For all the obvious reasons, I have always loathed Mondays. But this, I knew, was deemed to be the mother of all Mondays. Not just the one day anyway, it was the entire week, and this was just the beginning- Audit week.
If only I could get through the first day, the rest would be cake- or so I thought.
That day, I arrived at office earlier than usual to “prepare for the audit.” You could think those 30-something minutes before 8am were going to move some mountain of sorts, as if I hadn’t had a whole week to prepare! This was my third week in the finance position and as it turned out, I had to get 2-years financial records on my fingertips like I owned them. Here I was, seated in my chair but I was a bunch of nerves and couldn’t even afford a swivel at it to calm them nerves down. I waited as I did “final touches” for the auditors but they were nowhere to be seen. Somehow, when you are under pressure, you begin to make all sorts of assumptions so I was thinking ‘probably the prior documents I sent via email were faulty, there was a mistake, something, anything wrong’ but I had to man-up, get the phone and call them to know why they were delaying to come. It appears they were just pre-occupied with some other stuff at their firm, pheux, thank God!! It was like someone had tapped me on the shoulder saying “you can breath now.” That extra day did me a little favor anyway.
On day two, the auditors arrived at about 9am. The pulse-rate only came down when I saw two young ladies entering the office. I was still being formal but they were onto something else; appreciating and being awed by the artistic setting of the office and the air naturally turned to casual-friendly.
The audit was smooth I must say: them asking questions about all company documents and finances, me owning up everything, explaining each figure like I made it what it was. Sometimes, yeah, I would be confused wondering where what was or where on earth some figure came from but thanks to the out-going accountant who, regardless of her busy schedule, would pick up her phone to attend to my endless list of inquiries.
It was a week of “Bring this file, now this document, then the other ledger” language; I literally transferred my entire office to the resource center (all files, books, name it), I could have carried the PC, I just wasn’t strong enough, haha. I expected it to last a day or two but, well, I was to stand to be corrected because we were at it for more than four days.
That week, I wore the shoes of a professional finance manager; am not sure what size they were but all I know is that they felt right.
I ought to say that having an audit at the start of my time in the finance position was a blessing in disguise ‘cause by the end of the four days, I was at the apex of the department with all the little tidbits of the company at the tip of my tongue. Had always dreamt of figures, only difference this time, they have got some $ dollar signs before them and £ on a good night. Now I can sit back, grab some popcorn and take charge.
A thing or two I picked up on the way.
- Let the figures speak. Your financial records should be kept in formats which can be read and interpreted by anyone, be it an accountant or just any ordinary person. You have to make sure that the entries in your accounting packages have hard copy backing (source documents).
- Financial records should be reviewed/audited internally say on a quarterly basis so that you keep track of the financial position of the company and basing on the findings, you can make forecasts and adjustments to redirect the company towards achieving the set goals. You don’t have to wait for the auditors to put you back on track.
- Yes, you might be scared and shaken-up but, don’t let the world see that. Exude confidence and practice positive thinking, not just in your career path but also in your life.
- Learn from others and also from your mistakes. Don’t be afraid to ask where you don’t understand. That’s just how the world operates; we have to learn from each other in one-way or another.
- From one of my favorite books ‘Vincent’ “…if you hear a voice within you saying, ‘you are not a painter,’ then by all means paint, boy, and that voice will be silenced, but only by working.