How to Audit (Part 19): Leaving Drinks

In every auditor’s life comes a day when checking bank statements no longer satisfies. And that feeling doesn’t go away even after some spreadsheet fun. On that day, he decides to leave. It could happen during the first week or after an illustrious career. But that time always comes.

A lot of thought goes into deciding the next step. By contrast, the leaving process itself is straightforward because there are clear rituals to follow.

Note that these rituals don’t apply if you have been dishonourably sacked. Instead of a ritual there is a choice: leave quietly or burn down bridges and curse the earth on which it stood.

Giving Notice

It is considered polite to tell management that you no longer wish to serve under their command. The notice period is several months. This is negotiated around client commitments. So the actual leaving date depends on how irreplaceable you are. For the exceptionally skilled, the leaving date can be several years past mandatory retirement.

Leaving Email

Writing the leaving email is next. The recipients are copied from the previous leaving email. BCC etiquette is unhelpful here. The email contains the future destination and an emotional thanks to special colleagues. Some will have funny stories. They finish off with a contact email address.

Leaving Drinks

Leaving drinks will be arranged by to say goodbye. The leaver will put up a tab that is in portion with how many free drinks they’ve had from company socials. The best part of the night is the leaving speech. It’s delivered by a senior manager or close friend. The leaver is praised for their hard work. Then there are stories of illegal acts, drunken adventures, inappropriate behaviour and gross incompetence.

Should free drinks be a taxable benefit? Photo by frecklescorp

An unintended consequence of the slowdown is that leavers are holding joint events. It attracts a good crowd. However, random first year trainees will arrive early and consume the tab. Leaving speeches can take over one hour.

Final Leaving Email

The final act is sending an email just before handing back the laptop. The staff pass is taken and utterly destroyed. The unceremonious end is the start of the final paragraph of this particular career chapter.

Leavers go with different feelings and for different reasons. But, they all say one thing in common – the people will be missed most. For a profession that has no value without its people, those leavers can be a good sign.

The Gathering Storm

Storm at the school

OK, it’s been ages since my last blog post. I apologise to you. My time has been spent writing my school’s new website. I’ve come to realise that my life is not so interesting and there are many more informative blogs about expat life in China. The only hope I have to distinguish myself is to write with correct grammer and adequate spelling.

It’s been raining an abnormal amount in Tianjin. Last year, there was a storm every week but nowadays it rains every other day. The title of the blog post actually reflects my departure from Tianjin in less than a week’s time. I know I will miss this Tianjin and I’m anticipating “Reverse Culture Shock” (RCS) when I return to Britain. The proximity of my leaving has meant that I’ve refused to buy an umbrella. I’d rather buy an expensive Chinese-imported umbrella in England than the same umbrella in China.