Friday, April 5, 2013

History Repeats

I once again realized that I was a total good for nothing. Instances which bring such a realisation home happen often, at regular intervals, but that day was singularly special, and yes atrocious. A client who had run into financial bad weather had stopped the Stock Audit for nearly a year now which we were conducting. The work involved a lot of travel painful logistics and hard labour. The results were also positive and benefited the organisation immensely. Every year end as a part of the assignment I had to issue a Stock Certificate for the benefit of their Statutory Auditors. Last year the value of stocks in the certificate was inflated but I had certified. Anyway for some reason the work was called off. Therefore for this year end March 2013 I thought I would not be doing the dirty job again. However right on 1st of April itself, the entrepreneur telephoned me and requested me to sign the Stock Certificate, even for this year, even when we had not conducted any stock verification. I remained speechless for a while. He requested once again and I accepted silently.  I simply said, “OK send it” and hung up the phone. He sent a message immediately, “Thanks”.   I was shocked at the obvious triviality with which businessmen treat the CA profession and their responsibilities. I am terribly disappointed and upset in the manner in which I succumbed to the request. Before giving my consent the thought did cross my mind that I can easily and justifiably refuse. I was not obliged to sign as I had not undertaken the task and moreover nothing was going to be paid to me for signing such a false certificate. Such a certificate is misleading to the Statutory Auditors, to the financers and other users of the financial statements. I am misleading all of them.

 The only reason (and that too a hopeless one) that I found on searching myself was that someone had requested me and I could not refuse. Maybe he believed that he could succeed at convincing me because I am stupid. But that is beside the point. Maybe he believed that I won’t say no because I am not known to be strict and honest. That too is beside the point. The point is not about him, his attitude or his belief. The point here is that I could not refuse not to become a partner in the crime. The truth is that I do not value myself, and I do not value my work. The truth is also that I do not belong to this profession. I feel bad and criticize when others indulge in corrupt practices but I cannot hold myself back when it is my turn. I am too weak hearted and have no scruples. A number of times I have found myself wasting time and surfing the internet when I could easily go through some self-study literature and enhance my knowledge. At those moments I have found myself wanting, lazy and disinterested in the profession itself. My heart really is not in this. At the same time I am unable to move out of it. I feel trapped and possibly relishing this victimhood because I simply crib about it and do nothing else.

It is said that there is a time for everything and things happen at its own time. It is also said that events in life repeat when our attitude and response pattern remains the same. It is time for me to move on or is it? I trust my life to unravel the trash from the sublime and pray that I have the guts to distinguish the two and chose rightly.