To Sign Your Name or Not to Sign Your Name, That Is the Question

It's back to school shopping season in metro Detroit. My wife and kids were doing their economic duty yesterday and, among other places, shopped at Sears. To their credit, Sears has started emailing receipts upon request, which my wife dutifully forwards to me.

This is how the beginning of the receipt read:

Thank you for shopping at our Novi store, and for letting me assist you with your purchase.

This eReceipt is a convenience exclusive to Shop Your Way RewardsSM Members! Please keep it on file for your reference. If you'd like to view details on your order, or to return or exchange an item, visit the Order Center.

It was my pleasure serving you. Hope to see you back in our store soon!

Sincerely,
Your Sears Associate
Associate #:54601

I mean this is really nicely done. HTML and all. It's just the signature part that really bothers me. It's like going through a toll booth where the nameplate says "Officer #2439." That completely destroys the experience for me.

This of course gets me off track. The PCAOB is considering having auditors of public company audits disclose the name of the engagement partner. Somehow this is supposed to improve audit quality. My inclination, in case you haven't figured it out by the previous sentence, is that this is unnecessary.

Now I question that thought. I didn't like getting a receipt from Sears signed by Associate #54601. Maybe the users (think customers) of our audit report doesn't like getting an anonymous signature either.

To Sign Your Name or Not to Sign Your Name, That Is the Question.

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Joel M. Ungar, CPA is a lifelong resident of the Detroit area and a graduate of The University of Michigan. He is a principal with Silberstein Ungar, PLLC, a Top 15 auditor of SEC public reporting companies. Joel writes observations on different matters and especially on working with and using LinkedIn. He thinks he has a sense of humor.

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