That was clearly the thought of the Regional Finance Director when he sent me an email stating that the Commercial policy did not say anything in relation to the level of approval required for discounts higher than 30%. As proof of his statement he attached the policy.
What could have been perceived as a proof of the sincerity of his statement was his perdition. I read the policy, and it clearly stated that discounts higher than 30% had to be approved by the SVP of Sales for Europe and the President Europe. I had a few examples where this requirement had not been met.
Did the Regional Finance Director not know the policy? I called him to understand what could have happened. When I said to him that the policy clearly stated the level of approval required for those high discounts, he seemed surprised in a moronic way. It immediately came to my mind the question and I asked it: did you really think I was not going to read the policy attached? And he laughed like a five-year old boy being caught in his naughtiness.
Now, what could my recommendation be? Send him back to the kindergarten to learn not to be naughty with the internal auditor? Give him accelerated training? …Who hired him? HR, did you really check his credentials? Did he really go to university or to university of life like the crooked characters of Charles Dickens?
It reminds me of another event recently, where I did receive a letter informing that my request to a public organism had been rejected on the basis of being out of time. The rejection letter included a paragraph stating that the timeline was 14 days and referred to an article in that public organism policy.
What the rejection letter did not include was the remaining of the paragraph of that article, where it clarified that the 14 days started to count from the moment a detailed notification was sent to me, if this was later than a decision being taken. And this was precisely my case.
The detailed notification was sent later than the decision being taken. The 14 days, hence, started to count from the day the detailed notification was sent to me and this meant that my request was on time. Would this public official be laughing if I asked the same question I asked to the Regional Finance Director?
It is recognised that not everybody reads the small letter. In another company where I was, the Internal Audit team did not read that what they had in front of them was just a guidance but not a global policy. They had been told by the business management that the document was the global policy. On the first page though, in capital letters, it clearly stated “guidance”. This document did not need to be applied gobally but it is fair to recognise that when considered as a policy, it was a very easy and loosy one recommeding few controls only.
What could the recommendation be in this case? Does the Internal Audit team (director and two managers) need to go back to the kindergarten and learn how to read? Or would an accelerated training be better? …Who hired them? And who hired the business management? Which was their university?
Whilst this could be funny, sadly, some good internal audit professionals had left that company due to the unacceptable way a reorganisation had been carried out, amongst other things. How can you do a reorganisation and lose such talented people?
By the way, the Regional Finance Director got promoted to Regional General Manager…