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Accountants have found that the internet has things like... online videos. The results are stunning. Rod Barr, the President and CEO of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Ontario delivers a going concern level of delicious snark in the first 25 seconds of this video . He says that we are having an important vote, and "apparently our webinar series is not capturing the excitement of this complex, impending change." He continues, "accordingly, we have to try something new. How about this?" Then the "typography"-ish music video kicks into gear through the magic of a glowing yellow orb that appears in his hand. Apparently senior CAs who become FCAs have magic powers that are poorly understood. Feel free to discuss this madness on ACS' facebook page while I figure out how to upgrade the commenting system here. The video is at 3496 views as of now - curious to see how viral it gets.
Big long concert reviews deserve the full tabloid treatment, so I wrote up a rare guest post for my irreverent friends over at Going Concern . Check out the article on last week's second annual Big Four Battle of the Bands . If you didn't see it already, one of the videos, the Beat It cover, from the performance was posted earlier as well, in all its Blackberry Bold glorious quality .
I'm preparing a special post at a special Time and Place (edit: it's now up ) on the Battle of the Bands. To tide you over, here's a little teaser. Every band had an intro video. Deloitte recounted its "League of Rock," and the others introduced their bands in their own particular way. Here's Ernst and Young's take on an intro video for their band, the Going Concerns. I love the tagline - Accountable to No One. More to come.
Once in a while a staff-produced parody video is inspired. This is one of those . A few points of clarifications. First off, JIT stands for "Just in Time," which at Ernst & Young as well as other firms is a meeting room used for impromptu meetings and other sessions where more privacy than that provided by a standard cubical is needed. A "TPE" is a Team Planning Event, used to prepare for audits. The reference to Turley relates to the firm's global CEO, "GAMx" is the E&Y proprietary audit software program, and WBLs are "Web based learning," which are computer-based training courses often used in distance education, and in this case, used by the firm's staff to school them where a classroom session doesn't make as much sense. Also note how easy to make it look like someone standing at a photocopier is feeling miserable or annoyed. Thanks again to Going Concern for the tip.
This post is an example of where the mindset of the Hardcore CA will take you. In AuditLand and other corporate environments, when something goes Horribly Wrong, rather than point blame and string people up, you have a "Lessons Learned" moment, which can either be a casual debrief, or an exhaustive exercise in identifying what mistakes were made, and how they can be avoided in the future. There will no doubt be some very professional investigations conducted into what happened this weekend at the Toronto G20 riots. One of the most shocking images online and on TV came from the fires that consumed Toronto police cars , which initially engendered some extremely sceptical treatment. After all, they just bought a water cannon - couldn't they handle a fire quickly and safely? This presumed that the security teams knew they may need to use it as a firefighting vehicle; given the delays it's probably safe to assume wasn't planned for. This makes sense, considering its stated...
A sad day for Toronto , and a sad day for Canada. The crowd sings O Canada, and as best as you can casually tell, gets viciously attacked for possibly ignoring a challenge to move back, instead sitting down in the face of what soon turned into a full-on assault charge by the riot line. Video of the peaceful G20 protest at Queen & Spadina is by Meghann Millard on Vimeo . Seriously, what is up with this? Very good eye-witness commentary here - just go read it here . One of my favourite quotes, which drags the blog barely back "on topic": Nobody near the police line was chanting. There was only one sign I saw, and I couldn't make sense of it. I honestly think it might have been offering accounting services. Periodically someone would yell, "This is a peaceful protest." Often someone would answer back, "Who's protesting?" Everybody was just staring, as though wondering if there was anything more to the G20. Absolutely nothing was happening. What we...
I missed out on the madness downtown today. I followed it on my phone, but missed all the live TV footage which no doubt justifiably enraged my friends. I did catch stills like this one which from a local Toronto photographer show why the city was on edge all week long. It's perhaps best I wasn't around - I could've had my camera smacked down to the ground by an imported officer from Peel region. Of course he might've been on edge - not sure if this was before or after one of those police cars was set on fire. The you'll "be on Youtube" response, while accurate, was rather snarky to the point of inviting an assault. Not justifying, of course - this is clearly a criminal offence by a police officer. Also freakish: random arrest videos by plainclothes officers. I should point out that some well-meaning people naively claim that when store windows got smashed in, the "peaceful" protesters should've taken action to stop the anarchists and ne'er...
The most hardcore protesters of the day, June 22: courtesy Toronto Police Service's "LGBT protest on Queen St. W. without incident" album . Photo credit: Kevin Masterman Writer/Photographer for Toronto Police Security guards have a cushy job guarding the lobbies of the big fancy downtown office towers during G20 week. They of course have a solemn duty to make sure anyone getting in the building has a proper security card. I do believe the two gentleman guarding our lobby almost glanced at the card clipped to my belt as I wandered in out of the rain yesterday. If they asked, I would have of course good-naturedly held up my pass for closer inspection. "Yes, it is in fact I, Super Auditor." Or whatever. This is of course unnecessary: since I am able to dress the part of Super Auditor, Defender of Capitalism, or whatever you want to call the productive inhabitants of the downtown core, the hard plastic card I carry with me is almost entirely superfluous - except for...
The scariest part of this video - and there's several candidates - may be the moment at 3:50 where the cops show what big men they are by clubbing some young women. I do hope Toronto puts on a more humane and decent show than the USA's Police Brutality Expo. I read accounts which explain that curious students wandered over to see a nearby protest and got caught up in the violent reprisal. Someone clearly let the power go to their head.
My favorite video of the week shows the team here in Costa Rica successfully transferring a bee caught in the field to a specimen jar. It's rather self explanatory so enjoy the clip. Interestingly enough, you can actually take part in one of these adventures . As a corporate expeidtion from a Big Four firm we're doing double duty, handling both the science and a special project to assist the local coffee co-operative. You won't perform the bonus business project which my team is doing, but private individuals can help with the science itself. You need to enjoy the outdoors, and be comfortable with something a little more rustic than a regular tropical vacation. Read the project description on their site to learn more about the adventure. Aside from enjoying the work, you get to essentially live in a community for a week rather than just hover over it like a typical tourist. Two nights left in the mission. It's been great fun so far - we've even toured two coffee mills...
In my previous post I showed how we took a soil sample from the field and inserted a PVC pipe to start setting our bee trap. I paused that recording as I had to retrieve the most component of our trap: the yellow bowl filled with a bit of soapy water, which is designed to attract and capture bees. This clip shows how it's done. I didn't record a video of the retrieval operation we performed today, as we split up and the other team had the video camera, but I managed to take some stills which you'll soon see, along with an explanation of the challenges we faced. Until then, let's just say it's a good thing we didn't put too much soapy water in our traps.
Our professor in the field, Dr. Banks, had kind words for us as we started our week of research in the Tarrazú region of Costa Rica. Armed with a couple of augers, PVC pipes, yellow "party" bowls, bottles of soapy water, insect catching nets, measuring tape, jars, more bags and, of course, several clipboards, we set off into the fields. We were lucky to enjoy a 'soft' introduction to fieldwork: the farm where work started is a relatively easy site for inspecting bee activity and the flowering of coffee plants because it's isolated from patches of rainforest. At sites adjacent to rainforests we'll be conducting more tests - here, on the other hand, we only had to dig for half as many soil samples. This didn't mean the work was a cakewalk - catching bees is not easy for accounting firm staff, and the banana trees' leaves made patches of ground wickedly slippery - tomorrow's sure to be more intense. We completed the adventure without any incidents, even...
Before you say, "isn't it ironic that you're driving around in an SUV while trying to save the planet," keep in mind that a Honda Civic will not make it up the mountain roads that lead to coffee plantation. La Tortuga, our white tortoise, is a very British Land Rover and the best way to move around an eight person team to our research sites. In this clip, the team arrives at home base, well only half the team arrives - we had additional people from the EarthWatch institute join us on today's journey which meant that we had to be posh and use two vehicles. After the rain, riding on the roof wasn't a wise idea. Nothing exceedingly exciting here - this is a glorified "test" post to make sure our account is working. An archive of better photos is already developing and the team and the "real" worok is only about to begin tomorrow.
Absolutely nothing to do with accounting here, unless you consider the temporary failure to count the number of players on the field. This should make you feel better next time you completely fail at anything. Just think back to this sports report. Thanks Videosift. Oh, and I know the video spills right off the edge of the screen - I was going to fix it, but the Editorial Board declared it looked "awesome."
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Thanks Videosift, you always brighten my day. I'll let you come up with your own story for how this compares to the adventure in AuditLand so many young people go through, hopefully with less claw marks. I nominate Neil to give it a first shot, considering he's now technically in the allegorical doctor's office stage of the video. It's been ages since I posted a video here just for fun, so let's do two while we're at it. This hits the " Learning from Mistakes " category: avoid walking behind horses, especially if you're an idiot.