What do 2 Dysons and a pressure cooker have to do with #AuditorProud?

 

Carolyn Ralph Partner, Department of Professional Practice, Board Member of Australian Auditing and Assurance Standards Board
Carolyn Ralph
Partner, Department of Professional Practice, Board Member of Australian Auditing and Assurance Standards Board

A man-child friend of mine, let’s call him Jeff*, exclaimed he has matured as he now has 2 Dysons AND a pressure cooker. A Weber may have also been mentioned.

You might be wondering my reaction. He can now suck, blow AND cook? Maturity questionable.

The Dyson brand is synonymous with innovation. And “it helps you do more with less”. Jeff is sounding more efficient than mature perhaps?

And here it is….auditing lives and breathes 2 Dysons and a pressure cooker. Let’s celebrate these key features today on #AuditorProud day:

 

 

Suck – the humble vacuum cleaner purpose is to ‘suck up…[data]…for collection and…[analysis].’ Sound familiar auditors? We gather enormous amounts of data for testing. Jeff sucks daily apparently, vacuuming his toast crumbs “just coz he can”. Maturity Increasing. Evidence based on frequency. Maturity plummeting. Evidence based on Jeff still eating toast for dinner.

Blow – ever been beside the umpire when they blow their whistle? Ever been the recipient of the umpire’s whistle blown? Pure arresting moments, and the signal blast of an audit report drawing attention to a clients’ material error is no less intimidating or life changing [!!?].

Cook –auditors need a recipe to follow to independently and consistently form a view on the truth and fairness of financial statements. We follow the auditing standards as our recipe, conducting our work accordingly. Given the pressure cooker mention was followed closely by the Weber mention, is it reasonable to assume Jeff is really just BBQ-ing everything? Me thinks yes, as the next 20 mins was spent discussing where to buy a brush to clean the Weber. Maturity Neutral. Evidence widely available on google (and at home?!) regarding the average MasterChef-ness of most men is in this territory. Let’s see how he maturely handles ginger-eye-brow-singe after a Weber fire caused by lack of cleaning.

Why I like picturing auditing as 2 Dysons and a pressure cooker is the innovation aspect. While legal deadlines for clients submitting their financial statements (and audit report) remain compressed to a short timeframe, auditors have no choice but to innovate. My fave 3 auditor innovations:

1. Adding value to shareholders – inserting Key Audit Matters to audit reports last year provides shareholders with insights from behind the boardroom doors of what auditors have been saying privately to Directors. Are these a softly softly blow of the umpire’s whistle.

2. Data and analytics – we suck it out so you can suck it in. Specialist technologies allow us to interrogate data populations, automating the analysis into trends, and blowing the whistle where there are unexpected changes. Bringing the blind-side into sight and facilitating a better way forward for clients.

3. Agility and flexibility in workforce planning – highly trained and credentialed auditors deserve to see their friends and families in July and August, so we need to adapt business models to account for the concentration of work in the pressure cooker period.

I am a proud auditor. Auditors are working hard bringing the best of ourselves to every interaction, living up to the promise of an audit – confidence and credibility. Happy #AuditorProud Day!

I guess if I can equate a mature service such as auditing to 2 Dysons and a pressure cooker, perhaps I need to give Jeff his dues and agree he has matured. Maturity achieved. Roger that.

Postscript: Who has assumed Jeff’s blow Dyson is a blow-dryer for his lustrous ginger-locks versus a heater for his cold tootsies?

*Real name Jeff

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