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December 5, 2022

Here Are Some Coded Phrases You Will Hear During Busy Season

It’s busy season and most accountants are feeling the physical and emotional pain of long hours. While cryptic underhanded messages are the last thing you need, there’s no stopping anyone from sending mixed messages.
I’ve been there and it takes time to fully understand what people are saying to you. For all you newbies, here’s a list of for what your seniors and managers are actually saying to you:
“Did you bring your lunch?”
Translation: “You don't actually get a break for lunch. Order ahead of time and pick it up to-go. Or get it delivered. And plan on eating your lunch at your desk while working.”
“Man, I have tons of work to do”
Translation: “I am miserable. I have multiple managers who expected their audits to be done yesterday. This job isn't worth it. I’m looking for a pity party plus, I am searching for a way out of public accounting. Don’t mess with me today.” 
“Just rollforward the file”
Translation: “Change FYE 12/31/13 to 12/31/14 and sign off on the workpaper. You're done. That being said, I’ll probably still ask why you rolled it forward if it’s wrong.” 
“We need to stay on budget”
Translation: “Take the actual hours you worked that week, minus 10-15 hours and book that amount of time to the job code. It's called eating hours.”
“The client hasn't gotten us anything”
Translation: “I can finally blame the client for not getting any work done today.”
“Do you have work to do this weekend?”
Translation: “Yes, you have to work this weekend. Time to cancel any plans you had for anything you might enjoy doing.”
“Where are we at in the file?”
Translation: “Tell me that you have accomplished something meaningful. Make me feel like things are going great for once.”
“Auditing is a great financial career decision”
Translation: “Just look at your salary basis and be happy with that annual number. Do NOT calculate your hourly rate. It will depress you, I promise.”
“I left a few comments for you in the file”
Translation: “I ripped apart all of your work and found errors everywhere. I left a note for each error and good luck understanding what I meant for each comment. Also, this is additional work on top of your day-to-day tasks. Plan to work tonight. Oh, and yes, I may have told you to change font size and color. Just do it.”
“It should take you about 30 minutes to complete”
Translation: “It will actually take you about 4 hours to complete however I expect you to book 30 minutes.”
Consider yourself properly warned. What coded phrases are you hearing?


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