Auditors see funny side of serious debate

YESTERDAY’s high-falutin’ ICAS/Grant Thornton event on the future of assurance was, of course, a serious debate.

But with ICAS chief Anton Colella playing the genial chairman of the event, humour was never far away from the debate.

When pointing out the voting pads that had been provided to the audience, Colella pointed out that they weren’t “volume controls for the chairman, or ejector seats for the panelists”.

Grant Thornton’s audit supreme Steve Maslin, and Accountancy Age personality of the Year, lived up to his bill by telling one of the strangest analogies TS has ever heard.

He recounted the tale of Guys and Dolls character Skye Masterson.

Masterson was told by his father that:

‘One of these days in your travels, a guy is going to show you a brand-new deck of cards on which the seal is not yet broken. Then this guy is going to offer to bet you that he can make the jack of spades jump out of this brand-new deck of cards and squirt cider in your ear. But, son, do not accept this bet, because as sure as you stand there, you’re going to wind up with an ear full of cider.’

And the reason for the quote?

Well…Maslin said this compared to suggestions that tougher conditions for the Big Four auditors could inadverdantly turn them into three.

“Don’t listen ot these people,” said Maslin.

But best quip of the day went to Deloitte’s accounting standards expert Isobel Sharp.

When Colella told the audience to be brief, and use brevity in asking a question, she piped up: “Well I’m short and Sharp”.



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