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Deck Chairs on the Titanic. Sep 30

Many years ago I used to work for a very small company in New Zealand in the freight industry. (fond memories). 

During this time we had installed a software package that could deal with transtasman shipments and a multi currecny general ledger.  I know this quite well as I was the programmer who did most of the work on the GL. Our head of the company was in charge but after I proved I could do it and with an accounting background I was left to it.

We had this international client that took on the package in another part of the country and it did all the freight stuff no problem, but for some reason the accounting side never quite worked correctly.  This really got to me as I knew it should work with all the information it was getting and I also used to do the air freight side of the system so it was a complete mystery.

Well this went mystery went on for a while then they pulled in the head office chiefs to go and figure out what was going on.  I had spent alot of time working out the currency conversion between the ledgers and was certain it was right.  (Back then it took about 3 hours to run the GL listing).  And in that industry they don’t think of money they know they owe now, they think of money they expect to owe (accural accounting its call).  Well after me being flown down on site to try and figure out what was going on.  The investigator told me, it doesn’t mater how you try and reprogram the system, all you are doing is rearanging the deck chairs on the titanic!

He never told me exactly why but I found out later, that the office administrator was fiddling the system to steal from the company and so was the branch manager.  Ironically neither knew the other was also stealing. I don’t think they ever figured it all out.  But it wasn’t my GL at fault, it was just major theft!!  (the office administrator had back door access to ‘fix’ transactions’, we just never realised she was fixing them cos they were actually right!!!!).

Oh how that all changed now as proper change control would never allow this!

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