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Monday, August 28, 2006

Don't overfeed the Auditor!

American comedian Groucho Marx attended a cricket game during one visit to the UK. He apparently remarked afterwards: "If you suffer from insomnia after this, you really need to see your analyst!"

In the workplace, there are various jobs which evoke a similar response. There's a story about a female patient at the doctor's surgery after undergoing some tests. The doctor says:, "I have some very bad news for you...you've only six months to live." The patient is understandably upset and when she recovers asks: "Oh doctor, what should I do?" The doctor says: "Marry an actuary and go and live in the country."

"Will that make me live longer?" the patient eagerly asks. "No," says the doctor, "but it will be the longest six months of your life."

It's said that an accountant is someone who wanted to be an actuary, but didn't have the personality for it. (I used be one!)

Whatever can be said about numbercruching, it would be hard to conjure up credible spin for auditing but it's more exciting in China, unless you overindulge.

It has been recently reported that China's audit authority has instituted a new code of conduct to maintain integrity and discipline after confirming the "irregular practices" of a local auditor who died after being entertained by government officials.

Zhang Hongtao, 25, who reportedly died from "excessive drinking and eating", attended a series of banquets hosted by the electricity bureau being audited by his team in the northern province of Hebei, China's National Audit Office (NAO) said.

The team, which was assigned to audit a power grid construction and transformation project of the Yanshan County Electricity Bureau also participated in expenses-paid trips organized by the bureau, the NAO said.

According to the Beijing News, Zhang's colleagues carried on a planned trip with officials of the electronic bureau to the southern tourist city of Yangzhou, shortly after his death.

"It is sad for Zhang. I deeply pity him," said an anonymous Internet user on the Sina website. "Zhang sacrificed himself for China's crooked government working style in which drinking and dining are inevitable in everyday life."

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