"Satyam"ev Jayate

Yeah big day. A friend and ex-colleague calls up...after 4 months. Lets call her "KA" :

My phone goes .."I've been living with a shadow overhead, I've been dreaming of a...." (thats my ringtone if u got confused)

Me: Hey KA.
KA: Hey, I didnt think you'd recognise my number.

Me: Na It was saved in the cellphone. So how are you?
KA: Doing well..you tell me. I thought you'd gone to Bangalore for the Journalism thingy. So never bothered to call you up...felt a little guilty that I didnt even to call to wish you luck. AJ told me you're here. What happened there?

Me : Hmmmm. Well that didnt work out. So I guess stuck in good ol Hyderabad a few more months.
KA : You never call up. Whats with you?

Me : Hellloooo??? Called you up on your birthday, then diwali and New years...you never pick up the phone. Had to give up sometime right?
KA : Oh. Ok. So heard about the Satyam fraud?

Me: Yeah just switched on the TV about 15 mins ago...shocking stuff isnt it?
KA: Yeah I know

Me :  Who the hell was their auditor??
KA: Three Guesses Who....?? (Giggles giggles giggles)

Me : You got to be kidding me. PWC?
KA : See. Always told you, you could make a fortune out of your guessing game (laughs)

Me : Stop kidding yaar. Anyone we know working there?
KA : Na. AS left a few months ago coz he had to appear for finals in November. He left PWC around the same time you left CA. He was mighty disappointed that you decided to discontinue. Ahem Ahem.

Me : Hmmm...You need to get some Strepsils.
KA : Ha Ha Ha. You know I was reminded of our conversation with the seniors just before you left. How the hell did you know that PWC had such bozos working there that cant even detect such a huge fraud?

Me: Well that time I had no idea, but I knew one particular bozo who kept getting through papers and couldnt even draft a Balance Sheet properly. He got into PWC and one conversation with him made me think that I knew Class 12 commerce students who knew more than him. That discussion with our seniors was just my disgust coming through.
KA : Hmmmm.

Me : Remember how our boss made us prepare a whole year's books of accounts for that new company, that fight that day with him, I could not believe that I was a part of something of that sort.
KA : Yeah I know. And his smug reply that this is how it works....God, that was the first day I realised that you cannot survive in this world with high morals. You gotta cheat a little. 

Me : Yaar I dont know about that. Even my parents told me the same thing..that I should learn to compromise and things dont always work according to you and that to survive in a corporate and competitive world, you should go with the flow. Only I was too weak to give up coz I felt I couldnt do such manipulation on a daily basis. It gives no pleasure.
KA : You were not weak..why do you keep saying so?

Me: Pata Nahi. My point is...How on earth do you think one or even 2-3 persons in Satyam pull of such a fraud and its auditors not know?? I mean isnt it pretty basic?? Such things should and wouldn't go undetected right?? Lets wait and watch.
KA: Yeah, thats what everyone was discussing. Sad really. The shareholders, investors and employees....real sad.

Me: Yeah
KA : Anyways, given any thought to coming back to this field?? 

Me: No Yaar. Decided...no more finance for me.
KA : You sure about that?? We have a vacancy...at least register and give your Finals.

Me : Nope. I hate finance...no more of it.
KA : Hypocrite...we've been rambling on about finance for 15 mins and you spoke for at least 10.... and you say you dont like Finance??

Me : I can talk on anything and everything you want me to...I dont have to like it just coz I talk about it, do I?
KA : You'd do well in Finance you know, why not give it another shot?

Me : Arre Bhagwaan, I have made up my mind and no matter what you say, I'm not coming back. You need help on an audit you are going to do alone, I'll come and visit...you know. But dont ask me to join that torture chamber again.

KA : Yeah I was meaning to tell you that...I hate the newbies..God I miss your company so much...it was fun time we had..audits are so boring. I'll tell you if I come that side sometime, lets meet up..its been a such a long time since we met.

Me : Sure thing. Let me know in advance please.
KA : Haan Haan. By the way, you have this movie called Billy Eliott? 

Me : Yeah...why?
KA : Someone said its good. Can I have it the next time we meet?

Me : Hmmm Ok...You have my Forrest Gump right? Get it back please.
KA : Oh ya..thanks for reminding me. I'll look for it. Dont know where I kept it.

Me : Hmmm...Ohkay.
KA : Chal then, was nice talking to you. Get back to you again. Say my hellos to everyone at home. Keep in touch. Take Care.
Me : Yea you too..see ya..Bbye.

(That Billy Eliott isnt changing hands)

(And was it just me who felt I was buttered quite a bit during this conversation??)...(Just a random ramble)

P.S: Eye is doing much  much much much better ..thanks for all your wishes. :)

39 Observations:

  1. Rajesh said...:

    Well...after reading the title, I expected something more abt Satyam but not as much as I had expected..

    Anyways nice read...it was lively...kudos!!!

    P.S: Thanks for the 'READ FOR THE WEEK' thingy.. :) :) Sweet of u...

  1. CяystąL said...:

    :O..I got misled by the title I suppose :P..
    But anyway..if she's a friend, she ain't gonna go buttering..so just take the chheeeel pill! :D..
    Btw..I was thinkng of designing a header..and a template for yu (I don't really make the header..will find it!..)..if you want me to..gimme the details on-->aayu_rocking@yahoo.co.in :))

  1. sawan said...:

    wow, u turn out to be a brainey!!! and u worked for CA?????? CA campus is next to ours!!! but thts a fairly new campus, so guess u were not there! wut is PWC? and happy for your eyes :P so wen r u hitting the roads of Gachibowli?? :P

  1. aqua gurl said...:

    i knw what PWC is but whts CA??

    wow, satyam is in shallows, thnks for the news, i wasn't aware of it!! Then went back and got to know more about it. But ya such things often pop out during times of economics crisis.

    and ya sometimes these calls randomly can make your day :D:D

  1. SMRITI said...:

    @Rajesh

    Well already had a huge discussion with dad on the intricacies of finance (After a real long time..first time since I gave my up Chartered Accountancy studies)...So didnt want to pen down all about finance again. Its the most boring thing in the world for me :P

    I had really liked what you wrote...so u deserve that space ;) Cheers :)

  1. SMRITI said...:

    @Aayushi

    Yeah...I know. :)

    Header and Template?? That'd be so cool :) I'll mail you the details tonight...I'm so excited...seriously :) :) :)

    But you gotta help me on loading it too.. I'm not really a whizkid when it comes to blogger :P

    Hugz sweetie :)

  1. SMRITI said...:

    @Anil

    Ahem Ahem... Well if being a Chartered Accountancy Inter qualified means brainy..then I dont know what the fully certified Chartered Accountants are :P

    PWC = Price Waterhouse Coopers ....You'll see a lot more about it in the news coming days :)

    Didnt work for CA as in Computer Associates (isnt that wat it is??)...Worked for CA as in a Chartered Accountant :P

  1. SMRITI said...:

    @Anil
    Thanks..and hitting Gachibowli as soon as I get my license :)


    @Val
    CA = Chartered Accountant

    I know..but being a Hyderabadi, it pinches a bit. And then the whole PWC thing...I mean we were really shocked as to what the so called regulators were doing...will discuss about it in detail sometime on chat if you interested. If not, we still have a lot more to catch up on ;)

    Take Care...loads of Hugz :)

  1. k.ø.c.h.ü said...:

    hey dollz thought human body was one of de most confusin stuffs around...now u r tellin me 'finance' structure spits more question marks...hoooo!!! :) de TITLE was really gud...!!! gud...n nice work 4 puttin dis up...!!! n yupp thnx 4 addin 'pwc'2 my dictionary...do teach me wat it actually is de nxt time v meet..cant spent time 'wiki'ying 4 it...i know just dat itz a biiig firm...(dont dare 2 forget ha? or else dishum dishum)

  1. Rakesh said...:

    It does happen all the time... So true, you know. But I atleast expected it not to happen for listed clients... Clients where public money is involved.

    And that's the fun about working in the UAE. People say that there are no taxes so what's the point of an Audit? Actually, that's the point. Tax has got nothing to do with audit but we as auditors in India used to only be ruled by one philosophy - Save Tax for the client. So you know what that means from the audit point of view?

    I've given more qualifications in 1 year of working in Dubai than I gave in my whole 6 years of working in India. Strange innit?

    Btw, strange coincidence. The title of your post matches the title of the famous Great Bong's post on the same subject. See my blogroll :)

  1. Renu said...:

    I was hoping more dope on Satyam:(.
    And I was shocked yesterday when I found that their auditors were PWC...that means they are also corrupt...doing it for a few last years.
    OH Smriti you must go to finance...India needs people like you who cant manipulate.
    I wud never advice nayone to adjust to the system, then to there will be no end to this mess, we only need few people who think right and do right, only then some senility will come.
    For me yesterday was a worst day of my life, can u believe i bot 200 shares of Satyam yesterday only\ one hr before the mayhem:(

  1. Maddy said...:

    The way Raju takes entire blame single handedly, I am surprised the role played by accountants,internal auditors and PWC??

  1. sawan said...:

    yeah its computer associates. :)

    havnt hrd of pwc, maybe some sorta must know thing for u brainees :P yes, anything related to finance and economy cud be digested by only brainees :P

    ur eyes are better??

  1. SMRITI said...:

    @Nithin

    Sure thing...but what will I get in return?? Free check ups for the rest of my life would just be fiiiinnnee :P :P

    Dont find u online these days..where are you btw?? Hiding from me???? :P

  1. SMRITI said...:

    @Rakesh

    Thanks for telling me about Great Bong's blog..hadnt seen it previously...great stuff in there :) ESP the "MAGIC" part..I remember my boss going "MAGIC" everytime we came back from audits.
    Yeah I know what you mean. I knew you, of all my blog readers, would understand perfectly what I am tryin to tell. And I dont really know what ICAI is doing except change the names of courses from PE-I/II to CPT/PCC...and a new thing...Wishes from the VP of ICAI on every single ocassion....on ur mobile via SMS . All the registered students get those..I stil get those even though I discontinued 4 months ago.

  1. SMRITI said...:

    @Renu

    I'm sorry for your loss. I know a few people myself who lost big bucks in the Satyam fiasco. The News channels were covering pretty much the whole deal so anything I'd write wouldnt be new.

    You know when we started our articleship, we were flabbergasted at the way things work at CA firms and we realised its all about manipulation and doing that little "MAGIC" to save tax, obtain loan for the client. Audit seems generally immaterial as in the end, everyone gets a favourable report...whatever the client wants. I worked at two CA firms and it was the same story at both places. I knew what goes on at PwC or for that matter even Ernst and Young.

    I have never had passion for finance...however my years working with a CA have been a learning experience. Even if me and a few others would want to stick up and try to be the honest ones, there are far more corrupt people than we can imagine. I think my chosen path for a career is something I believe in and I hope I can be a good journalist someday and do a better job reporting, rather than the masala news these days.

    Really sorry for the loss. Hope you are feeling alright at least now.... Hope the stock market booms and you get a lot of profit to set off the loss from that share

    (btw if u into trading a lot, we can talk about it..sometime)

  1. SMRITI said...:

    @Maddy

    Raju thinks we are stupid to believe him that he alone did everything...of course the auditors would know and I can bet they played a part in the whole thing. It is just shameful that the regulators themselves can cheat the people and not do their jobs.

  1. SMRITI said...:

    @Anil

    Errr..brainees?? If you say so :P

    Yeah eyes are much much better :) So you gonna give me the route map of the roads you talked about??

  1. Rakesh said...:

    You know, ICAI cannot take the blame. An institute is nothing but it's members. And all students get their training from members. So if the members are corrupt, then so will be the students (as you experienced) and this is what everybody learns right from a young age into this profession. Everything goes.

    Our text books on auditing, ethics tell a completely different story. Till a year into articleship, I seriously thought that the best way to arrive at the Closing Stock figure was to first calculate the Gross Profit as a %age of sales and then arrive at the GP. I really believed that this was 'reliable'.

    You see how much parallel money is there in the economy which leads to almost all financial statements that we prepare right from our beginning student days are cooked to appear 'reasonable' to IT authorities.

    And the fact that everybody does it prevents new CAs from holding their ground for the fear of loosing clients. If you don't do it, somebody else will. The best CA firm is the one who has the best contacts in the IT Department - Just see the guage with which we measure CA firms!!!

  1. Ria said...:

    really cant believe the Satyam thing. I dunno wht the PWC guys were doin!?

  1. sawan said...:

    u need to come all the way to hitech, from there come to gachibolwi. you wud reach a junction from were, u take right you go to infy /ubs /microsoft /capgemini /ISB /IIIT; you take a left you reach mehdipatnam and u go straight, there is a new road open to airport. i was talkin bout this road. een the one that leads to IIIT - it goes till lingampally and its a beautiful road!

  1. Ek baat batao...u had this conversation on the phone, right? So you actually remembered all this stuff and moreover had the patience to write it down as well? Shabaash!! :D

    But nice conversation. And yeah, PwC is heading for disaster. And i also agree with you that finance has no scruples. I see it frikkin every day. It sucks. :(

  1. SMRITI said...:

    @Rakesh

    Completely agree with you. Even I had that misconception initially to calculate GP. And I have come to realise so too...my ex-boss is a top honcho in the IT Dept in Hyd. When we went through the copies of previously filed returns , we found a lot of irregularities in them. We asked our seniors that how were such returns even filed, they said nobody bothered to look through such mistakes...our boss takes care of everything. It just sucks..and the Profession is supposed to be all about ethics (as per books at least). I remember how good I felt reading those chapters in Auditing that say about role and responsibility of an Auditor...and in practice, I have seen none follow them as such.

  1. SMRITI said...:

    @Ria

    They were doing the same thing when GTB went kaput... SLEEEEEPINNG...or pretending to sleep.

  1. SMRITI said...:

    @Anil

    Oh k. Will try it sometime...meanwhile, still waiting for licence :)

  1. SMRITI said...:

    @Reb

    Mera naam mummy papa ne soch samajh kar rakha hai. I have excellent retention power :p :p :p

    Well we spoke a lot more, havent included all the stuff in there...it was a 25 odd minute talk over the phone and I put in here as much as I could remember. Nothing is fabricated here, mind you :P Patience...I have loads...you need some? Will send some :P

    PwC as far as I think is in the dumps now. They should be barred from practice. I know it happens everyday at CA firms but even when you take gambles, they should be calculated ones...not at the risk of other investors. I know...It sucks. :(

  1. hehehehe

    ur ex compnay audited it...lol
    thank god ..u left sooner...
    going for journalism is a good thing,..but for god sake ..don be a reporter like the ones in TV...
    yeh bomb phoota ...ab aapko kaisa lag rha hai ...lol


    but satyam...lol

    they created a worldwide name for us..and now no one will outsource any IT thing to us.....

  1. Renu said...:

    Smriti, I can mourn ofor anything for long:)
    My bro keeps telling me that I must read the futures and derivatives and he thinks that if i do it , I will be able to do it well, misplaced confidence I say..have no interest in shares as,My BP rides with their fall:), but my H is addicted to them, and I belong to a family of share brokers:)

  1. Sam said...:

    satyam was a real shocker :(

    And PWC is going to get even more fire!!!

  1. Unknown!!! said...:

    the last few blogs I visited and commented were all about satyam.. I thgt even this wld be about it..got to know from this post that PWC have people who dont know how to draft a balance sheet :O...

  1. SMRITI said...:

    @Sourish

    Errr...If I ever plan on reporting, I sure hope I dont start talking like that...Haan if I ever take your interview, chances are I might do just that :P


    I dont think it will have all that bad effect on IT in general...we have plenty of other companies that have done really well...but surely, everyone outside will exercise more caution. Hyd IT industry is sure to take the brunt of it all, and not to mention the auditors, whose role will continue to be questioned.

  1. SMRITI said...:

    @Sam

    Thanks for dropping in here :) And yes, PwC's role in the whole fiasco should be checked more than just a show-cause notice. Every sane person who has even a little idea about corporate governance will know that such a thing couldnt have happened without their knowledge.

  1. SMRITI said...:

    @Unknown!!

    Thanks for dropping in here :)

    And yes, I know some CAs too who make elementary errors..and they have filed returns of clients with glaring mistakes, which surprisingly the IT dept hasnt noticed...only coz these CAs have a lot of repute and contacts in the dept.

  1. CяystąL said...:

    Heyy..you didn't email me! :(

  1. SMRITI said...:

    @Crystal

    You've got mail!! :P

  1. ohh..I will be honored..and phir tum kaisa bhi interview le lena :D


    btw I m not talking abt satyam fraud....what I know and feel..that it is just a cover story hiding the case of data theft from worldbank reported a few back...which is added with the banning of satyam from world bank list much before the scam hit....

    that's why auditors dint caught the fallacy...coz it never exists... and govt want to save the face and reshuffle the satyam without actually revealing the data theft case.... so the scammed this cover story...u r a journalist...think !! how PWC can overlook such a big amount missing ??

 
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