying pens or staplers. Hence accountants now have an extra aura of danger because they now represent this critical link between strategy and operational risk management. As organizations get sucked into a new deluge of forms and guidelines, I believe the fun that good IT systems took away from accountants is back. Hope to see more cartoons on them.


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