A Poem From The “Barefoot Accountant”

Arthur E. Andersen
What thoughts I have of you tonight, Arthur Andersen, for
I reviewed financial statements through dinner hour ad nauseum
subconsciously thinking of my audit fee.
In my hungry fatigue and looking for adjustments, I examined
balance sheet accounts, vouching countless transactions!
What errors and irregularities!  Multiple assertions
misstated outright!  Loans in the revenues!  Improvements
in the expenses, interest in notes payable—and you, Bernard Madoff, what
were you doing down in the investments?
I saw you, Arthur Andersen, inspecting documents and chastising the
I heard you questioning of each:  Who reconciled
bank statements?  Who confirmed receivables?  Are you my Auditor?
I wandered in and out of the general ledger,
following you, and followed in my imagination by the
We performed audit procedures together in our
solitary fancy testing inventory, searching for unrecorded
liabilities, and never documenting one test.
What are your findings, Arthur Andersen?  The audit needs to be
completed.  What opinion have you decided to render?
(I touch your audit manual and dream of our odyssey in
Accounting Land and feel absurd.)
Will we work all night through endless spreadsheets?  The
overhead lights add shadows to documents, as darkness descends, hiding our
Will we work dreaming of the lost firms of public accounting
into the wee hours of the morning, back to our silent office?
Ah, dear mentor, distinguished auditor, honorable predecessor,
retiring across Lethe prior to anti-Sherman’s demise, auditing in
Fields of Asphodel and leaving us prey to talons of multinationals,
paying gold for sterling opinions tarnished by greed?
William BrighentiThe Barefoot Accountant—is a Certified Public Accountant, Certified QuickBooks ProAdvisor, and Certified Valuation Analyst, operating an accounting, tax, and QuickBooks consulting firm in Connecticut, Accountants CPA Hartford.  Bill has instructed graduate and undergraduate courses in Accounting, Auditing, and other subjects at the University of Hartford, Central Connecticut State University, Hartford State Technical College, and Purdue University. He also taught GMAT and CPA Exam Review Classes at the Stanley H. Kaplan Educational Center and at Person-Wolinsky. Born and raised in New Britain, Connecticut, Bill served on the City’s Board of Finance and Taxation as well as its City Plan Commission.  He is a crazed animal lover, feeding any two-legged or four-legged critter traversing through his yard.  His backyard in Berlin, Connecticut has been certified as a habitat suitable for wildlife by the National Wildlife Federation.