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Today is February 15.  If you think of busy season as ending April 15 (I know this year is April 18), then we are 3/7 of the way through this busy season.  So here is what is on my mind 3/7 of the way through this busy season:

  • Just once, just once, please, I'd like the total number of pages of audit checklists to decrease from the previous year.  Sometimes it seems like all I do is fill out audit checklists.  The actual testing is minor in comparison.  That seems out of whack to me.
  • Here we are at the 3/7 point and I still haven't issued a tax return.  I'm primarily an auditor, but I do about 75 returns a year.  But since we haven't been able to efile, and since some forms weren't final as early as usual, I've got none out.  Thank you US Congress for helping make this season harder than it needed to be.
  • I'm too tired for the 3/7 point.  Maybe it is because I'm not 24 anymore.  Maybe it is because I hit the half century mark (gasp) next year.
  • Look at the blog title.  Reminds me of 5/3 Bank.  Here's something I just noticed a couple of weeks ago:  5/3 Bank is headquartered in Cincinnati.  Cincinnati's area code is 513.  If you get sloppy writing out 513 it can look like 5/3.  Coincidence or not?  I don't know.
  • I've already flown more than 10,000 miles this year.  Have been to California twice and Miami once.  My wife and kids are quite happy that I actually for a change have no current flight reservations.
  • Speaking of which, travel is not nearly as fun as it once was.  TSA security checks?  At least Detroit Metro has a bunch of decent places to eat and the prices aren't outrageous.  John Wayne Orange County on the other hand everything is outrageously expensive.
  • Everyone says how lucky I am to go to California and Florida.  But I was mostly inside working or at meetings.  The only real difference was I didn't need to wear a coat when I was outside.  On the other hand, they do have palm trees there.
  • I get to spend at least 4 hours in the car tomorrow - field work on an audit client in Grand Rapids.  But I'm going to multi task - Chris from my office and I are going to have our team meetings en route. 
  • I remember when I was a young auditor, I had the prior year workpapers in front of me, and I pretty much copied them almost word for word; I'd always try to change something.  After a year, I'd look at the prior year workpapers, then I'd audit the current year stuff.  After a couple more years, I just audited what I had.  I knew I how to audit.  All these years later, I realize I don't really care what we did last year.  What we did last year was appropriate for last year.  What we do this year has to be what is appropriate for this year.  End of story.
  • I'm continuously amazed at what social media does for us.  I've got friendships that have been restored as a result of Facebook.  I've got friendships that never would have occurred in the first place without Facebook, LinkedIn or blogging.  I'm become friends of friends I've become with online.  Perhaps what is even more amazing to me is how comfortable I seem to be in this world of social media.  My kids are in high school, but I've got more Facebook friends than them.  Ok, I'm a little proud of that one.
  • This has been one cold winter.  Last week I missed the coldest days Detroit has had all winter because I was in California.  That was one time I didn't mind being out of town.  At least busy season falls during the winter.
  • I wish that Daylight Savings Time didn't start in mid March now.  Totally messes me up.  My busy season milestones have generally been the Super Bowl (about 1/3 through), then the start of the NCAA tournament (one month to go (not that I care about the tournament)), then Daylight Savings Time in early April.  By then you really can't stand working late, and then all of the suddent it is still light out when you go home.  Making it 3 weeks earlier really messes me up.
  • New accounting pronouncements are always intended to improve financial reporting.  How come they are always more confusing than the ones they replace, and how does that improve financial reporting?

Would love to know what is on your mind.

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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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