Wednesday, December 22, 2010

New Year’s Resolutions – your last ones

What are your New Year’s resolutions? They’d better be good. These are your last ones. That’s right. 2012, the world is ending per the Hopi and the Mayans and Nicolas Cage. So I took the time to put together some resolutions to prepare yourself for the end of the world and to make the most of the last year that Earth will be the cool place to live.

  1. Join a militia. Better yet start one. That way, you’ll be the leader and the other militiamen have to protect you and your domain.
  2. Sell fake goods. Some sects out there are going to start stocking up on power generators and canned goods and other survival supplies. There is a market for this. Exploit it. So I put together a flashlight glued to a tank of lighter fluid and sold it online for $200 as a power generator. If the world doesn’t collapse in 2012, the buyer will never need it and never notice it’s worthless.
  3. Remember how cool Y2K was!?!? Remember how on office space, the main character said he helped businesses prepare for Y2K? Totally start a consulting business telling companies you’ll help them prepare their computer systems for the 2012 end of the world. When it passes, you’ll look like a success.
  4. Write a cool song for 2012. Prince knew was business savvy when he wrote “Party Like it’s 1999.” It was a commercial success and the theme song of 1999. Follow his lead and write a ditty for ’11. Rhymes with heaven, seven, Kevin. Should make for a promising mix.
  5. Tell your staff to get all the audit workpapers done early. Tell them they have to wrap up the audit by 12/31/2011. When they tell you, they can't audit the books when they haven’t yet closed, tell them it’s only going to get harder to audit the books after the world slips into anarchy.
  6. Start acclimating yourself to the taste of canned foods.
  7. USD will become meaningless in an anarchist society. Therefore you need to project what will be the new currency and start stocking up on it. Probably snowglobes and abaci (the plural of abacus). The snowglobes to remind humans of how pretty the world was and abaci because you still want to be a respectable accountant in a world without currency and calculators.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Divestitures and Such

Submitted to Company Newsletter March 2010

As I prepare to roll off my busy season client and out of audit, I decided to express my appreciation, exasperation, and/or unending love for various teammates by designing and ordering the below magnets.

I plan to customize them with the below examples.

  • Remember the time we worked together? It was like petting puppies and eating ice cream daily because you were always writing the most concise yet thoughtful tickmarks.

  • Remember the time we worked together? It was like working with Santa Claus because you were bringing me presents in the form of GAAS compliant audit procedures.

  • Remember the time we worked together? It was like working with the lead singer of a Tears for Fears cover band because you were always listening to your earphones and rocking out to “Shout” like you weren’t an auditor in a janitorial closet at 11:00 p.m. on a Thursday night.

  • Remember the time we worked together? It was like the Commitments and Contingencies footnote because you were always a “guaranteed” good time.

  • Remember the time we worked together? It was like being at a three-month long LAN party because you were sleep deprived, unkempt, really into your computer and always aiming to conquer the virtual world that is SEC compliance.

  • Remember the time we worked together? It was like the new Auditing Standards Codification, because you were confusing, demanding, and elusive yet well-intentioned.

I ordered 200 magnets, so let me know if you want one.

On a serious note, I am turning in my red pencil and GAAP Checklist log-in and transferring out of audit. It’s been real, and so to anyone who is reading this - Remember the time we worked together? It was like being a moon in a waxing gibbous phase because you let me have a good time once a month even if it was awkward. Gibbous phases are weird. Accounting jokes are weird. And we all let them happen once a month. Thanks.

Open Letter to the Managing Partner

I found this in my email this week. I guess I wrote it for the Company Newsletter a year ago, but maybe they wouldn't let me include it or something.

An Open Letter to the Managing Partner:

It's Monday afternoon. Between catching up on all the work I intended to complete over the weekend yet never touched and counting down the hours until the next weekend, I receive an email. Has Jake Gyllenhaal finally replied to my fan emails? Or will it just be another notification of the restraining order Mr. Gyllenhaal has issued against me? Will it be an email from kids at the high school down the block apologizing for mugging me for my KFC bucket of wings? Or will it be a message from the KFC agreeing to lace the coleslaw order with Crayolas and burnt cat hair the next time the punk kids order?

No, it's a message from Mr. Morrissey notifying me, yet again, of a tardy timesheet.

Hi, Ed. You seem like a nice enough guy, and I'm a somewhat earnest employee. You seem to care about time sheets, so I can care about time sheets. I have done some thinking and have some ideas on increasing time sheet submissions:

Time sheets remind me of when I worked at the blackberry orchard when I was thirteen. We always submitted them on time. When you're making $2.50/hour, you want every penny of it. There's something about physically punching a time clock. Maybe if someone could physically bring me a time clock and card, I'd stamp it on time. We also got a commission of sorts at the orchard - fifty cents for every quart of blackberries picked.

Maybe you could sweeten the deal with a quarter for every time I WAU on time.You know what makes time sheets tough - figuring out the most appropriate charge code. I have some ideas of new charge codes I could really use. If I could allocate some time to scrapbooking, rehearsing magic tricks, or aerophilately (the collecting airmail stamps), I'd definitely submit more timely time sheets.

My mom used to give us sticker charts growing up. Every time I did the dishes, Bonnie gave me a ladybug sticker. When I am home for the holidays, I can ask her if she has any more stickers if you want to dole them out as incentives. Anyway, just some thoughts. Maybe I will make timely time sheets my New Year's Resolution, right after getting Jake Gyllenhaal to reverse that cease and desist order. 2009 is going to be huge.

Top Ten Lessons I Learned This Busy Season

Submitted to company newsletter March 2010

Top Ten Lessons I Learned This Busy Season

  1. SIPC Agreed Upon Procedures, huh?
  2. No matter how many hours you put in at work, your roommates think you still have time to do all their dishes.
  3. No matter how meticulous or organized you are, there will always be an error with your engagement team’s take-out delivery.
  4. There are 65,536 lines in an Excel schedule. Because anything larger than that means hours of frustration with an Access database.
  5. ASC 820-10 = SFAS 157 = ASC 820-10. I’ll learn the rest of them next year.
  6. The data doesn’t mine itself.
  7. There is nothing like that wave of anxiety when you import a transfer file in AS/2 and have that 3 second wait period to see how many review notes you will have back.
  8. You love the new Audit Methodology…
  9. Except for the times you hate the new Audit Methodology.
  10. “More than I ever wanted to learn about the Maritime Marine Act of 1920, otherwise known as the Jones Act” (quote from Herb Lohmann on auditing commodities)

Friday, January 8, 2010

January 2010 Email Update

Hey friends, I don't think I have sent out an email update since Africa 2009, so here are the highlights of the past few months.

Allen Boorstein. I received a voicemail at my desk one fall afternoon. An older gent Allen Boorstein called to ask for Charles Goldsmith* because Allen is writing a book. Turns out Allen was the president of Rob Roy, the first company to outsource manufacturing to Japan, Korea, and later China. He held the exclusive licensing rights to Snoopy, Roy Rogers, and Superman. He fought in WWII and graduated from Harvard Business School in 1950. He's insane and hilarious and eccentric. Yadda yadda yadda, he now pays me to help him write this book, which will most likely never come to fruition because he is easily distracted. It's cool. I read the paper with him and his wife on Saturdays in their apartment, which has a larger foyer than my entire three-person apartment, and file the emails he receives and prints out.

*If you know the whereabouts of Charles Goldsmith, let me know because we are still searching for him. He was a Deloitte partner in the 80's, and Allen and I cannot find him on friendster.

This Monday. I will be an extra in a Passion Pit music video. Why not?

Petra. In my quest to see the Seven Wonders of the World before I am thirty, my roommate and I have sought out Petra as our destination of choice in September 2010. This brings me to the whole point of sending out this email.

Sarah Lindenberg, purveyor of good times*, and I would like to visit Jordan and Israel and maybe some other sights in the area, perhaps Turkey, during the first half of September. We are looking for interested companions to join in our search for impromptu dance parties, strange encounters with families and small children, and increasing the love other countries already have for Americans.

Gordon Hua from India 2K7 may join along. Should be insane.

*"Purveyor of Good Times" is a phrase coined by Johnathan George in 2010, memo writer and break dancer extraordinare.

Pens. I have like a hundred ink pens that read "2009 I lost Michael Jackson but I got this pen from Tara Hagan." If you want one, send me a self addressed stamped envelope, and I will mail you one. I ran out of stamps and envelopes after the holiday card mailing. My address is 303 Broome Apt 6, New York, New York 10002.

Busy Season 2010. So it's that time of year again where I disappear into the mounds of data waiting for me to mine it, vlookup it, if(iserror(cell,true,false)) it, goal seek it, and basically just love on it. It's been a pleasure knowing you, but I probably won't see you for a couple months but will more than make it up to you afterwards. Love you.

Mass Emails Suck. Seriously, let me know if you want me to stop sending you generic mass emails. They are lame, but if you write me back, I will write you a personal email and/or stop emailing you if you would prefer that route.

Valentines Cards for Auditors

Submitted to the company newsletter for February 2010

Top Ten Reasons Why I am Okay With Busy Season

Submitted to company newsletter in February 2010 issue

That abusive mistress, busy season. It torments and teases and makes a fool of me, and yet I keep coming back to her. After a few years, I have come to terms with busy season, and thus have compiled my top ten reasons I am okay with busy season.

  1. It’s seasonal. Like depression.
  2. The data doesn’t mine itself. It needs me to mine it, vlookup it, if(iserror(cell, true,false)) it, goal seek it, basically just love on it.
  3. It’s really good practice for the 10-Q. No? The other way around?
  4. If you’re single, you get to ignore the whole Valentine’s Day hoopla.
  5. If you’re not single, you get to somewhat ignore the whole Valentine’s Day hoopla.
  6. It’s paradise for clinical insomniacs and masochists… basically vampires. And vampires are hot these days in the books and on the screen. We were all on the forefront of the trend years ago.
  7. Think of all the new excel formulas you’ll learn. Party tricks!
  8. After working that first Saturday together where everyone comes in casual clothes, you realize you would never recognize any of your coworkers on the street and they would never be able to recognize you on the street either, and this brings you great comfort.
  9. Speaking of casual wear on the weekends, when else do you get to wear your Animaniacs™ t-shirt, tie-dye fanny pack, and black jorts to work? Other than in your dreams.
  10. In all seriousness, when I look back over my past few busy seasons, these are the moments I learn the most and appreciate my teammates the most. So why not embrace the challenge and make the most of it. Best of luck!