Wednesday, 23 November 2011


I'm right in the middle of my annual audit and am not at all happy. The source of my frustration is nothing to do with my books, records or accounts, but the attitude the auditors have towards trees!!! I have a company wide network of PC's and on it I run professional accounting software. I do all of my work using it, and often extract data into spreadsheets for further analysis. At home I have a business grade PC with a remote link to my office network. So whether I'm working in the office or at home, everything I do is computerised - so yeh, I have square eyes. lol.

The auditors arrived Monday morning, each with their own laptop slung sexily over their shoulder. They make themselves comfortable in the Board Room and set up their laptops. It's at this point that I would dearly love to hand over a memory stick containing the accounts together with all of the working papers, spreadsheets and schedules. I have it all ready for them .... but no, they want it all printing out for their file.

But that's only the beginning. One at a time (there are 3 of them) they come to speak with me about whatever part of the business they are looking into at the time. They pull a chair up to my desk, open their laptop and peer accusingly over the top of the screen as they fire at me their questions, furiously typing my answers into their machines. Cool, so they're not totally unappreciative of the need to embrace modern technology .... are they? Yes, they are!!! Once they have completed the 'interrogation' the report will be printed off for their file. On one occassion, during 'questioning' I pulled up a report on my screen to show them a transaction they were interested in. "Ooh good, can I have a print of that then?", he asked excitedly. "Yes ... just that page" I replied, pretending I wanted to be helpful. "No .... the whole report". "Whaaat???" I exclaimed "but it's 63 pages and you're only interested in one item on page 57". "Sorry, but I have to have the whole report so the item can be seen in context". How #$@%$*@ ridiculous is that?

Sadly, that is the way it has been going all week. I protest and even greet them sarcastically with "Take a seat - have you come to cut down another tree?" .... "What do you do in your spare time - Oragami?". I even tried reducing paper usage by reducing the font size (too small to make notes against) and duplex printing to use both sides of the paper (not convenient for their files). I will be having a moan (which is something I'm rather good at) to the senior partners of the firm just for my own satisfaction.

And talking of computers, as if the audit isn't enough, my laptop decided to die on me a few days ago. Suddenly, inexplicably, it went off and can not be made to come back on. Though annoyed, I wasn't too upset because I am fairly disciplined with back up's and know there is nothing important on the disk that I haven't got somewhere else. I also knew the machine is only 3-years old and I took out an Extended Warranty when I bought it. However, the bad news is that the extended warranty expired in October, just a few weeks ago. I don't often swear but the air turned blue when I discovered that.

So as I approach the remaining days of the tree-hungry audit, witnessing a team of professionals spread their carbon footprint far and wide, I drop my broken laptop into the bin. It's not the greatest of weeks so far but I'm looking on the bright side ...... it will soon be the weekend and then I'll be able to do some painting. Hey-ho!!


  1. John, you have had a bit of a miserable week, but at least you've maintained a hearty sense of humor! Did you really say that to the auditors? It was hilarious!!! Good for you!

  2. I agree with your rant at the way people mindlessly waste paper and have been doing the same in my new job.

    Get on the phone to their bosses about the nonsensical wastage - 60+ pages for 1 (or if they want context 2 pages either side), what is that about??? As for not allowing duplex printing - can't they turn pages over???

    Sorry it makes me mad. You already know I hate tree distruction, although I'm not as paper free as you are, as I find books/articles to hard to read computers.

  3. Sorry - forgot to say I love your cartoon and I look forward to your sepia work when they have gone. (I saw your comment on Travels with a Sketchbook)

  4. John, bad week, great sense of humor. I add this John, you have a gift in you can paint and draw. Sorry for all the rest.

    All the best to you,

  5. John, I think the Auditors just wanted to save their own paper, ink, printers, and time by getting you to print it all! Still, I suppose you can sit back and watch them stagger off with the mound of paperwork and their impending bad backs!... Keep up the good humour.

  6. Hi Kathryn, how lovely to see you here. Yes, I really did say that ... and more. ;-)

    Hi Sue, don't get me wrong I'm not totally paper-free and probably print more than I NEED to, but these guys are in a league of their own ... for now! ;-) They thought I was studiously taking notes as I sketched the cartoon - oh, they've got a lot to learn. LOL.

    Joan, what a lovely thing for you to say. Thank you very much.

    Ann, I'm sure you're right - I think I'll email it all to them next year and they can print it themselves. LOL

  7. Wonderful post, John ... amusing but with a strong message. I love the cartoon :) I rarely print anything now at work - PDFs are fine on a big screen. I use mainly paperless billing at home, apart from the water and fuel bills .. I like to be able to tear them up in disgust and wait for the reminders lol.
    Trouble is I'm using up enough paper just learning to paint and draw ;) I just wish everyone else thought a bit more about their waste !

  8. Oh auditors! What joy! I remember them from the days when I used to be an accountant. "Got to follow the audit trail" Can't count the times I've made copies of my copy of an invoice. Eejits - and who said working on computers would cut down on paper usage and save time?
    On the good side, love your sketch.. but you do know, if his head is above the line, he's fair game for a rubber band catapult? :lol:

  9. LOL Michael ... I love your point that you can't tear up paperless bills. Hadn't thought of that before. Thanks for the nice comment.

    Pat, Pat, Pat .... do you realise now just how hard it's going to be not to think of rubber band catapults the next time one of them comes in? LOL.

  10. RESULT!!!

    An auditor has just asked for another report and voluntarily said "Just the page with the transaction on". How cool is that?

  11. Hi John.
    I`m so sorry to hear about those horrors and the way they go about their business. I would like to say ignore them but I know you can`t. By the way that is a lovely little doodle you have done. All the best John and hopefully a better week ahead for you.

  12. You do make me chuckle John! Do they know you have a blog? Do they read it? Maybe you should put a link to this post on all of your emails to those tree hungry peeps, lol! :0)

  13. Hi Vic, they've got the message - lol. I'll enjoy a wee dram of my favourite whisky tonight and end the week on a high. Thanks for dropping in.

    Hiya Sandra, I doubt they know about my blog ... yet! LOL. I had thought of sending them a homemade Xmas card consisting of a cartoon showing a huge delivery of copier paper to my office with my colleagues saying "JJ's get ready for the next audit". The words on the card could say "Merry Xmas and a preposterous new year". LOL.

  14. Aw, so sorry to hear about your awful week... isn't it great to be an artist though? We always have our painting times to look forward to! Glad I checked out your blog :) I can't wait to see more..

  15. John...first time I'm visiting and really sorry for your horrible week..However, looking through your blog you have wonderful drawings that you should be proud of..

  16. Love this post...with good spirits and humor you can survive many things :-)) And surely the next week will be better :-)
    My computer did the same a few months ago...just went totally dead all of a sudden, I wonder if we have the same model...?
    Wishing you all the best!l

  17. You're spot on Rose ... we DO have our art to look forward to. It's frustrating sometimes (often) that there isn't enough time but that just makes it all the more enjoyable when we can eventually pick up our brushes. Thanks for visiting. ;-)

    Hilda, lovely to see you here and thank you for the nice comment.

    Thank you Jane. Don't know about your computer but mine can be recognised by the size 10 boot print in the lid. Lovely to see you here.

  18. what a delightful site this is!!! sorry the week has been a bit of bust for you. hope the audit goes well and things are looking up real soon.

  19. Hi Suzanne, how lovely of you to visit. Things have really looked up ... the auditors have gone so I can get out the real set of books, my new laptop is much lighter than my old one so I can throw it further, and since I only work 3-days a week, today is my Friday. What could be better? LOL