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A fraudster in sheep's clothing?

David Alexander looks at out preconceived ideas about auditors.

I have always had preconceived ideas about auditors. I cannot help but get the mental picture of a faintly nerdy type person, with pocket protector, black-rimmed spectacles and a variety of writing instruments.

My picture includes no discernable sense of humour; an absolute fixation with numbers, procedures and systems; a very inflexible approach to their calling; and of course the obligatory latest and best HP10n do-everything calculator. To sum up: rigid, obsessed with detail and systems, quite unpopular, humourless, with a huge set of blinkers that prevents him from seeing anything out of the 'system'. Moreover, such people are sometimes not very good with other people - people do strange things, unlike numbers and systems.