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  #11  
Old 06-18-2009, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Samantha View Post
I like this idea, but we are not the client in this case, so we don't get the bill.
Then your project manager should let the client know that your firm will be billing them for educating the audit staff, & approximately how much.
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  #12  
Old 06-18-2009, 02:31 PM
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It just annoys the heck out of me that they ask me these kinds of questions.

You work for one of the biggest accounting firms in the world and this is the biggest piece of pension legislation to come out in 30 years. There have been countless summaries of the basic changes put out by every firm around.

Now I have to read them to you too???

I agree the biggest firms are the worst.
The auditors have to understand what's going on, but they aren't pension experts. Just bill the client for all your time. If the questions get to be too much, they should push back on the auditors for you. At the least, the questions will be filtered through the client first.
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  #13  
Old 06-18-2009, 02:31 PM
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Then your project manager should let the client know that your firm will be billing them for educating the audit staff, & approximately how much.
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  #14  
Old 06-18-2009, 03:09 PM
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Then your project manager should let the client know that your firm will be billing them for educating the audit staff, & approximately how much.
And give up griping about it?

No good. It's my client and they've been my client for quite some time. I won't bill them for extra time, but I don't spend the time either. They are aware of the situation, since this happens every year, and I copy them on my responses. We get a laugh out of it.

It's probably more annoying because it makes me feel like a
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  #15  
Old 06-18-2009, 03:47 PM
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Griping can be cathartic.

The audit firm model is based on rookies (who must put in 2 years of audit grunt work to get a CPA) somehow acquiring an extremely broad but 1" deep knowledge of their client's financials.
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  #16  
Old 06-18-2009, 03:56 PM
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If this happened every year, I might print out a copy of one of those summaries, hand it to Junior, and say - "Go read this."
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Old 06-18-2009, 04:06 PM
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Nothing about FE and pensions from the auditor??

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  #18  
Old 06-18-2009, 06:35 PM
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Griping can be cathartic.

The audit firm model is based on rookies (who must put in 2 years of audit grunt work to get a CPA) somehow acquiring an extremely broad but 1" deep knowledge of their client's financials.


But ideally, that broad knowledge is enough to identify issues that they can raise to the attention of an expert.
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  #19  
Old 06-18-2009, 10:53 PM
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Default Easy fix

Note they want a 'brief explanation'. This is not for your benefit but theirs. They want you to do the work of putting fairly complicated concepts into bite-sized chunks for them to digest.

I would respond saying something along the lines of:
"I'm sorry but there is no easy way to explain these concepts in brief. For completeness I have enclosed the best summary I could find."
and attach a couple hundred pages of official IRS explanations of PPA, if not the law itself.

Either they'll learn the stuff cold or they'll know not to ask you for more explanations.
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  #20  
Old 06-19-2009, 01:06 AM
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I've had the same problem on the P&C side (I work in reinsurance). The auditors would get a data dump then attempt to tie out the premium, paid loss and incurred loss to my reports. They rarely got the incurred losses to match. A sample conversation would be:

The auditor: Hey WNC, we're got some real serious variances in the incurred losses
Me: It's probably the ACRs
The auditor: What's an ACR?

A few times the differences were because their spreadsheets were wrong. I actually observed them typing in numbers into an excel spreadsheet from another spreadsheet. Painful painful memories.
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