Keeping the Auditors Happy

December 2, 2011 | By Thompson Education | Post a Comment

(This post originally appeared on Title I-Derland, Thompson’s blog on federal K-12 education and was written by Chuck Edwards, senior executive director for Thompson’s education products.) I was recently reminded of a quote by James Carville, the ragin’ Cajun, uttered in the middle of the deficit debate early in President Clinton’s administration.

“I used to think if there was reincarnation, I wanted to come back as the president or the pope or a .400 baseball hitter. But now I want to come back as the bond market. You can intimidate everybody.”

Well, I want to come back as an auditor.

This may bear a little explanation. I am a regulations geek, and I spend a lot of time looking at audit reports. And it has occurred to me that the grantees I know spend a lot of time trying to keep the auditors happy.

I googled the phrase “keep the auditors happy,” and, sure enough, there were 8,040 hits. Many of the websites offer this kind of advice:

“Keep all your records for five years — it will keep your auditors happy.”

“Make sure your invoices match your purchase orders — it will keep the auditors happy.”

“Tag all your equipment — that will keep your auditors happy.”

So, it seems that a lot of people out there are doing their best to keep their auditors in a state of perfect bliss.

Which is why I would like to come back as an auditor — they must be the happiest people alive.

Photo credit: Tracy Bunkers

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