Experiences During the First Year with Haskins & Sells
By JEROME L. ANDERSON Staff Accountant, Seattle
Presented before the University of Washington
Chapter of Beta Alpha Psi —March 1960
WHAT other profession could, in one year, provide background in lumber, small loans and chemicals; pawn shops and creosoting; veterinary medicine and investments; music service and marine supply;
title insurance and steel fabricating; radio-television and private clubs; cold storage and jewelry; heavy construction and dairying; newspapers or rope manufacturing? These are the industries to which I have been exposed during my first year on the audit staff of Haskins & Sells.
There is a certain amount of work common to all jobs regardless of company or industry. Some of this, even though important to the audits as a whole, is by its very nature, routine. After you have footed the cash book for two days the task somehow loses its novelty. Every new man gets his share of this type of work and I was no exception. So I footed the cash book and examined invoices and examined canceled checks and reconciled bank accounts, etc., etc., etc.
You will be very surprised, however, when you enter public accounting,
to find out that before you know it this type of work is taking up a smaller and smaller percentage of your time and you are very rapidly being exposed to the really interesting aspects of auditing.
For me, one of the first of these was the inventory observation.
As you no doubt know, whenever inventories are material in amount we apply the extended auditing procedure—the observation. This work not only helps to verify the authenticity of the inventory, but also enables the auditor to become familiar with the company's products.
One of the most interesting inventories I observed this past year was a log inventory. The rafts of logs were located at various points in Puget Sound and the fastest way to get to there was by air. One of the engineers at the company was a pilot, so we rented a seaplane and spent most of a day flying from one location to another. At each boom we had to land and check the boom numbers so that we could later trace the logs into the final inventory. It was a beautiful day and we had an unusual oportunity to see Puget Sound by air.