No Accounting for Charity…

Posted: 29/11/2011 in Uncategorized

So sayeth the Lord, “wheveverest though debit, so shall thee credit”.

That was hard, I think I might be getting a cold, kind of achy all-around, off my pace (look at that, I’ve got a ‘pace’ now) and sweating a bit more than usual.

However, it’s not so much about the running today, but about a conversation…

Late last night (well, late for me) we were talking, as we sometimes do, about things to do when we win the Lottery. The suggestion was that if you have enough money, you’d go and work for VSO, or something similar. Which sounds fair enough.

However, I asked what we had to offer, and we realised that, basically, that is the gift of accountancy.

After giving it some thought, I’m not sure that accountancy is a gift you’d want to receive; imagine you’re a tribe, newly emergered from the jungle, and the VSO turn up with doctors, teachers, engineers and an accountant. Picture, if you will…..

  • “I appreciate that last week your wood was worth three chickens, but in the current macroeconomic lumber market prices have slumped. I’m afraid you’ll have to impair the value of that lumber, but only as a carrying adjustment, as the price may recover”,
  • “Your colleague owes you two boar, but has not yet paid you. Are you prepared to write that off as a Bad Debt, or would you like one last chance at recovery? Given the statutory interest rates on late debtors, you could be due an extra haunch by now”,
  • “I know you received half a ton of berries for the house you built your neighbour, but you can’t eat them all now. You’ll need to expend them over the life of the asset you created, which is usually assessed to be forty years”; and
  • “Ah, Chief, I understand a neighbouring tribe performs some hunting and gathering for you, and the fact that your nephew is chief there suggests you have more than 40%of a controlling interest in that tribe. Break out the Group Accounting Manual, this is going to get complicated”.

Of course, there’s always the saving grace that it’s possibly a better gift than the gift of auditing, and that’s potentially the one thing that would keep you out of the cooking pot. Moral of this story – if you’re going to deliver the gift of accountancy to a newly-discovered tribe, always take an auditor with you.

If you’re not an accountant, then I apologise, that may have all been a bit too geeky…

Indicators (using the GREEN, YELLOW, ORANGE, RED, BLACK terminology):

  • Preparedness: GREEN
  • Motivation: GREEN
  • Ability: ORANGE
  • Aches: YELLOW (hello, knees)
  • Fitness: ORANGE
  • Weight: RED

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