On Tue, 11 Jul 2006, Anne & Lynn Wheeler wrote:
| ...independent operation/sources/entities have been used for a variety of
| different purposes. however, my claim has been then auditing has been used
| look for inconsistencies. this has worked better in situations where there
| independent physical books from independent sources (even in the same
| corporation).
| As IT technology has evolved ... my assertion is a complete set of
| (consistent) corporate books can be generated from a single IT
| source/operation. The IRS example is having multiple independent sources
| the same information (so that you can have independent sources to check
| inconsistencies)....
Another, very simple, example of the way that the assumptions of
auditing are increasingly at odds with reality can be seen in receipts.
Whenever I apply for a reimbursement of business expenses, I have to
provide original receipts.  Well ... just what *is* an "original
receipt" for an Amazon purchase?  Sure, I can print the page Amazon
gives me.  Then again, I can easily modify it to say anything I like.

Hotel receipts are all computer-printed these days.  Yes, some of them
still use pre-printed forms, but as the cost of color laser printers
continues to drop, eventually it will make no sense to order and stock
that stuff.  Restaurant receipts are printed on little slips of paper by
one of a small number of brands of printer with some easily set custom-
ization, readily available at low cost to anyone who cares to buy one.

Back in the days when receipts were often hand-written or typed on
good-quality letterhead forms, original receipts actually proved
something.  Yes, they could be faked, but doing so was difficult and
hardly worth the effort.  That's simply not true any more.

Interestingly, the auditors at my employer - and at many others, I'm
sure - have recognized this, and now accept fax images of all receipts.
However, the IRS still insists on "originals" in case of an audit.
Keeping all those little pieces of paper around until the IRS loses
interest (I've heard different ideas about how long is "safe" - either 3
or 7 years) is now *my* problem.  (If the IRS audits my employer, and
comes to me for receipts I don't have, the "business expense reimburse-
ments" covered by those missing receipts suddenly get reclassified as
"ordinary income", on which *I*, not my employer, now owe taxes - and
their good friends interest and penalties.)
                                                        -- Jerry

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