Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
February 1, 2023

Accounting News Roundup: Professional Skepticism and Work Texts on Sundays | 07.18.17

accounting news rubik's cube

Professional skepticism

In part one of a pair of Tom Selling posts about professional skepticism, he tries to get to the essence of what the ol’ cliche of the auditing world means:

Skepticism is to have doubt as to the truth of something. But how much doubt?

The PCAOB’s standards state that the auditor should be “assuming neither honesty or dishonesty.” Perhaps this means that the auditor should behave as if each statement from management is being received from the first time from a person that they don’t know at all. But, even if I am correct, it seems like an impossible standard to hew to given human nature and the economic constraints that auditors operate under.

Perhaps, that is where “professional” comes into play. In all walks of life, professionalism is defined as conforming to standards of behavior that are a cut above non-professionals.

I follow until he gets to the standard of “professional.” Even if professionals are held to higher standards, they make mistakes all the time. More importantly, human professionals can still be fooled or manipulated by people. There’s nothing in the auditing curriculum that covers how to avoid being manipulated, is there? The human element of auditing may be the most important and yet, I don’t recall ever completing any psychological profiles for the humans I came in contact with at the clients I examined.

I guess this could be one area of auditing that the robots can’t take away from you: reading the human. While robots are doing all the boring testwork, auditors just have to determine whether their clients are trustworthy, fibbers, manipulators, or pathological liars. I think all the psychology majors will be excited to have jobs in the not-so-distant future.

Unorthodox interviewing

Via New York, here’s Barstool Sports’ CEO Erika Nardini in an interview with The New York Times and, uh, interviewing is discussed:

Here’s something I do: If you’re in the process of interviewing with us, I’ll text you about something at 9 p.m. or 11 a.m. on a Sunday just to see how fast you’ll respond.

For Nardini, the right response time is three hours, explaining that “Other people don’t have to be working all the time, but I want people who are also always thinking.” And I kinda have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, texting anyone about work-related matters on the weekend is contemptible, but if you’re trying to hire someone maybe this helps test their commitment? Once you know someone’s thinking all the time, then you can leave them alone on a Sunday at 11 am or 9 pm. Of course, by responding to the [email protected] text, you’ve just obliterated the boundaries of your weekend and your work, and that can’t be good.

Why am I even trying to rationalize this? Don’t text people about work on the weekend, you monsters.

Brought to you by Accountingfly

The latest “Meet This Firm” video features Prager Megis.

Previously, on Going Concern…

I wrote about Citrin Cooperman putting up with Pharma Bro Martin Shkreli.

In other news:

Get the Accounting News Roundup in your inbox every weekday by signing up here.

See something we missed? Have a comment or complaint? Email us at [email protected].

Latest Accounting Jobs--Apply Now:

Have something to add to this story? Give us a shout by email, Twitter, or text/call the tipline at 202-505-8885. As always, all tips are anonymous.

Comments are closed.

Related articles

a dog wearing VR

Monday Morning Accounting News Brief: Deloitte on Microtransactions; More EY Split Roadblocks; Have You Become Irritable? | 11.28.22

Happy Monday! Here’s some stuff that’s going on. Several US audit firms told the Financial Times that they had elevated some or all of their crypto-related clients to the status of “high risk”, triggering a more thorough audit that will take longer and lead to higher bills; some clients could ultimately be dropped altogether. KPMG […]

woman working on a laptop with a dog beside her

Monday Morning Accounting News Brief: The Leadership Void; KPMG Gets Fined (Again); PwC Ups Leave | 10.3.22

Deloitte launches Global Sustainability & Climate learning program that aims to enhance skills and capabilities of Deloitte people to help address a global societal challenge. Dubai’s financial regulator has provisionally fined KPMG and one of its former partners $2 million over the firm’s auditing of Abraaj, the emerging markets private equity group that collapsed in […]