The Audit, Part 2: or, Working Through the Department of Redundancy Department

Posted on by Elisabeth Tobia

Remember the movie “Groundhog Day,” where Bill Murray’s character wakes up each day to find that it’s the same day over and over again?

Welcome to my world.

I’m sure it’s not unusual for a first-time audit to take longer than anticipated, and given EC3’s history of more focus on program than process (which is common to many small nonprofits), I’m not surprised. We have made some major changes in business operations over the last 16 months, and I’m glad the auditors are giving us a thorough review.

Rather, I like the IDEA that they’re giving us a thorough review.

As a practical matter, this audit is tiring. Having to find and sift back through old invoices and bank records would be mundane for anybody, but add to this the fact that much of what I’m seeing is reminiscent of what I saw ten years ago, when I was on the Board of Directors and was a paying customer at EC3 and–well, cue the “Groundhog Day” soundtrack.

Don’t get me wrong: I have the benefit of perspective from this last year of relative success for EC3, and I also have a current Board that is more supportive and appropriately-involved than I ever was when I was in their shoes. I also know that when it’s over (not “if” but “when”) EC3 will have an even greater foundation for sustained success than an outstanding early childhood education program. So I can put in the necessary time and effort (both massive) to get it done. And the auditors have been quite helpful and pleasant to work with, so that’s a bonus.

But if I have to tally up the bank reconciliation from October 2010 one more time, my head may spin around!

We expect to finish up next week and have the report in another month or so. Thank God for the daily smiles of 120+ children and the tolerance of a hard-working staff.

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