Dear Audited Entities

I was going to say I’ve heard it all. Oh, if only that were true. Much, much more is to come, I fear. Dear Units Passing By On The Planet, Dear Seekers After A Fuller And More Rewarding Life, Dear Professors Of Knowledge and Enlightenment, Dear Pastors Of A Wandering Flock – I could go on forever. But you, dear Audited Entities, couldn’t. I know that. We are not all Theresa Mays.

Just think how much time and trouble has been taken to bring Dear Audited Entities to our table. KPMG (praise be for a short mnemonic) alone has spent hours poring over a warm computer’s Thesaurus, desperate to find the right word, the subtle touch that reflects an independence they have so clearly demonstrated was missing for the last N years. Silly billies. Don’t they know that putting NOT POISON on the label is an admission of something even if not of murderous intent.

When young I issued a document about money. As we were not allowed to tout for investments I headed it THIS IS NOT A PROSPECTUS. Of course, my lawyers laughed all the way to the pub where, kindly people, over a pint of beer they assured me that I was admitting it was. What’s in a name? I asked the question and tried to answer it quite recently. I didn’t add, thinking it was not necessary, that naming the horse box after the horse has bolted makes you look foolish.

Rubbish is an uncompromisingly clear word. Auditors should think again before trying to pull the wool over our eyes. But there is a more serious side to what KPMG and other auditors are trying to do. Obfuscation has been a hugely successful way of stealing money from people. The man on the sidewalk shuffling cards and asking you to identify the Queen is the founding father of the game. More sophisticated con men followed later. Many were in the finance industry. Confusion slid quickly from one discipline to another embracing HR, Technology, Government on the way.

It has spread to Government departments all over the world. In Britain, the tax man can demand money on spec, even if you don’t owe it. The cost of fighting him may be ten times the cost of paying up. As a way of collecting revenue in what is called a civilised society it stinks. Benefit claims in socially minded societies like Singapore can be so complicated that the aged or ill person for which they are made is dead before the claim is handled. Being difficult pays, it seems.

Is that really what we want out of life? Are we to be bombarded by online – and through-mail – literature explaining the reason for making life difficult? Are the sunset years, a time for reflection, relaxation and reminiscences, to be eaten away by officialdom gone mad? Electorates the world over are putting their collective feet down. Law-abiding citizens should do the same.

I propose a course which (heaven forbid I should advertise) we already run called The Heart of the Matter. It enables you to discover what really matters in any situation. For example, the auditors should ask themselves what will make the customer and the regulators more confident. Their PR people have singularly failed to do this so far. It would even help those involved in Brexit clear their heads of the nonsenses they are perpetrating.

So there’s a thought to leave you with. Discover The Heart of the Matter. And don’t forget, there is a new word in the dictionary. It defines the brick wall in all of us.

May you use it for the benefit of everyone, but not for Brexit.

It is ‘theresamayism’.

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