Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A 22 cent headache

I'm going to post a review of Wasters tomorrow, a book about the mis-management and mis-use of public monies. I'm all for proper auditing and accounting and I get annoyed when I see the flagrant abuse of funds. That said, oversight can often go too far and add significant costs to an organisation's operation. Today we spent time trying to deal with a very small accountancy error (not committed by us). 22 cent to be precise. 22 cent out in an account of half a million is pretty good, I think. The funding agency has asked for the accounts to be re-prepared, re-run through an audit, and to be signed off by four sets of relevant offices to account for the missing 22 cent. All this work costs significantly more than 22 cent. Based on my base salary, I've already spent more than 22 cent's time on this. This is just bureaucracy gone mad. I'm not sure where the cut off is 2.20, 22.20, 220, 2200, but above .22!

2 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

Rob - There is a very fine line between careful accounting (which is important and a valuable use of time) and obsession... I'm sorry that you got caught up in this kind of vortex...

Bernadette in Australia said...

You've hit one of my pet peeves Rob. Someone worked out it costs around $7.70 for the government agency I work for to send out an invoice and process the payment once it is received. But no amount of badgering will convince anyone in the organisation that sending out invoices for less than $7.70 is utterly pointless.